‘College Choice’ program to help students in foster care cover cost of college expenses

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Commissioner Jess Dannhauser on October 4, 2022, announced “College Choice,” a program that will provide college students in foster care with greater support systems, including financial support, so they can attend the college of their dreams without having to worry about the hefty price tag. As part of the program, ACS will help pay remaining costs of college tuition— up to $15,000 each year — in addition to any room and board not covered by a student’s financial aid package. College students in foster care will also receive a $60 daily stipend per year, which can be used towards food, clothing, transportation, and more.

All youth in foster care will additionally be able to keep the coaching they already receive through “Fair Futures,” which has provided thousands of youth in foster care, ages 11 to 21, with dedicated coaches and tutors since 2019. The Adams administration recently expanded Fair Futures for youth ages 21-26. Further, the New York Foundling — a non-profit social service organization that supports young people in foster care— will provide students with tutoring, career counseling, and other related services.

“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,” said Mayor Adams. “This new program provides our young people in foster care help in covering up to $15,000 in tuition costs each year not covered by financial aid, as well as room and board, and even provides a daily stipend for food or clothes. Growing up has never been more challenging, so we are holding up the torch to support our young people. No students’ chances for success should depend on factors outside of their control. Now, our youth in foster care can attend a community college, a CUNY, a SUNY, an Ivy League, an HBCU, or any other school they dream of without worrying about how they pay for their education.”

“This program is truly remarkable. College Choice will provide the opportunity for young people in the foster care system to pursue their goals and dreams, with reliable, realistic, and sustained support,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams Isom. “The program accounts for day-to-day expenses and real-world costs, all of which give young people the sincere chance to advance educational attainment and likely their lifetime earning ability. Thank you to ACS for its leadership and to all of our philanthropic and nonprofit partners for making this program possible.”

“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,” said ACS Commissioner Dannhauser. “This new program will mean that young people in foster care can attend the college of their dreams without having to worry about the financial nightmare. No matter the school — east coast, west coast, public, private, two years, or four years — ACS will support our young scholars in foster care. We are thrilled to launch the ‘College Choice’ program and I am confident it will help put more and more young people on the path to success.”

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