A principal goal of the Fostering Achievement Fellowship program is to ensure that Fellows have adequate financial resources available in order to maximize the potential for their academic success.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
In order to make the financial aid and scholarship application cycles for the fall semester, Fellows are required to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by mid-January of the year they expect to enter the FAF Program. The application deadlines for subsequent fall semesters will also be in January of each year.
Separate deadlines exist for scholarships available for the spring semester. Applications for each spring semester are due by September 1 of each prior year.
Social Security Administration & Supplemental Security Income (SSA/SSI)
Due to their circumstances, some Fellows may be receiving aid through the SSA or SSI programs. These funds can be used to assist them in achieving their academic success. Coordination with the Department of Children & Families / Big Bend Community Based Care is critical to assure that the Fellows are receiving all benefits for which they qualify.
Tuition Waiver & Road to Independent Living Stipend
Many Fellows may come to the program with financial assistance in the form of a Tuition Waiver or the Road to Independent Living stipend. Primary responsibility for ensuring that Fellows are receiving these benefits falls to the Department of Children & Families and Big Bend Community Based Care.
All youth in Foster Care in the State of Florida should be aware that they are eligible for a tuition Waiver, and may also be eligible for a stipend through the road to Independent Living program. Foster Youth should make sure that they discuss these programs with their Case Managers.
As described earlier in this document under “Career Readiness Domain”, Fellows are required to work at a paying job at least 10 hours per week. This requirement will provide some additional financial resources for Fellows as they work through the program.
Financial Literacy Workshop & Check-Ups
Foster Youth are provided with financial literacy training while in Foster Care. However, it is recognized that the youth may not have had an opportunity to apply the skills independently and therefore may have difficulty in applying them in real life settings.
Through collaboration with local financial institutions, a comprehensive workshop will be provided to Fellows in September of their first year in the Fellowship. Follow-up sessions where Fellows can report on their progress in managing their money will be held in March and June of each year.
In addition, TCC’s Financial Aid office offers workshops to help students understand the various forms of financial aid and the responsibilities that come along with them.