Education and Training Voucher Program (ETV)
Under the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments of 2001, DFPS receives federal funding for a state grant program to provide postsecondary education and training vouchers to eligible young adults formerly in foster care or who were adopted or exit to the Permanency Care Assistance program after turning age 16. The ETV program serves youth age 16 up to the month of their 23rd birthday and is based on the students cost of attendance after all other financial assistance has been calculated Eligible young adults may receive up to $5,000 in financial assistance per year.
The ETV Program allows DFPS to expand and supplement current financial assistance provided to young adults to achieve their education and training goals not otherwise covered by other funding sources in addition to assisting young adults in making a smoother transition to self-sufficiency and independence.
What Can ETV Pay For?
The ETV Program covers the cost of attendance as determined by an institution of higher education and can help with:
- Residential housing
- Room and board costs/food
- Tuition/fees (for non state-supported institutions that do not accept the tuition and fee waiver)
- Personal items
- Child care
- Computer or other related software and equipment
- Medical insurance through the school
- Other costs of attendance at an institution of higher education that do not exceed the lesser of $5,000 per year or the total cost of attendance as defined in section 472 of the Higher Education Act
Am I Eligible?
- Youth in DFPS foster care who are at least 16 and who are likely to remain in foster care until turning 18, or
- Young adults who age out of DFPS foster care (or have been legally emancipated) but have not yet turned 21, or
- Youth who are adopted or who enter the *Permanency Care Assistance (PCA) program from DFPS foster care after turning 16 years old but are not yet 21.
Young adults participating in the ETV program on their 21st birthday can remain eligible up until the month they turn age 23 as long as they are enrolled in school and making satisfactory progress toward completing their postsecondary education or training program.
Eligible youth who are enrolled in a dual college credit course or other courses in which they may earn joint high school and college credit may be eligible to use a portion of ETV funds to for college related expenses such as books, computers and related software, transportation to and from the college, and tutoring services.
*Effective September 1, 2010
Do I Qualify?
- Youth between 16 and 21 who have a high school diploma or equivalent or are exempt from compulsory school attendance and who are enrolled at least part-time (6 hours) in an institution of higher education; or
- Online/Correspondence/Distance students MUST contact an ETV staff to seek approval for these educational programs.
What is an Institute of Higher Education?
The ETV Program provides financial assistance for eligible youth who are enrolled in an institution of higher education that falls within one of the following categories:
- An accredited or pre-accredited, public, private, or nonprofit institution that provides a bachelor's degree program or at least a 2-year program that provides credit towards a degree or certification; or
- An accredited or pre-accredited, public or nonprofit institution that provides not less than a one-year program of training to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation; or
- An accredited or pre-accredited, public, private or nonprofit institution that has been existence for at least two years and that provides a program of training to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.
Here is a complete listing of Texas Institutions of Higher Education.
The web site provides information and listings for public and private Higher Education Institutions such as:
- Junior/Community Colleges
- State supported Technical and Vocational Institutions
- Independent Vocational Accredited Institutions
- Distance Education Campuses
- Independent Career Colleges Authorized to offer Applied Associate Degrees
What Does ETV Expect Of Me?
- Transcript: Each semester send in a copy of your unofficial transcript (request this from the admissions and records office) to the ETV program to ensure continuing eligibility.
- Attendance: Students must attend school at least 6 hours per semester (or 3 hours per summer semester).
- Financial Aid Award Letter: Students must submit a financial aid award letter which provides information about the student's college costs and the financial aid available to help the student pay for these costs. The award letter may also include details on the college's calculation of the student's demonstrated financial need. For more information about award letters.
- Academic Probation: Students who have a GPA that is below a 2.0 may continue to receive ETV benefits while on financial aid warning or financial aid probation. Young adults must meet the specific terms or conditions of the institutions satisfactory academic progress standards. Each higher education institution is required to establish policies regarding satisfactory academic progress. The ETV program follows the satisfactory academic policies of each school and if the young adult cannot attend school ETV services will end. Young adults may re-apply for ETV services once the probation period has been lifted and the young adult has re-enrolled and been accepted for the semester.
- All young adults must apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) when preparing for your educational goals. The FAFSA website can calculate eligibility for federal financial aid and grants. Your high school counselor and other educational or CPS staff may assist you in accessing this information.
- Admission and scholarship information for every Texas Pubic University, Private and Two-year schools.
How do I Apply for ETV Services?
In June, 2009 Baptist Children and Family Services (BCFS) was hired to operate the ETV program. To access the application, forms, and additional information about applying for ETV services please go to the ETV program website
The mailing address for BCFS is
Baptist Children and Family Services
Attn: ETV Program
4415 Piedras Drive West, Suite 100
San Antonio, Texas 78212
To be considered for the ETV Program you must complete and sign an ETV application or re-application and attach all supporting documents when you mail in the application. Supporting documentation includes:
- A signed eligibility verification letter from the state PAL staff or a copy of your College Tuition and Fee Waiver Letter (for initial eligibility)
- A copy of your financial aid award letter (if applicable) or a billing statement from the vocational training program
- A print out of your "current" semester's class schedule (Fall, Spring, or Summer)
- A signed data Collection and Reporting agreement
- A signed Statement of Responsibility
- A Billing Voucher with supporting documentation where applicable
- A completed budget sheet or expenditure plan
- A Consent for Release of Information Form
Young adults are not required to submit or keep receipts for ETV expenses. Youth in the 1st and 2nd year of higher education will have basic living expenses (rent, utilities, and child care) direct billed to a vendor or landlord before receiving the remainder of their ETV funds. This information is submitted with the ETV Billing Voucher.
Note: Colleges may require students to submit receipts to reflect any change in the cost of attendance.