Austin Community College (ACC) in Austin Texas has a program to make the college experience a positive one. ACC Campus Champions, who are advisors or counselors at each location, will work with students individually to address needs and assist with creating successful strategies for academic achievement. Additionally, ACC provides a four-day Jump Start orientation for Foster Care Alumni to give them tips for success in financial aid, health, registration and finding and staying in their classes.
Sam Houston State University-Huntsville The FORWARD program's mission is to empower former foster youth by providing the support system necessary to pursue higher education and to transition smoothly through college. FORWARD serves as a resource to help the student build meaningful relationships within and without the university that are important to successful personal and professional achievements. If a student was in foster care in Texas, they may be eligible for extra resources and assistance for their college education. Call Student Success Initiatives at 936-294-3422 for more information.
Texas A&M University at College Stationprovides a staff person to assist Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) students at the university.
Texas State University (TSU)-San Marcos has established an annual $1,000 scholarship for former foster youth. The award is $1,000 per year ($500 per semester) and was established to help pay living expenses for students who were in foster care on or before their 18th birthdays. Recipients must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, demonstrate financial need, and preference is given to full-time students. In addition, TSU has FACES which provides additional resources and information for Foster Care Alumni who are interested in attending TSU or who are enrolled at TSU. Interested students can contact the TSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for more information.
Texas Tech University (TTU)-Lubbock offers programs such as the Pegasus Program which is assistance for First Generation Students. This program guarantees that you have academic and social support as you pursue your college degree. Interested students can contact Pegasus@ttu.edu for more information.
Statewide College Conference
Texas A&M University at Commerce holds a college weekend each spring. Youth who plan to attend college participate in two days of workshops, campus tours and speakers related to attending college. Workshops include information on financial aid, what a college class is like, residence life, and life skills.
Each year the Statewide Teen Conference is held on a college campus. Approximately 155 youth and 80 adult sponsors attend a three-day conference with workshops related to preparing youth for adulthood.
The goal of Texas Reach is to facilitate the interaction between PAL / Aftercare agencies and institutions of higher education to the end of increasing access to college for former foster youth and, once enrolled, their success at attaining a college degree. For more information visit the Texas Reach website.
Transition Centers serving current and former foster youth are located in every DFPS region and have established partnerships with local higher education institutions and vocational/technical colleges. These partnerships have been an essential support for youth both before and after school enrollment and offer a main point of contact that assist youth in navigating through the financial aid process, orientation, academic counseling, and any other college related issues with minimal delays and without disrupting their education. The Transition Centers have staff that can connect youth to local colleges and universities. Read the list of where these Transition Centers are located.
Financial Information for College
- C. Ed Davis PAL Scholarship—The C. Ed Davis PAL scholarship is for for youth formerly in foster care with DFPS. This scholarship was named in honor of C. Ed Davis who, in April 2004, retired as Deputy Director, Legal Services. DFPS is offering scholarships of $1,000 per academic year, awarded in increments of $500 per semester. These scholarships are for basic non-tuition needs for students interested in the field of law and majoring in government, political science, history, or other pre-law fields. If you'd like more information about the scholarship and requirements, please visit the Texas Youth Connection website.
- Federal Student Aid—Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the United States. The office of Federal Student Aid offers more than $150 billion each year to help millions of students pay for higher education Learn more about Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Texas Youth Connection—The Texas Youth Connection website has information about education and financial resources including information on how to find scholarships, & diversity and education resources.