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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 18, 2020 03:06 PM
From: Representative Tarah Toohil
To: All House members
Subject: Foster Independence: Room and Board Assistance
I plan to introduce legislation to help PA’s foster youth by requiring the Fostering Independence Through Education Tuition Waiver be applied after the federal Chafee grant is used to cover room and board costs.

Act 16 of 2019 created the Fostering Independence Through Education Tuition Waiver program for youth who are in foster care, who were adopted from the foster care system, or who have “aged out” of foster care.

Beginning with the fall 2020 semester, each institution of higher education will award a tuition and mandatory fees waiver for undergraduate courses at the institution for each eligible individual. The Fostering Independence waiver (waiver) is equal to the amount of the tuition and mandatory fees at the institution of higher education, minus the amount of any grants or scholarships the eligible student receives.

It has been brought to my attention by advocates that paying for room and board remains one of the biggest financial obstacles to college for our foster youth. While federal and state financial aid can cover room and board, the tuition wavier cannot.  The requirement that financial aid be used before the waiver is applied means that many youth will not have any remaining funds to pay for room and board. My legislation will help to eliminate that obstacle.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB2612