California’s Efforts to Increase Access to Financial Aid for Foster Youth

Three recent bills have made financial aid access easier for foster youth. 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.

  • Senate Bill 150

    Senate Bill 150 took effect on January 1, 2020. The new law allows foster youth who receive a Chafee Education and Training Voucher to continue to receive funds for up to two years before losing access based on satisfactory academic progress standards. Prior to SB 150, funds were lost after just one year. The Chafee ETV is the only financial aid source created specifically for current and former foster youth. It provides up to $5,000 in financial aid each academic year to eligible foster youth.
  • AB 1809 CALGRANT EXPANSION

    In 2018, AB 1809 was implemented and 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.

  • Senate Bill 12

    SB 12 was passed in 2017 and provides a mechanism for automated verification of foster youth status by college financial aid offices. In addition, it 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.