Funding for College Costs Available for New York's Foster Youth

Paul Larrabee
For Immediate Release:
May 4, 2016


Foster Care Awareness Month Brings News of $3 Million to Help with Tuition, Books and Living Expenses

New York State’s foster youth population headed to college in September are encouraged to apply for funding through a newly expanded state program designed to pay for direct educational costs such as tuition and books as well as indirect expenses associated with going to school such as housing, travel and living expenses.  The news of the funding coincides with National Foster Care Awareness Month as awareness activities and events are planned across the country.
In New York, $3 million in funds were made available by state leaders as part of the 2016-17 state budget for New York opportunity programs such as:

  • Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) at the State University of New York;
  • College Discovery (CD) and Search for Education Elevation Knowledge (SEEK) programs at City University of New York; and
  • Higher Educational Opportunity Programs (HEOP) at private colleges and universities.

“The goal of this program is to open the gates to college education and a lifetime of opportunity for New York’s foster youth,” said Jessica Maxwell, program coordinator for the Fostering Youth Success Alliance. “We want to ensure that this year, the group of foster youth that benefit is larger than ever before.”  

Any student preparing to enter college, and who is currently in foster care or was in foster care after their 13th birthday, are eligible for the program. Students are encouraged to immediately contact the College Opportunity program offices at campuses they have applied to, or which they are about to enroll to request more information.
A website has been established ( to offer more information about the program.  In addition, program advocates are available to serve as a conduit for additional details.  Students, guidance counselors, foster families and members of the greater foster care community are encouraged to contact the FYSA program directly, at 212.381.1194, to learn more about the program and expedite access to key information and details at.

FYSA is a statewide group of advocates concerned with advancing state policies and securing public resources to improve outcomes for foster youth.