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

If you believe you may be eligible, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa or the Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA) at http://mdcaps.mhec.state.md.us/ and contact the financial aid office at the college or university that you plan to attend.

Please note that a list of students who are eligible is provided by the Maryland Department of Human Services and made available to Maryland Public colleges and universities. ​


​ELIGIBLE MAJORS

All majors are eligible to apply.

2021-2022 FOSTER CARE PUBLICATION UPDATES

Students must contact the financial aid office at the institution they plan to attend for the 
2021-2022 academic year for additional information.

ELIGIBLITY REQUIREMENTS

Students under the age of 25 who are or were in an out-of-home placement in Maryland by the MD Department of Human Services and who are attending a Maryland public college or university are eligible to apply.

When applying, you must have been placed or were in an out-of-home placement by the Maryland Department of Human Services.

You must have:      

  • Been placed in out-of-home placement by the Maryland Department of Human Services; and
  • Resided in an out-of-home placement on the individual’s 18th birthday or at the time of graduation from high school or upon successful completion of the General Education Development (GED) examination; OR
  • Resided in an out-of-home placement for at least one year on or after the individual’s 13th birthday and entered into guardianship, been adopted, or reunited with at least one of the individual’s parents
  • Been the younger sibling of an individual who met the qualifications outlined in section (a) and (b) above, and was concurrently placed into the same guardianship by the same parent, or was adopted by the same adoptive family with the older sibling.

All majors are eligible to apply, both credit bearing and non-credit bearing courses.


ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

The youth must:

  1. Complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA) 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 10 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 or MSFAA each year to receive the waiver for up to an additional nine years or until your Bachelor’s degree is awarded, whichever occurs first. You must remain enrolled in an eligible academic program.