It is almost that time of the year when teens anxiously wait to turn 18 years old so they can have the freedom to do what they want when they want without needing their parents’ consent (for the most part). While the typical soon to be 18-year-old is worrying about squeezing in all of their trips and adventures during the summer before the college begins, another group of near-adults are exiting the foster care system with a different set of worries. These young adults might be thinking of where their next meal will come from, where they will sleep tomorrow, or when will they take their next shower.
Unfortunately, the state doesn’t always provide foster care youth with enough knowledge or preparation for adulthood. It sometimes boils down to the simple fact of knowing what resources exist. For example, many former wards of the state are not aware that in most cases they are eligible for full financial aid that could cover their cost of tuition, books, and on-campus housing. Are you aware that you only have to fill out one form to determine whether you’re eligible and the amount of financial aid you will receive? This form is known as the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA form can be filled out online and it is important that it is filled out at the beginning of the year you’re planning to enter the college. For example, if you have plans on attending college in fall or spring 2013, you should submit the form in January 2013. You can find out more information on FAFSA’s site.