Paul Larrabee
For Immediate Release:
April 4, 2016


Governor and Legislative Leaders Agree to Provide $3 Million for Tuition, Books and Living Expenses

The Fostering Youth Success Alliance (FYSA), a statewide coalition of advocates, announced that the recently approved 2016-17 state budget will include $3 million targeting former and current foster youth enrolling in college this fall and participating through various opportunity programs.

Now in its second year, the Fostering College Youth Success Initiative builds upon a program launched in 2015 resulting in 350 foster youth being given the opportunity to attend CUNY, SUNY or Independent Colleges and Universities in New York State. Across the state, there are approximately 4,000 college-age youth in the foster care system; advocates estimate that this year’s expansion will double the number of participants.

Phoebe Boyer, president and CEO of The Children’s Aid Society, a founding member of the Alliance, said, “The early college emersion programs and tutorial sessions that begin in the summer smooth the transition from high school to higher education and bolster outcomes for young people who have previously been in care. It is our hope that as students prepare for their futures, they access opportunity programs to provide an academic and financial boost to their futures.”

The investment by the state targets:

  • 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.

Any student preparing to enter college, and who is currently in foster care or was in foster care after their 13th birthday, is 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.

Additional information on the program can be accessed at (  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.

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