Tuition Waivers for Youth in Foster Care? The Fostering Independence Through Education Act, HB 1276

Tuition Waivers for Youth in Foster Care? The Fostering Independence Through Education Act, HB 1276

More than 25% of foster children become homeless after two to four years of leaving the system, according to Covenant House. Due to their housing instability, it is nearly impossible for these children to save up money for their future, making it difficult to secure quality education and a career, deepening the cycle of poverty. However, Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives is voting on The Fostering Independence Through Education Act (HB 1276), which may improve the chances of success for students who are or were in the foster care system.

Key Provisions:

  • Creates a tuition and fee waiver for undergraduate degrees at colleges and universities in Pennsylvania for youth in foster care to reduce financial barriers.
  • Creates points of contact at covered institutions to connect eligible students to services including accessing and identifying financial aid, gathering verification documents, and providing information regarding support services to access existing resources.
  • Provides outreach to students to ensure eligible youth know about the waiver and other higher education supports.
  • Data collection and reporting by institutions and government agencies to improve retention and the success of students.

Eligible Students:

  • Pennsylvania youth who are 14-26 and have been in foster care for at least six months.
  • Graduated from high school or received equivalent degree.
  • Must maintain satisfactory academic progress while in college.
  • Applied for all available federal and state grants.

Eligible Schools:

  • Pennsylvania Community Colleges
  • Universities in the State System of Higher Education
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Private Colleges and Universities in PA
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Temple University
  • Lincoln University
  • Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

Read more about HB1276 here.
Sign a petition to show your support here.


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