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Financial Assistance for Post-Secondary Education and Training

Overwhelming research suggests that young people leaving foster care, struggle with adult responsibilities oftentimes making planning for the future and pursuing higher education or training very difficult. The John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 addressed this challenge with programs to help youth transition to adulthood. The Education Training Voucher (ETV) Program followed in 2002, creating a federally-funded, state-administered initiative to provide funding and support for post-secondary education.  In addition, the state of Alaska has recognized the growing needs of this population and has increased support through various partnerships to meet the educational needs of youth in foster care.

Education and Training Vouchers (ETV)

IL.jpgETV offers financial assistance to eligible current and former foster youth to attend an accredited college, university, vocational or technical college.
The maximum ETV award is $5,000. Awards are unique to each student and are based on the cost of attendance formula established by their college of choice. 

Students can utilize up to $5,000 per academic year (as long as youth are enrolled at least half time)! This can cover the following school related expenses:

  • Tuition
  • Student Fees
  • Books & Supplies
  • Room (On-campus & off-campus housing)
  • Board (Food)
  • Transportation
  • Personal/Miscellaneous
  • Child care

Once awarded, students must maintain good academic standing and meet the institutions Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

*Students should not expect ETV to cover their entire cost of attendance. ETV funds can be combined with other grants and scholarships to minimize or eliminate the need for student loans

ETV Eligibility

  • OCS youth who are or were in custody and in foster care (out-of-home care) on or after their 16th birthday and have not yet reached age 21.
  • Youth must have completed a high school diploma or GED.
  • Youth must be accepted into a qualifying institution of higher education.
  • Youth must be enrolled in a program prior to their 21st birthday to receive funds until they reach age 23.
  • Youth must be attending at least half-time to an accredited school.
  • An accredited school is one that: Awards a Bachelor’s degree or not less than a 2-year program that provides credit toward a degree, Provides not less than 1-year of training towards gainful employment, or is a vocational program that provides training for gainful employment and has been in existence for at least two years.

University of Alaska Presidential Foster Youth Tuition Waiver

Applications are due June 1st!!

The University of Alaska, in partnership with the Office of Children's Services offers 15 Presidential Foster Youth Tuition Waivers each year to eligible current and former foster youth.

Presidential Foster Youth Tuition Waivers can be used toward the cost of tuition at any University of Alaska Campus for up to 144 undergraduate credits within 6 years, not to exceed 10 semesters.

Presidential Tuition Waiver Eligibility

  • OCS youth who are or were in custody and in foster care (out-of-home care) on or after their 16th birthday and have not yet reached age 21.
  • Be a resident of Alaska, and;
  • Must be accepted in to an undergraduate certificate or degree program and enroll in classes by the first fall semester following receipt of the Award or graduation from high school whichever occurs later;
  • Maintain good standing within the University community (academic, financial, and conduct);
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Alaska Pacific University Promise Tuition Grant for Foster Youth

Applications are due August 1st!!

Alaska Pacific University, in partnership with the Office of Children's Services offers up to 10 Promise Tuition Grants (PTG) for Foster Youth each year to eligible current and former foster youth to reduce the cost of tuition to $0 for those who qualify for the APU Promise Tuition Grant program.

PTG for Foster Youth can be used each fall and spring semester for up to five years.

APU’s PTG for Foster Youth Eligibility

  • OCS youth who are or were in custody and in foster care (out-of-home care) on or after their 16th birthday and have not yet reached age 21;
  • Be a resident of Alaska;
  • Complete Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) requirements for the Alaska Education Grant (AEG) and Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS), if applicable;
  • Be eligible for the federal Pell Grant determined by the FAFSA;
  • Be accepted in to an undergraduate certificate or degree program and enroll in classes by the first fall semester following receipt of the award or graduation from high school whichever occurs later;
  • Complete the APU donor-funded scholarship application;
  • Maintain good standing within the University community (academic, financial, and conduct);
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress financial aid standards, including a 67% course completion rate and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.

For more information on funding and academic support for higher education, contact your Regional Independent Living Specialist.