Tuition Waiver for Foster Care Recipients

Tuition Waiver for Foster Care Recipients

PURPOSE

The Maryland Tuition Waiver for Foster Care Recipients is available to foster care youth who are enrolled as a candidate for an associate, bachelor’s degree or vocational certificate at a Maryland Public institution of higher education. The purpose of Tuition Waiver for Foster Care Recipients is to provide financial assistance to foster care youth.

WHO MAY APPLY

Students under the age of 25 who have resided in an out-of-home placement in Maryland and who are attending a Maryland public college or university.

HOW TO APPLY

You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov and contact the financial aid office at the college or university that you plan to attend.

​ELIGIBLE MAJORS

All majors are eligible to apply.

ELIGIBLITY REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible for the Maryland Tuition Waiver for Foster Care Recipients program, a youth must have:

  • Been placed in an out-of-home placement by the Maryland Department of Human Resources and either;
    • ​Resided in an out of home placement in Maryland at the time they graduated from high school or successfully completed a general equivalency development examination (GED);
    • Resided in an out of home placement in Maryland at the time of their 18th birthday; or
    • Resided in an out-of-home placement on the their 13th birthday and was placed into guardianship or adopted out of an out-of-home placement after their 13th birthday; or
    • Resided in an out-of-home placement in the State for at least 1 year on or after their 13th birthday and returned to live with their parents after the out-of-home placement ended.
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This also includes the younger sibling of an eligible foster care recipient if the younger sibling is concurrently placed into guardianship or adopted out of an out-of-home placement by the same guardianship or adoptive family.​

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

The youth must:

  1. Complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.
  2. Be enrolled on or before he or she reaches the age of 25.
  3. The youth continues to be exempt from paying tuition and fees until 5 years after first enrolling as a candidate for an associate, bachelors, or a vocational certificate at a Maryland public institution of higher education.
  4. Be enrolled full time or part time for an associate, bachelors, or a vocational certificate at a Maryland public institution of higher education
    • Non-credit courses taken to earn a vocational certificate also qualify for tuition waiver.
  5. Students are eligible to receive the Foster Care Tuition Waiver for the following semesters:
    A. Fall
    B. Winter
    C. Spring
    D. Summer

AWARD AMOUNT

You are exempt from paying tuition and mandatory fees at a public college in Maryland. The tuition waiver only applies to tuition and fees. This also includes all fees for credit bearing and noncredit courses required as a condition of enrollment​.

If a foster care recipient receives a scholarship or grant, the scholarship or grant may not be applied to the tuition for the foster care recipient.  


Tuition is determined by the individual public institution of higher education and includes cost for tuition, registration fees as well as all fees that are required as a condition of enrollment. Tuition does not include room, board, books, and transportation.

RENEWING AN AWARD

You must file the FAFSA each year to receive the waiver for up to an additional four years or until your Bachelor’s degree is awarded, whichever occurs first. You must maintain the satisfactory academic progress standards of the institution you will attend and remain enrolled in an eligible program.​​​