Chapter 3

Maximizing Financial Aid for Foster Youth
Chapter 3 - Maximizing Financial Aid for Foster Youth
Know the Differences: FYCSI vs. ETV

New York has two designated funding streams that are available to eligible foster youth pursuing post-secondary education.

The table below explains the major differences between these programs.


Age Requirements

  • No age requirements to access funding
  • Apply before 21st birthday
  • Receive funds until year they reach age 23

Foster Care Experience

  • Spent time in foster care after 13th birthday
  • Left foster care after 14th birthday

Adoption Status

  • Adopted after 13th birthday from foster care
  • Adopted after 16th birthday

Citizenship Status

  • U.S. Citizen, Green Card or Undocumented
  • U.S. Citizen or Green Card

Participating Institutions and Eligible Programs

  • Students enrolled at CUNY, SUNY, and Independent, Private Colleges with Higher Education Opportunity Programs (HEOPs)
  • Students pursuing associate or bachelor’s degrees
  • Students pursing degrees, enrolled in a post-secondary certificate or other accredited program at a college, university, or technical vocational school


  • Award amount is based on student’s financial need as determined by the cost of attendance at the eligible higher education institution
  • Up to $5,000 awarded per student annually
  • Students are eligible to receive funding for up to 5 years
  • Awards are determined by students’ financial need as determined by cost of attendance
  • Awards are paid directly to students or institution of attendance


  • New York State Education Department (SED)
  • New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and Welfare Research, Inc. (WRI)


  • Students are not required to complete an application, but must submit an eligibility consent form to the college
  • Access funds through financial aid officers at eligible schools
  • Students must submit an annual application, which includes certification from institutions of attendance for each semester the student is enrolled