NEW YORK (PIX11) – A new program called College Choice aims to make higher education more attainable for New York City children in foster care by providing resources to succeed and financial support.
“This new program means that a young person in foster care can attend the college of their choice without having to worry about the financial nightmare,” said Jess Dannhauser, Commissioner of the city’s Administration of Children’s Services. “That’s right, no matter the school – east coast, west coast, public-private, two years, four years – ACS will cover the expenses. “
The announcement was made at City College in Harlem.
College Choice will cover up to $15,000 per year in tuition and mandatory fees after what is not covered by the student’s financial aid package. It will also pay for room and board and provide a $60 daily stipend for food, clothes, or other college expenses. There will also be access to tutoring.
The $60 stipend will be available for six months after graduation to ensure support while the graduate looks for work or applies to graduate school. Coaching will also remain to help with career plans.
“We’re going to continue to do those things that are going to lean into creating an environment of healthy children and families in this city,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
The $10 million program costs just as much as The Dorm Project program, which offered similar services but now helps more students and offers more flexibility.
“For those in foster care who seek both stability and higher education, it seems like an impossible task, but with The Dorm Project, I was able to do both,” said Sandjida Afruz, a City College student and College Choice program participant. “I was able to pursue my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree without having to worry about my financial situation.”
Full-time college students in foster care are eligible for the program if they apply for financial aid, maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and join academic support programs they qualify for.
The city expects about 230 young people people in foster care in New York City will benefit from the program this school year.