Arizona foster children will receive a full scholarship at Grand Canyon University (GCU) thanks to a first-of-its-kind partnership with the Arizona Department of Child Safety.
The Fostering Futures Scholarships college pathway program covers 100% of the costs for tuition, fees, and year-round room and board for qualified Arizona foster children by combining GCU’s scholarships with state and federal funding resources.
“With this program, Arizona’s foster kids will get the support they need to get a college degree,” says Governor Doug Ducey. “GCU’s commitment to academically supporting foster youth and providing them with year-round housing is a game-changer. This scholarship program offers a gateway for foster youth to realize their untapped potential. I commend GCU for extending this generous offer to these young adults.”
Nationwide, fewer than 10% of youth in foster care graduate with a four-year degree. In addition to the cost of higher education, housing stability is among the biggest challenges for youth aging out of foster care. The Fostering Futures Scholarship program provides recipients with a year-round home on an active, vibrant college campus in a supportive environment, as well as the opportunity to begin their adult life without any student debt. The program will also incorporate additional support elements such as free tutoring, access to student worker jobs, mentoring, life skills programming designed to acclimate foster students into college life, and post-graduation planning assistance to help envision their path ahead.
“We strive to ensure that a private, Christian education is within reach for all – and students who have aged out of the state’s foster care system should be no exception,” says GCU President Brian Mueller. “Our affordable tuition and room and board rates help make this opportunity possible, and we already have faculty, staff and students on campus who are familiar with the foster care system. With the right support system in place, these students have the tools to earn a college degree without incurring any debt and set themselves up to achieve great things in their adult lives.”
The first Fostering Futures Scholarships are scheduled to be awarded for the 2022-23 academic year.
“Obtaining a college degree is difficult for every young adult, but especially so for youth in foster care, who face additional barriers,” says DCS Director Mike Faust. “But foster youth are profoundly resilient and can flourish if they are given the tools and support they need. GCU’s scholarship program will help remove the barriers so they can succeed in college and life. We are honored to partner with GCU on this scholarship program and are grateful for their continued commitment to Arizona’s foster youth.”