New Jersey Foster Care Scholars Program
Foster and Adoptive Family Services (FAFS), in partnership with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), provides educational assistance through the New Jersey Foster Care (NJFC) Scholars Program
Since the program was signed into existence in 2003, more than 355 New Jersey Foster Care Scholars have confirmed completion of their degree and obtained a certification, Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree.
NJFC Scholars Program Information
The NJFC Scholars Program has two sources of funding each with its own eligibility criteria. The student’s case history will determine the source of funding and services the scholarship will pay for.
The New Jersey Foster Care (NJFC) Scholars Program was initially put into place after Governor McGreevey signed the Tuition Waiver Bill in July of 2003: the first source of funding. Through the passing of this legislation eligible foster and homeless youth may receive assistance with tuition and fees (not including room and board) at a public New Jersey college, university or vocational school if enrolled full-time.
In addition, assistance for eligible students attending in-state public schools, as well as private or out of state institutions is available through the Federal Education and Training Voucher Program: the second source of funding for the NJFC Scholarship Program. Students eligible for this program may receive up to $5,000 in assistance for the academic year in the following areas:
- Tuition and Fees
- Room and Board
- Books and Supplies
- Computers/Special Equipment
- Child Care Costs
[expand title=”Who can I contact if I need help filling out my application?”]
Contact Foster and Adoptive Family Services (FAFS) at 800.222.0047 or email@example.com. In addition to staff being able to answer any questions you have over the phone or through email, we also have webinars regarding post-secondary education, financial aid, the FAFSA and NJFC Scholars Program applications available throughout the year. For more information, please contact Scholarships Program Manager Ebony Lenard.
[expand title=”What is considered a CP&P (formerly DYFS) out-of-home paid placement?“]
- Resource Family (foster parent)
- Group Homes
- Independent Living Facilities
[expand title=”What is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?“]The FAFSA is a form produced by the Federal Department of Education which allows all students to apply for federally funded student aid. Applications can be obtained at www.fafsa.ed.gov or by calling the FAFSA hotline at 800.4.FED.AID. The FAFSA must be completed for a student to complete their NJFC Scholars application.[/expand]
[expand title=”What is acceptable proof that I filled out my FAFSA?“]For the NJFC Scholars Program application, it is required that you submit proof of a completed FAFSA for the current academic year. This may be in the form of a Student Aid Report (SAR) or confirmation page/email from the FAFSA. A document from the post-secondary institution you are attending showing your financial aid award is also acceptable.[/expand]
[expand title=”Can I use the NJFC Scholars Program at ANY school?“]The school you attend must accept Federal Title IV funding and be in the United States. An easy way to see if your school or program accepts Title IV funding is to ask the Financial Aid Department or check https://fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/app/schoolSearch?locale=en_EN. Schools and programs that accept Title IV funds have an assigned school code, which can be found on the federal website. You may also contact FAFS for assistance.
Please note, based on the eligibility criteria some students may be limited to attendance at a New Jersey Public institution. Contact FAFS for more information.[/expand]
[expand title=”What is the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program?“]The EOF program was created to ensure meaningful access to higher education for those who come from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. To ensure the opportunity to attend college, EOF provides supplemental financial aid to help cover college costs and hosts an array of campus based outreach and supportive services. For more information or to find out if your school participates, please visit here.[/expand]
[expand title=”When do I submit my application and what is a ‘priority deadline?’“] It is strongly encouraged that students submit their applications and any other required paperwork without delay in order to be given the highest consideration for receiving this scholarship, as well as to help the NJFC Scholars Program meet the deadlines set by the applicant’s post-secondary institution.
Applications completed in full by the priority deadline will guarantee that accepted students names will be included in the first requests for information from the post-secondary institutions for scholarship reimbursement.
The priority deadline for fall is July 1, however, applications will continue to be accepted until September 1 for Fall and Spring and February 1 for Spring only.[/expand]
[expand title=”Where do I send my completed NJFC Scholars Program application?“]Completed applications can be mailed to:
Foster and Adoptive Family Services
Attn: Scholarship Department
101 College Road East Floor 3
Princeton, NJ 08540
Or faxed to:
Completed applications can also be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.[/expand]
[expand title=”What will happen if my application packet is INCOMPLETE?“]If the information received in your packet is incomplete, a scholarship representative will contact you. Your application will not be processed and eligibility will not be determined unless it is completed prior to the application deadline.[/expand]
[expand title=”What will happen if my application packet is COMPLETE?“]To be completed applications are processed in 3 to 5 weeks. If you are found eligible for the NJFC Scholars Program, you will receive an email notifying you of your eligibility. You will also receive a welcome packet in the mail that includes important program information and policies, and instructions for accessing your scholarship funding. This packet will include the business card of your Scholarship Coordinator, who can help guide you and answer any questions regarding your scholarship funding. If you are not found to be eligible, you will receive a formal detailed letter in the mail.[/expand]
Once Accepted Into the NJFC Scholars Program:
[expand title=”Once accepted, how do I get help with tuition?“]Your assigned Scholarship Coordinator will contact your post-secondary institution to determine your billing and registration status. If you have a balance due at your school, some or all of your scholarship award may be sent directly to your school to cover this balance. Tuition and fees are always a first priority for NJFC Scholars funding.[/expand]
[expand title=”Once accepted, how do I get help with other educational expenses (books, rent, computer, transportation, etc.)?“]Based off of legislation requirements, only students who are eligible for the Federal Education Training Voucher or State Option funding will be eligible to receive Educational Supports. Educational supports can be requested by using the Educational Support Request Form, which is found in your welcome packet, or by emailing the request to your Scholarship Coordinator. Tuition need is taken into account by the NJFC Scholars Program before educational supports can be awarded. Educational supports are awarded on a case-by-case basis and amounts may vary depending on the time in the semester that they are requested. Supports are not automatically renewed; they must be requested in written form each semester. Contact your Scholarship Coordinator for more information about Educational Supports.[/expand]
[expand title=”Once accepted, what are the expectations of an NJFC Scholar?“]By voluntarily participating in the NJFC Scholars Program, there are a few responsibilities required of NJFC Scholars. All scholars are expected to comply with these requirements:
- Scholars must maintain and check their email regularly
- Scholars must update their Scholarship Coordinator immediately if any contact information (mailing address, phone number, email address) changes
- Scholars must meet the Academic Policy
- Students eligible for Educational Support Requests (ESR) are responsible for submitting their ESR form to their Scholarship Coordinator each semester
- Funding may only be used for the purpose indicated on any received promissory emails. Misusing funding may result in termination of funding and/ a removal from NJFC Scholars Program
If you have any questions about the New Jersey Foster Care Scholars Program that are not answered here, please email email@example.com or call 800.222.0047.