Paying for College

Former foster care youth may qualify for tuition assistance or a tuition waiver for college.

Independent Status

If you plan on applying for college and you were in DCYF foster, relative, residential or shelter care placement on or after your 13th birthday you should be eligible for Independent Status when completing the FAFSA. Have your Child Protective Service Worker (CPSW) or Juvenile Probation and Parole Officer (JPPO) complete the FAFSA Independent Status Verification form as proof that you were in care and hold onto it until your college asks for it. If you are unable to contact your CPSW or JPPO call the Adolescent Worker or Permanency JPPO  nearest to your area and they will assist you. 

Tuition Waiver for Foster Children Program

Provides a limited number of tuition and mandatory fee waivers to NH State schools for youth formerly in out of home placement through the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families. Participating institutions include

  • The University of New Hampshire
  • Keene State College
  • Plymouth State University
  • Granite State College
  • Community College System of New Hampshire.

The University and Community College systems of New Hampshire coordinate the program.

See Tuition Waiver FAQ below.

 

Education and Training Voucher Funds

ETV funds can be used for "cost of attendance items" such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and child care expenses. 

You are eligible if you have an open Aftercare Case with DCYF.

You qualify for an Aftercare Case if:

  • You are between the ages of 18-26 with a previously open DCYF Child Protective or Juvenile Justice Services’ case and you exited DCYF foster, relative, shelter, group or residential care or secure detention* on or after your 18th birthday.
  • You are between the ages of 18-26 and you exited DCYF Child Protective or Juvenile Justice Services’ foster, relative, shelter, group or residential care or secure detention* for guardianship or adoption after your 16th birthday.

*(If you exited from secure detention you must have also previously resided in DCYF foster, relative, shelter, group, or residential care at some point on or after your 14th birthday.)

FAQs about Tuition Waiver Program

If am planning on attending college this year when do I apply for the tuition waiver?

For priority consideration for an award the application must be completed and submitted to DCYF between January 1st and May 1st in the year when you will be attending college in the fall. Late awards may be provided for students attending colleges with rolling admissions.

When will I know if I have been selected to receive an award?

Notification will be made prior to June 30th. Late award notification may be provided for students attending colleges with rolling admissions.

If I complete the application and meet my institutional financial aid deadline, will I receive an award?

Applicants are not guaranteed an award. There are only a limited number of waivers available each year (30 new and renewal) and thus recipients will be chosen based on level of financial need as well as award availability.

How will it be determined if I am an eligible foster child for purposes of this program?

The New Hampshire Division of Children, Youth and Families will determine applicant eligibility under the rules of the program. A student must be less than 23 years of age as of May 1st in the year that they are applying for a waiver, and in state foster care for the immediate 6-month period prior to his or her 18th birthday; or in state guardianship or custody at the time of his of her 18th birthday; or adopted while in state guardianship or adopted from the care, custody, and control of the department of human services following a surrender of parental rights; or in an out-of-home placement under the supervision of the division for juvenile justice services at the time of his or her 18th birthday.

If I was in the legal custody or guardianship of the state of New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families (NH DCYF) and was placed by NH DCYF into a foster or group home in another state or was adopted by a family in another state would I still be eligible for a waiver?

Yes if you can meet the NH residency requirements of the schools to which you are applying along with the other eligibility requirements.

What if I was in the legal custody or guardianship of another state like Massachusetts or Maine and was placed into a foster or group home in New Hampshire. Would I be eligible for a waiver?

No. Only youth that were placed into or adopted from foster care/out of home placement through the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families are eligible for a waiver through this program.

Are there any requirements regarding enrollment?

Yes. Students who receive the waiver must attend full-time as determined by their institution (usually 12 credits or more per semester) and be enrolled in a program leading to a certificate, associates or bachelor’s degree at any New Hampshire public postsecondary institution.

What costs are covered by the waiver?

The waiver covers both tuition and fees at New Hampshire public institutions.

If I receive a waiver will it be in addition to the financial aid I have already received from my institution?

Not necessarily. It is important to note that your institution will review your current financial aid award for any required adjustments. If you have questions regarding the impact the waiver would have on your financial aid award, contact the financial aid office at the New Hampshire institution where you plan to enroll.

If I received a waiver must I reapply each year or is it automatically renewed?

You must apply each year by completing:

1. NH Tuition Wavier for Foster Children application

2. File the FAFSA by the financial aid deadline of your institution

If I do not receive an award in my freshman year, am I eligible to apply in future years.

Yes, eligibility will be awarded on an annual basis.

How many awards may I receive?

The maximum number of waivers a student may receive is 6 annual.

If I miss the financial aid-filing deadline at my institution by a day am I still eligible?

No. You must meet your school’s deadline.

What schools may I attend to receive a waiver?

You must be attending either a 2-year or 4-year New Hampshire public institution:

  • Granite State College
  • Keene State College
  • Plymouth State University
  • University of New Hampshire—Manchester or Durham
  • New Hampshire Technical Institute
  • White Mountains Community College
  • River Valley Community College
  • Lakes Region Community College
  • Great Bay Community College
  • Manchester Community College
  • Nashua Community College

If I have a question about the program or completing the application whom should I contact?

Feel free to contact Robert Rodler (419-0312 or rrodler@dhhs.nh.gov