Fairfax, VA — Children who are a part of the foster care system in California are now eligible to attend college at public state universities for free.
Through the California Fostering Futures program, the state project is allocating $25 million towards the educational futures of any foster care student who decides to attend any campus of California State University, University of California or a community college.
California Sen. Angelique Ashby said the program’s initiatives are to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable young people can take agency over their lives by seeking higher education.
According to Cal Matters, 60,000 children in California are in foster care with no access to higher education. Ninety three percent want to attend college, but only 4% will attend and graduate with a degree.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget covers the finances of the California Futures program, which entails room, overs tuition, room and board for foster children to attend.
The bill became law as part of a budget agreement signed by Newsom on Monday. It is a new step towards equity for those that never got a guaranteed chance at having an education. The foster care system is one of the largest institutions in the United States, yet 50% of foster youth will not graduate from high school on time.
This program is one that other states should mirror in order to make sure our next generation of youth is getting access to as many opportunities as possible. Not only does it stabilize faith within the foster care community, but it helps foster youth realize that they too have a chance at a future.
Sydney Johnson (she/her/hers) is a recent graduate from George Mason University with her degree in journalism. She was recently accepted into Cardiff University, where she will study International Journalism. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @sydneyjohnssonn
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett