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Higher Education / Financial Aid
EducationFor many youth aging out of Oregon's foster care system, college is simply not a financial reality.
With little to no family support or savings, foster youth are hard-pressed to cover tuition and fees, let alone the cost of living expenses and books. Too often, the process of piecing together financial aid to meet these needs is full of roadblocks and delays that prevent foster youth from attending college.
The Chafee Education and Training Grant, Tuition and Fee Waivers, and other financial aid at the state and federal level ensure that foster youth will have access to higher education.
Review the Post-Secondary Scholarship, Grant and Waiver Eligibility Matrix. This document summarizes eligibility only. For additional details, review the information included below about various assistance and funding sources. 
Youth Bill of Rights Poster
  • FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid) Applying for federal student aid is quicker and easier than ever. You can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov This is the key to additional funding - if you want to receive the Chafee ETG, Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG), Tuition & Fee Waiver or other scholarships you must fill out and submit the FAFSA...

  • Effective April 10, 2014
    (http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2014/04/oregon_special_education_gradu.html) After months of hard work, Representative Sara Gelser and the Oregon Department of Education announced that, effective immediately, all students who have earned an Oregon Modified Diploma or an extended diploma are now eligible to apply for Federal Student Aid. This applies to students who are earning a degree this year, as well as any students who have earned one in the past.

  • March 19, 2012 – Ability to Benefit Policy Change
    Qualifying for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by passing an "Ability to Benefit" Assessment (aka: Placement test) has been eliminated.  As of July 1, 2012, in order for a student to be eligible for FAFSA, the student must have  a:
    • Regular high school diploma (a diploma that meets the criteria of an Oregon Diploma as delineated in OAR 581-022-1130); or,
    • General Educational Development certificate (GED).

    GED Changes
    Effective January 1, 2014
      The GED will change in 2014. Beginning January 1, 2014, the GED test will cost more, must be taken on a computer, and will contain significant content changes.
      People who have not passed all parts of the current GED test before the end of the current GED test series, i.e., by December 31, 2013, will have to start over when the 2014 edition begins.
      Presently the fee for taking the GED averages $65. When the GED test becomes computer-based in 2014, the fee will be a minimum of $120.
      The National Resource Center for Youth Development • A service of the Children's Bureau • A member of the T/TA Network

    Federal Student Aid Programs
    The following types of aid available to help you pay for your education after high school.
    • Grants - student aid funds that do not have to be repaid (other conditions apply).
    • Work-Study - a part-time work program to earn money while you are in school.
    • Federal Loans - student aid funds that you must repay with interest.

Types of federal student loans:

    Independent Student College Cost Reduction and Access Act

    Provisions of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act: Effective July 1, 2009. The definition of independent student adds emancipated minor and being in a legal guardianship to the definition of independent student. It also changes the orphan or ward of the court until age 18 to be orphan or ward of the court or in foster care at any time on or after 13 years of age — Congress has resolved the issue of what orphan or ward of the court really means by saying that all of the above qualify as independent.

    Student Eligibility-Food Benefits

    Policy on student eligibility for food stamps will change as of May 1, 2013

    Youth will no longer be eligible for food stamps as a full-time college student unless they are eligible for federal work study AND actually have an assigned job or have a start date in the current term or semester. Just being eligible for federal work study will no longer count.