Receiving all available financial aid is a deciding factor in the success of foster and homeless youth in college.
Given its importance, JBAY works to ensure all foster youth have access to the financial aid to which they are entitled. To access college financial aid, students typically must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA). Data show that 90% of high school seniors who complete the FAFSA go on to enroll in college within 12 months as compared to just 45% of high school seniors who do not complete the FAFSA. Foster youth and students experiencing homelessness, however, often do not complete this crucial step, which contributes to low rates of college completion.
“Discovering all the resources available to foster youth through the FAFSA has brought my dream closer to reality for me.”
- Toby, a graduating senior at Palmdale High School in LA County
Foster Youth FAFSA Challenge
JBAY launched the California Foster Youth FAFSA Challenge in 2017. It is a statewide campaign to increase the number of foster youth who are prepared for college by ensuring that they are accessing financial aid. JBAY provides technical assistance to county-based Foster Youth Services Coordinating Programs (FYSCP), which work with local partners to help youth complete the FAFSA.
Successful completion of the FAFSA or CADAA is the single most important step in ensuring foster youth receive financial aid and subsequently enroll and persist in college, including career and technical education programs provided by California’s 116 community colleges.
State FAFSA Completion Requirements
Homeless Youth FAFSA Challenge
Based on the success of the Foster Youth FAFSA Challenge, beginning Fall 2021, JBAY is expanding this effort to students experiencing homelessness.