Tuition Exemption for Current or Former Foster Care Students under the Conservatorship of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS)Program Purpose
To provide college financial assistance to students who are currently or were formerly in the conservatorship of TDFPS.Eligibility Requirements
A student is exempt from the payment of tuition and fees, including tuition and fees charged by an institution of higher education for a dual credit course or other course for which a high school student may earn joint high school and college credit, if the student:
Was under the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services:
A. on the day preceding the student's 18th birthday;
B. on or after the day of the student's 14th birthday, if the student was also eligible for adoption on or after that day; or
C. on the day the student graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma; or
D. the date permanent managing conservatorship (PMC) of the student is awarded to a person other than the student’s parent, if that date is on or after September 1, 2009.
The student must enroll in an institution of higher education as an undergraduate student or in a dual credit course or other course not later than the student's 25th birthday.
As of June 1, 2016, the following persons may also qualify for the tuition and fee exemption:
•A student whose age was 14 or older on or after June 1, 2016 and subsequently exited DFPS's permanent managing conservatorship to the legal responsibility of the parent.
Available only for use at a Texas public college or university. Most public institutions of higher education have designated a Liaison Officer to provide assistance to their students formerly under the conservancy of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. List of Designated LiaisonsAward Amount
Tuition and fees for courses for which the college receives tax support; however, once a student has been determined eligible for the benefit and has enrolled in higher education, the benefit continues indefinitely. There are no durational limitations in statute referencing how many semesters or years a student may receive this exemption.Application Process
Provide the college registrar written proof, from the Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS), of eligibility. Form K-908-1003 is the TDFPS verification of written proof.
Foster Care College Tuition & Fee Waiver Resources
There is a flow chart/process map. The “Foster Care College Tuition & Fee Waiver Process” (LINK: http://texaschildrenscommission.gov/media/83925/tuition-waiver-final.pdf) map that illustrates the steps needed to activate and apply the waiver. A short video entitled THECB Tuition and Fee Waiver was created by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, in partnership with Sam Houston State University, DFPS, and many other agencies across Texas. The video clarifies the eligibility criteria for the waiver and explains how the waiver can be utilized in Texas. Although the video was created with youth in mind, judges, attorneys, CPS staff, and educators may also find it useful.
- For assistance from TDFPS contact the Preparation for Adult Living-Regional and State Contacts to verify tuition exemption eligibility of foster care students and PMC students
- Assistance with locating temporary housing between academic terms (fall, spring and summer) is also available to eligible former foster care students who were enrolled full-time at a public institution in the previous term and are registered or committed to enrolling full-time at a public institution in the subsequent term. To read more about this program, check out House Bill 452, 82nd Legislature http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=82R&Bill=HB452
- Achieving Success: Guidance for Colleges to Better Support Foster Youth is a resource guide for College Liaisons. It highlights recommendations of actions that colleges can take to improve access to higher education for foster youth nationwide, pledges that colleges can take to create tangible change on their campuses, and information about tuition waiver options for foster youth. The pledges (pgs. 12-13) are a start to creating college support groups on campus.
- USDOE released a new toolkit to inspire and support current and former foster youth pursuing college and career opportunities. The Foster Care Transition Toolkit includes tips and resources intended to help foster youth access and navigate social, emotional, educational and skills barriers as they transition into adulthood.
- Texas Higher Education Foster Care Liaisons Information & Reference Guide is a resource for the designated foster care liaisons at institutions or for any stakeholders that serve foster care students.
- The Texas Workforce Commission has created Foster Youth Tools to support providers and stakeholders serving foster youth.
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