Paying for College

 

Preparation for Adult Living (PAL)
  • The purpose of Preparation for Adult Living program is to help youth transition to a successful adulthood through coordinated permanency and transition planning as they leave foster care and after. The program provides services, benefits, resources, and support to youth and young adults up to age 21. The PAL staff or Aftercare case manager serve as the subject matter experts for the Transitional Living Program.
  • Services Provided:
    • After Care Case Management
    • After Care Room and Board
    • Transitional Living Allowance up to $1,000)
    • State of Texas Tuition and Fee Waiver Letter
    • Medicaid for Transitioning Foster Care Youth
    • Former Foster Care Youth in Higher Education Healthcare Program
    • Extended Foster Care
State of Texas Tuition and Fee Waiver
  • The waiver provides exemption of tuition and fees at Texas public institutions of higher education for youth formerly in Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) conservativeship, adopted youth, and certain other youth., Students must enroll in a state supported school or a dual credit course by their 25th birthday.
  • There are two state laws that exempt or waive payment of tuition and fees at state supported colleges or universities for foster youth:
    • TEC 54.366: Exemption for Students Under Conservatorship of DFPS
    • TEC 54.367: Exemption for Adopted Students Formerly in Foster or other Residential Care
  • Fees are required for educational purposes are covered with this waiver
  • Chafee Education and Training Voucher (ETV)
    • ETV is a federally-funded, state-administered program specifically for youth who were in foster care.
    • It provides up to $5,000 an academic year to eligible students for college related expenses, including rent, books, utilities, childcare, computers, personal expenses, transportation, and tuition, if applicable.
    • Based on the cost of attendance as established by higher education institutions, youth in foster care or other eligible youth and young adults ages 16 up to the age of 23 may be eligible to receive this assistance each year to help reach their postsecondary educational goals at accredited or pre-accredited, nonprofit, private, or public institutions of higher education.
    • Students must submit a FAFSA when applying for ETV.
PAL Transitional Living Allowance
  • Must have completed PAL Training
  • Be in an Independent Living Situation
  • Must have been in paid placement 24 months prior to requesting
  • Must be attending school, working 20 hours a week, or attending a vocational program
  • May receive up to $1,000 in two payments of $500
  • Supervised Independent Living Program
    • SIL is an option for young adults in Extended Foster Care to live in a variety of settings including apartments, dorms and shared housing. SIL allows young adults to live independently with increased responsibility and without 24-hour supervision. Young adults placed in SIL settings receive minimum case management services.
    • Allows young adults to practice necessary independent living skills and achieve self-sufficiency in a supportive environment before leaving the placement.
    • While in SIL, young adults have increased responsibility such as managing their own finances, making their own medical appointments, finding their own means of transportation, buying and preparing their own food, and learning how to work with a landlord.
    • Case managers assist young adults with learning valuable life skills, engaging in community resources, achieving educational goals, and making connections to caring adults.
  • Extended Foster Care
    • A voluntary program that offers young adults (ages 18 up to 22) opportunities to continue their foster care placement and facilitate the transition to independence with DFPS supervision, if there is an available placement.
    • To qualify, a young adult must have been in DFPS conservatorship the day before his or her 18th birthday.
    • Criteria:
      • 18 to 22 years old and
        • Regularly attending high school or enrolled in a program leading towards a high school diploma or school equivalence certificate (i.e., GED).
      • 18 to 21 years old and
        • Regularly attending an institution of higher education or a post-secondary vocational or technical program (minimum 6 hours per semester): or
        • Actively participating in a program or activities that promotes, or removes barriers to employment; or
        • Employed for at least 80 hours per month; or
        • Incapable of doing any of the above due to a documented medical condition, which includes receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Medicaid for Transitioning Foster Care Youth (MTFCY)
  • MTFCY provides medical coverage to young adults ages 18 through 20 not eligible for the FFCC program because they were not receiving Medicaid at the time they aged out of foster care.
  • Criteria:
    • 18 through 20 years of age
    • In Texas, foster care at age 18 or older
    • No other healthcare coverage
    • Meet program riles for income; and
    • A U.S. Citizen or have qualified for alien status
  • Grants (Pell) and Scholarship
    • Freshman Success for Foster Youth
      • Grant for first time college freshman, formerly in foster care.
      • Each year there will be four one-time grants of $1,000 available for one young adult enrolling in their freshman year
      • These grants cover basic non-tuition related expenses such as books, supplies, computers, software, tools, uniforms, and transportation. Students must be enrolled in Texas state-supported college, university, or vocational/technical school that accepts the state college tuition and fee waiver
    • C. Ed Davis-PAL Scholarship
      • For basic, non-tuition needs for former foster youth who are majoring in government, political science, history, or another pre-law field. Scholarships are for $1,000 per academic year and are available to sophomore, junior, or senior students.