Mayor Adams and ACS Commissioner Dannhauser Launch “College Choice” Program to Help Students in Foster Care Pursue Higher Education
On October 4th, New York City Mayor Adams and New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Commissioner Jess Dannhauser announced the launch of “College Choice,” a program that will give college students in foster care more support, including financial support.
This program will enable these students to attend the college of their dreams without having to worry about the cumbersome price tag.
In accordance with the program, ACS will assist in paying any outstanding college tuition expenses, up to $15,000 per year, as well as any room and board fees that are not covered by a student’s financial assistance package. Foster-care college students will also receive a daily stipend of $60 per year, which they can use for things like food, clothing, transportation, and other necessities.
Additionally, all foster care students will be allowed to keep the coaching they already got through “Fair Futures,” which has supplied thousands of foster youth, aged 11 to 21, with committed coaches and tutors since 2019. The Adams administration recently included youth aged 21 to 26 in Fair Futures. Students will also receive tutoring, career guidance, and other related services from the New York Foundling, a non-profit social service agency that aids children in foster care.
Speaking at the launch of College Choice, Mayor Adams said, “College Choice will provide college students in foster care with the support they need to complete their college education successfully and attend the school of their choice, regardless of cost.”
More insight on project “College Choice”…
Furthermore, ACS Commissioner Dannhauser said, “New York City is making sure more doors of opportunity are open for young people in foster care, and the College Choice program is just one more way that we are doing that.”
The College Choice initiative expands on the Fostering College Success Initiative, a previous program that provided year-round housing, tuition aid, smaller stipends, and academic support. Many of the young people enrolled in the program have been able to attend college as a result of the program. In the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year, students in foster care will have the option of receiving this support regardless of which college they attend, thus the term “College Choice.”
Beyond these options, College Choice goes further by granting similar benefits to every student in foster care, regardless of the college they decide to attend. New York City becomes the first jurisdiction in the country to launch a program with as much scope and depth for fostering youngsters as possible.
The Adams administration also introduced VCRED earlier this year, a new program for apprenticeships and vocational training for young people aged 16 to 24 who are in foster care, as well as young people who have just left foster care or the juvenile justice system.
The College Choice program will help about 230 young people in foster care in New York City in the next academic year.
Reacting to the launch of College Choice, The City University of New York (CUNY) Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodrguez said, “A college degree is a major step toward upward mobility and economic freedom, but it is often out of reach for students because they can’t pay for costs not covered by financial aid. I’m proud of New York City for providing a financial pathway for young people in foster care to pay for tuition, room and board costs, and other essentials, like food and transportation.”
He added, “These young people shouldn’t have to go hungry or build debt to attend college. More than half of the students benefiting from College Choice this academic year are attending CUNY colleges, and we are grateful to Mayor Adams for helping these young people get the support they need to achieve their educational dreams.”