California’s Foster Youth Can Now Attend College for Free

California’s Foster Youth Can Now Attend College for Free

Students walk near Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles, Calif., on April 23, 2012. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

8/1/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

California’s foster children will now be able to attend state colleges for free after a bill was signed into law as part of a state budget agreement last month.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom agreed on July 10 to include state Senate Bill 307, introduced by state Sen. Angelique Ashby, a Democrat, in February, in the state’s 2023–24 education budget.
The line item pledges $25 million annually in recurring funds to establish what will be known as the Fostering Futures Program, which will cover 100 percent of tuition, housing, books, and food for foster youth attending a state community college or a California state university or University of California school.
Ms. Ashby said home instability and lack of funds are the most common barriers to attending college for foster youth.
“Far too many foster youth want to go to college, and are unable to afford it,” she said in a July 10 statement. “This funding will ensure that California’s most vulnerable young people can take agency over their lives by seeking higher education.”
There are currently 60,000 youth in California’s foster care system—and of that number, 96 percent say they want to earn a college degree, according to a fact sheet on the program.
However, only 4 percent end up attaining a four-year college degree by age 26, compared to 50 percent of their peers who weren’t in foster care, according to the sheet.
The effort was jointly authored by state Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire, a Democrat, and 22 other legislators and received bipartisan support with no recorded opposition.
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

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Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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