Foster Child Tuition Waiver
and Fee Assistance Program
The DCF Foster Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program is designed to provide financial support for higher education to foster children in state custody who were neither adopted nor returned home. It is believed that these children have few support systems and significant needs. Without the benefit of parental support, foster children, whose lives are filled with numerous obstacles, face the additional challenge of financing their education when they enroll as students in higher education institutions. While foster care children qualify for financial aid, many face the burden of acquiring student loans to meet their educational costs. The DCF Foster Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program provides a valuable resource for them and will help reduce their educational loan debt.
Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for the DCF Foster Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program, a student must
- Be twenty-four years of age or under at the start of the academic year.
- Be a current or former foster child who was placed in the custody of the state through a Care and Protection Petition, or
- Be a child whose guardianship was sponsored by the Department of Children and Families through age 18.
- Have been in the custody of the Commonwealth for at least six months before age 18.
- Not have been adopted nor returned home.
- Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Be enrolled in an undergraduate degree, certificate or short-term certificate program, or be taking noncredit courses.
- Apply for financial aid, using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Not have received a prior bachelor's degree or its equivalent.
- Not be in default of any federal or state student loans or owe a refund for any previous financial aid received.
- Be in good standing and meet the institution's requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Any state-supported course offered by an institution at a public college or university, excluding all graduate courses and courses in the MD program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Eligible courses include those toward an undergraduate degree program, certificate program, short-term certificate program, and non-credit courses. Institutions are encouraged to develop waiver programs for eligible students that would provide a 50% tuition waiver for any non-state supported course and/or certificate programs.
An institution within the system of public higher education under Section 5 of Chapter 15A of the General Laws.
Students eligible for the DCF Foster Child Tuition Waiver and Fee Assistance Program are entitled to a tuition and fee waiver equal to 100% of the resident tuition rate, subject to budgetary appropriation, for eligible state-supported courses offered at the participating public higher education institution.
How Do I Apply?
Contact the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance at (617) 391-6070 to obtain more information and to inquire about application requirements or deadlines. Additionally, you must obtain eligibility documentation from the Department of Children and Families and present it to your campus financial aid office for consideration.