New York Expands Fostering College Youth Success Initiative

Paul Larrabee
For Immediate Release:
April 10, 2017

Governor and Legislative Leaders Provide $4.5 Million for Tuition, Books and Living Expenses

The Fostering Youth Success Alliance (FYSA), a statewide coalition of advocates, announced that the recently approved 2017-18 state budget includes $4.5 million to ensure three cohorts of students receive support, including those enrolling for the first time in September 2017. This year’s budget allocation marks a $1.5 million increase over 2016-17, bringing the total investment to $9 million over the life of the program.

Now in its third year, the Fostering College Youth Success Initiative builds upon a program launched in 2015 that has helped hundreds of foster youth enroll in more than 70 colleges across the state representing CUNY, SUNY or independent colleges and universities. Statewide there are approximately 4,000 college-age youth in the foster care system; advocates estimate that this year’s expansion will significantly expand the number of participants.

“On behalf of the hundreds of foster youth currently enrolled in New York-based colleges, and the hundreds more who will join them this fall, thank you, Governor Cuomo and the members of the Assembly and Senate, for continuing to support this vital program,” said Jessica Maxwell, director of FYSA. “These are our kids, and we must expand the opportunities for those relying on our “parental” care. By continuing to fund this program, the governor and legislature have made a strong statement that they are invested in the future of our foster youth.”

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 ( 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 accessing its resources.  

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