SB 307 – Expanding financial aid for foster youth

What is this bill about?

College affordability is cited as the number one barrier to college completion among foster youth, with only 10% obtaining a college degree by the age of 23. Senate Bill 307, authored by Senators Mike McGuire and Angelique Ashby, will change this outcome by establishing the Fostering Futures program within the existing Middle Class Scholarship to make debt-free college a reality for foster youth. This program will cover 100% of remaining unmet need after other federal, state and institutional aid for foster students pursuing an associate degree, transfer pathway or certificate at a community college, or a bachelor’s degree at a CSU or UC.

How does it align with yli’s values?

yli partners with thousands of youth across the state, the majority of whom are low-income youth of color and we know that access to a quality education is critical to lifetime achievement. This policy aligns with our Education Justice Platform, which calls for free quality education for all.

Children and youth enter foster care due to serious abuse and neglect. This trauma is often compounded by the instability they experience while in foster care, through placement and school changes. Together, these lead to poor educational outcomes, most notably low rates of college completion.

SB 307 seeks to fill the gaps by establishing the Fostering Futures program by doing the following:

  • Expand eligibility for the Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) program to foster youth enrolled in an associate’s degree, transfer pathway, or career technical education certificate program at a community college – the current MCS program only applies to UC’s and CSU’s, or a bachelor’s degree program at some community colleges;
  • Remove the student contribution requirement towards the cost of attendance for UC’s, CSU’s, and community college associate’s degrees, transfer, or certificate programs; and
  • Cover 100% of remaining unmet need after other federal, state, and institutional aid is applied for UC’s, CSU’s, and community college associate’s degrees or certificate programs.

What is yli doing about it?

We have just submitted a letter endorsing this bill, and we are showing our support on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Who else supports this bill?

  • John Burton Advocates for Youth (Sponsor)
  • Riverside City College

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