College money found for students that have aged out of foster care

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Every year in Louisiana there are kids that age out of foster care, but only between one percent and five percent go to college or pursue a higher education. A recent PhD graduate found additional funding for those students. While completing her doctoral degree, Dr. Dana Hunter discovered the 2001 Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendment.

"It allows each youth that age out of the foster care system to receive up to $5,000 for post secondary support or training," said Hunter.

Hunter said she and her professor contacted LSU administrators in effort to find students at LSU who would be eligible for the funds. Of the almost 20 LSU students who had gone through the foster system, 10 qualified for funding, but none of them, she said, had any idea the money was available.

"When it comes down to youth that are in foster care, they have a small voice. There issues don't receive as much attention," said Hunter.

But, now her passion for social work has cast some light on something few knew about. Hunter says the $5,000 available each year to a foster student could mean a whole lot.

"$5,000 to a young adult who was in foster care means the world, because often they have very limited social capital, they have very few family connections, some of them are homeless," said Hunter.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 21 you can go to your financial aid office to find out if you are eligible.

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