Chapter 3

Maximizing Financial Aid for Foster Youth
Chapter 3 - Maximizing Financial Aid for Foster Youth
Overview of Scholarships and Grant Opportunities for Foster Youth

Grant/Scholarship

Allowable Use

Award Amounts

Income Qualifications

Maintenance Requirements

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

One of the nation’s largest educational grant programs, TAP helps eligible New York residents attending in-state post-secondary institutions pay for tuition. TAP grants are based on the applicant’s and his/her family’s New York State taxable income.

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Pay tuition at a public or private college or university in New York State.

For Independent Students:
$500 to $3,025

 

For Dependent Students:
$500 to $5,165

For Single, Independent Students:
Annual Taxable Income < $10,000

For Dependent Students:
Annual Taxable Income < $80,000

Although Foster Youth under age 24 are considered independent, they are funded on the dependent student schedule for TAP.

NOTE: if a student’s 24th birthday occurs prior to Dec. 31 of the academic year, they will be considered independent as of the start of the current semester, and will no longer qualify under the foster youth definition.

Students must be matriculated in an approved program of study and maintain full-time status (at least 12 credits per semester).

Students must be in good academic standing with at least a "C" average as of the 4th semester payment.

Excelsior Scholarship

When combined with other financial aid programs, this NYS scholarship program allows students to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free.

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Pay tuition at a SUNY or CUNY school.

 

NOTE: This funding does not support any other cost of attending college.

Up to $5,000

Annual Adjusted Gross Income
< $125,000

NOTE: Students who already receive full TAP and Pell financial aid will not qualify for additional funding through Excelsior.

Students must be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term AND complete 30 credits towards their major each year (successively).

Enhanced Tuition Award (ETA)

ETA enables students attending private colleges to receive financial assistance to complete their college degree. The program requires private colleges to 1) provide a funding match, and 2) freeze a student’s tuition for the duration of the award -- thereby maximizing the financial benefit to the student.

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Pay tuition at a private, non-profit college or university in New York State. 

Up to $6,000 (when combined with TAP)

Annual Adjusted Gross Income
< $125,000

Students must be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term AND complete 30 credits toward their major each year (successively).

NYS Aid for Part-time Study (APTS)

Provides grant assistance for eligible, part-time students enrolled in approved undergraduate studies.

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Pay tuition for an approved undergraduate program at a public or private college or university in New York State.

Up to $2,000 per year

For Single, Independent Students:
Annual Taxable Income < $34,250

For Dependent Students:
Annual Taxable Income < $50,550

Students must maintain part-time status (at least 3 credits, but < 12 credits per semester).

NYS Aid for Part-time Scholarship Award (PTS)

Provides tuition awards to students enrolled in community college.

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Pay tuition at a CUNY or SUNY community college

Up to $1,500 per year

Must meet TAP eligibility requirements (see above).

Recipients selected/prioritized based on financial need.

Students must maintain part-time status (at least 6 credits, but < 12 credits per semester).

NYS Scholarship for Academic Excellence

Awarded to outstanding graduates of registered NYS high schools. Awards are based on student grades for certain Regents Exams and cover up to 5 years of undergraduate study in New York State.

NOTE: Participating high schools select award recipients. Students do not directly apply for this award.

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Pay tuition for an approved undergraduate program at a public or private college or university in New York State.

Up to $1,500 per year
(8,000 available scholarships)

Up to $500 per year
(6,000 available scholarships)

No income restrictions.

Students must maintain full-time status (at least 12 credits per semester).

Federal Pell Grant

Federal subsidy program that provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain post-baccalaureate students to access post-secondary education. Students may use these grants at any one of the 5,400 participating post-secondary institutions.

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Pay tuition, room and board, fees, and other student expenses at public or private two- and four-year colleges and universities;
OR career and technical education programs at community colleges.
Applicable at New York State and out-of-state schools.

 

Amounts vary each year.

For 2018/19 academic year:
Up to $6,095

For 2019/20 academic year:
Up to $6,195

Additional award of up to $2,000 for students enrolled during summer/ winter terms (based on financial need and other factors).

Students whose total annual family income is < $50,000 qualify, but most Pell grant money goes to students with a total annual family income < $20,000.

To maintain full financial aid, students must be enrolled full time (12 credits per semester).

Nearly all recipients receive some aid, even as part-time students.

Foster Youth College Success Initiative (FYCSI)

NYS-funded program established specifically for youth in foster care either already in college or about to enter college. FYCSI provides students with necessary financial, academic, and social support services. Students that were in foster care at any time after their 13th birthday are eligible to receive funding.

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Funding for a variety of support services provided to students at New York State public or private colleges and universities.

Awards determined on a case-by-case basis based on each student’s need and available program funding.

No income restrictions.

No credit requirements.

Education and Training Voucher (ETV)

This program is designed to help youth who were in foster care pay for post-secondary education or training.

Eligible foster care youth, including persons in need of supervision (PINS); a juvenile justice youth who has aftercare status and is 14 years of age or older; and, individuals who were in foster care or entered kinship guardianship at some time after their 14th birthday or were adopted after their 16th birthday.

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Qualified school-related expenses such as housing, meals, books, transportation, etc.

Up to $5,000 per year

Funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible students.

No income restrictions.

To remain eligible for ETV funding, students must show progress toward a degree or certificate.