This is a huge win for foster youth located in the state of California.
According to Los Angeles, CA’s KTLA 5, foster children in the state that is home to Hollywood will be able to attend college for free, thanks to a new law.
The Road To Free Tuition
The legislation, SB 307, was signed into California’s state budget in early July 2023.
As a result of the move, a new program, Fostering Futures, will manage cost expectations for foster youth looking to attend any state college.
What’s more, the program is an extension of Fostering Futures’ Middle-Class Scholarship (MCS) program. In addition to college tuition, foster youth will have other costs such as books, food, and housing taken care of as well.
According to the outlet, “Officials say the program serves to both increase the likelihood that foster youth can reach their educational goals and also better prepare them to enter the next stage of their lives, whether that involves pursuing an advanced degree or entering directly into their chosen career path, by providing the opportunity to begin their next chapter debt-free from higher education.”
Per the report, the entire cost for foster youth looking to attend a University of California, California State University, or California community college will be covered courtesy of the program.
As previously reported by AfroTech, band member of the legendary Earth, Wind & Fire, Philip Bailey has also placed support behind foster youth, especially as they age out of the system. The musician offers help through various initiatives such Backstage Soundcheck where young adults attend EWF concerts and gain a firsthand look at what goes into making touring possible.
“About 14 or 15 years ago we started this foundation called Music Is Unity to benefit foster youth who are aging out of the system,” Bailey explained. “Kids in foster care age out every single year, and they’re just kicked out into the world with no help and support.”
A Much Needed Change
At this time, advocates say that 93% of foster youth in California have a desire to attend college, but only 4% will actually attend and graduate with a degree. The goal of the latest state legislature is to eliminate the hurdles faced by those looking to pursue higher education.