California’s Efforts to Increase Access to Financial Aid for Foster and Homeless Youth
Five recent bills have made financial aid access easier for foster youth and students experiencing homelessness. SB 12 was passed in 2017 and provides a mechanism for automated verification of foster youth status by college financial aid offices and requires social workers and probation officers to identify in the case plan who will assist youth 16 and older with applications for college and financial aid. In 2018, AB 1809 adopted new, expanded eligibility requirements for the State’s largest financial aid program, the Cal Grant, to make the program more accessible to foster youth. In 2019, SB 150 streamlined procedures for the Chafee Education and Training Voucher program. In 2020, SB 860 provides additional support for foster youth to complete a FAFSA while in high school and AB 2416 makes it easier for students to maintain financial aid if they become homeless.