We asked “More and more states are providing foster youth with tuition waivers. What other supports or services do you think colleges should be providing?”
In Texas, some college campuses have a foster-youth adviser on staff that helps guide the youth with their college degree plan, living situations and whatever else they need. I definitely think this is a practice that should be nation-wide.
I think they should provide tips to budget money, tips to study, and support groups for youth to see that there are other youth like them. We could be a support team for others and share our stories My college business clothing closet and a food pantry, which was amazing. Once we age out we are all we have.
I think that a great service would be free tutoring. I take so much advantage of the University of Cincinnati’s LAC tutoring.
Housing over the summer and holidays. Some have nowhere to go home to.
I believe that colleges should provide extra help with young adults aging out of foster care, for example, I aged out of foster care with a baby. Although I was 18 and considered grown, I was not ready. I believe colleges should offer support groups and life skills such as budgeting, clear ways to be successful, mentors that are there for support every step of the way, and support groups to meet new people to gain a family in and out of college.
Housing for summers, breaks, holidays. I literally transferred schools while in college because the school I changed to allowed you to stay in the dorms year round. You had to pay rent but it was cheaper than an apartment. So crucial.
Free tuition nationwide, including private schools or trade schools, because not everyone wants to be a doctor, social worker, teacher, or go to school for just general studies. Why add more stress on foster youth with loans and debt.
Housing options for foster youth with no place to go whether during the holidays and or throughout their time enrolled, with options that include temporary and permanent housing options for a lower cost.
Lower cost bus passes, discounted gas cards, free tutoring, support groups. A counselor on-site or nearby who can assist the youth with services, help the youth understand fully how their choices will impact there present and future, grants and scholarships the youth is eligible for, budgeting. A mentor or advocate that can help access additional services like food, clothes, housing, legal, and mental health.
I aged out with no family support, and barely any support from DSS. Even if the change isn’t available for me, I would still love to see a change happen. We deserve a fair chance in life and to have a successful and rewarding experience through our journey of continued education.
Bus passes. Many former foster youth don’t drive.
I understand that there are different laws in each state, but for some foster kids, they move states while in care, then when they age out, aid is extremely confusing! (Me, me, me, I’ve definitely been in this situation). This results in not getting all the aid that is needed. I think that NATIONWIDE, foster kids should be offered free public tuition, and at least 75% aid for private or trade schools. Also, scholarships and aid for summer classes as well. FOSTER KIDS DESERVE A CHANCE. Being able to continue their education while not having to worry about how they’re going to pay for their tuition would take such a burden off and they could solely focus on bettering not only themselves but society as well.
We also need aid for housing, help with job security, and community support. A lot of teens come out of the system with no one and all of this is so needed to bring the statistics of being incarcerated or homeless DOWN. Most of the time foster youth have no savings or anything when they age out and have been fending for themselves for so long.
I think just having someone to be there and support them before they start college and while attending and maybe after would be good. Not too many foster youth have someone who is supportive throughout their life.
I think colleges should have a specific scholarship program that only foster or former foster youth should be able to apply to.
A great idea might be finding ways for former foster care youth to take part in student organizations and clubs. Getting an education is really only one of the great parts of going to a college or university. Getting students involved in a club or organization that drives them to do better makes someone stand out. Sometimes its that extra little bit of inspiration that makes getting that degree worth it.
More interest in wanting to help students with career fields while providing them with counseling, clubs, resources, organizations on and off campus, internships, which can all help with getting comfortable in whatever career field.
An issue that I have is the lack of knowledgeable staff. I think that colleges should hire staff to specifically work with foster youth. We have needs that that are very much different than the traditional college student. We have overcome tremendous hurdles to get to this point. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get easier and it would help having staff available that are knowledgeable about our particular needs.
Schools need trauma informed teachers and staff
I think that colleges should be able to better their counseling services. At my college, I haven’t met many people who are willing to share their stories, and it makes it hard for others to relate to others and socialize. There should be clubs that aim towards students in care or those interested in knowing more about people’s stories
– Jai Dasia
Extended housing during college breaks/holidays. I had to fight with an attorney to get my university to allow me to live off campus my freshman year (they had a rule all freshman and sophomores must live on campus unless living in a radius with family). Well, I didn’t have family. And if I would’ve lived in dorms I would’ve been homeless on the street when they closed for breaks.
– Sarah Elizabeth
Therapists specialized in trauma.
Mentor program to keep students on track at community college would be helpful. For example, a program that matched up students and professors.
- Create programs/ activities for foster youths that to remove barriers to employment.
2. Make sure every foster youth admitted to a university knows where to get resources for their independent living and academic success.3. Employ them. Give them work-study. Teach us how to be successful on our own.4. Provide counseling, mentors, and advisers.