Support Program for Youth-in-Care (STAR)

Foster Youth: Resources to Help You Go to College

Did you know over 70% of youth in foster care want to go to college? What they know is that any postsecondary education can mean more money, more job options, and more freedom.

We recognize that the road to actually attending college may seem challenging and students may encounter roadblocks along the way, but it’s important to remember that there are many resources available to students along the way. Our goal at the Center for College Planning is to help reduce some of these roadblocks and help make the journey to higher education an easier and more enjoyable one!

The Students Transitioning and Achieving Results (STAR) program, at the Center for College Planning is our collaboration with the Division of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) in New Hampshire to provide free resources for foster youth and youth-in-care. We work with foster youth, both in our Concord office and in DCYF District Offices throughout NH, to assist in the admission and financial aid process.

Through our years of one-on-one work with youth-in-care, we have also been able to create special content that is especially relevant to their unique needs and concerns. You can read answers to some of the most commonly asked questions by foster youth and youth-in-care on our FAQs below to understand the admission and financial aid process for foster youth and youth-in-care.

College campus officials are also great support for foster youth – they often provide assistance with the admission and financial aid processes. Never be afraid to ask admissions or financial aid offices questions; they are there to help students and know best how to help students at their school. Then, once you are accepted and are on campus, services such as academic advising, counseling, peer mentoring, and career services can provide support during the college years. Also, look for the campus to provide career search help as you prepare for life after college.

Besides the resources that are specific to youth-in-care, the CCP has many other resources that can help every student in their college search, application, and financial aid process, including this video. So, check out our Planning for College and Financial Aid & Get Financially Fit pages. Please visit our Calendar of Events to see when we are at your school. You are welcome to attend any of our presentations, even if they are not at your high school!

National resources to help explore youth-in-care supports and scholarship opportunities:

Voice for Adoption
Things People Never Told Me
Checklist for Unaccompanied Youth on the Road to College

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FAQ's for Foster Youth & Youth-in-Care

Yes! Federal Financial Aid programs are available for 2-year college or professional schools (such as beauty schools, massage schools etc.) as long as they are considered a Title IV school. You can ask the admissions office at the school you are considering if they are Title IV or click here and type in the school name or city and state.

One of the best parts of a college schedule is that it is usually flexible. This means students can design a schedule that allows for day or evening availability to work. Some college programs are even designed for the working student by only offering evening and weekend classes. Also, more and more colleges are offering online classes where you can study at your convenience. Lastly, you can look to go half-time. As long as you take enough classes to be considered half-time, you can still be eligible for federal financial aid. So, the short answer is, yes, you can absolutely do both!

Yes! There are BOTH 2-year and 4-year colleges that accept the GED/HiSet for enrollment. Although, you may be asked to take proficiency exams to make sure you take the right level of math and English classes. If there is a particular 4-year college that you are interested in, that does not accept the GED/HiSet; you could always look to start at your local 2-year community college, take some classes and then look to transfer into the 4 year-college.

First thing every student needs to do is fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Once you have completed the form, and been accepted into a school, the schools financial aid office will send you an Award Letter which will detail all the financial aid you are eligible to receive. If you live in New Hampshire you can make an appointment to come meet with one of the College Counselors at our Center for College Planning in Concord, NH. We will help you fill out the FAFSA for free!

Yes, any student who is or was in foster care or was a ward of the court from the age of 13 or after, can fill out the FAFSA with just their own information. This is called filing the FAFSA as an "independent student".

Yes, as long as you were a ward of the court after the age of 13, it doesn't matter that you have aged out and are now on your own. You will be able to fill out the FAFSA using just your own information.

Possibly. The NH Department of Health and Human Services offers some money to former youth in care through both Education and Training Voucher funds and Chafee funds. There are strict eligibility requirements and procedures to apply. For information on both these programs check out the Aftercare Services page on the NH Department of Health and Human Services website.

Yes! We have put together a Checklist for Unaccompanied Youth with both tips and resources for students going through this process alone. It offers information about what you should know before enrolling in college and suggestions for once you get there.

No, your friend is wrong. As long as the conviction happened before you applied for federal financial aid (FAFSA) you are still eligible to receive aid. However, you can lose your federal financial aid if you are convicted of a drug offence while you are receiving the aid, so once in school, it is important to make good decisions! Click here, for more information about how incarceration impacts federal financial aid.

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