Financial Aid Resources
Foster youth face an uphill battle affording higher education. But numerous scholarships, grants, tuition assistance, and other financial aid programs are available online. Are you foster alumni looking for financial resources for higher education or career training? Be sure to do vigorous research to find the most financial resources – there are many out there, we’re showcasing just a few. Feel free to contact the Emerge Emancipation Program with any related questions.
Ohio’s Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program
Ohio’s Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program provides employment and training services for foster youth and young adults to help them stabilize their life issues and get the skills and education they need to build a career. Visit the website here.
Ohio Department of Higher Education
This department contains information about financial aid, state grants, and scholarships. Go to www.ohiohighered.org/students/pay-for-college.
The Ohio Education Training Voucher Program
The Ohio Education Training Voucher Program provides up to $5,000 per year in federal funding for school-related expenses for young people who age out of foster care. A young adult must enroll in a post-secondary education or training program and make satisfactory progress to qualify. Funding can be used for tuition, room and board, books/supplies, and other related expenses. To apply, go to www.fc2sprograms.org.
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)
FAFSA’s general eligibility requirements include that you have financial need, are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, and are enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program at your college or career school. There are more eligibility requirements you must meet to qualify for federal student aid.
Bridges is a voluntary program available to young adults who left foster care in Ohio at ages 18, 19, or 20 and are in school, working, participating in an employment program, or having a medical condition that prevents them from going to school or working. The program provides guidance and support as they transition to adulthood.
You may be eligible for Bridges if you are not yet 21 and if you left the Ohio foster care system at age 18, 19 or 20. In addition, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Completing secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential
- Enrolled in college or other post-secondary school
- Participating in a program or activity designed to promote, or remove barriers to, employment
- Employed at least 80 hours a month
- Incapable of doing any of the above activities due to a physical or mental health condition
Be prepared to provide documentation – such as a class schedule, a paystub or letter of participation from an employment program – showing that you meet at least one of the eligibility criteria mentioned above. Please refer to this documentation chart for more information.
Get Started Today!
If You’re transitioning from foster care:
Talk with your children’s services caseworker about your interest in Bridges. He/She will contact a Bridges representative three months before you leave foster care to coordinate services. The Bridges representative can help you complete the application and gather any documents you’ll need.
If you aged out of foster care:
If you aged out of foster care and are under 21 or know someone who is, please contact a Bridges representative using the appropriate form below. If you are over 21 and need supports, please visit Other Resources.