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We recently partnered with Delta Family Services, an organization that provides foster care services to youth and young adults primarily in Philadelphia. If you’ve ever been in the foster care system, or know someone who has, you know how complicated it can be to try to stand on your feet, especially when you age out. 

For those unfamiliar, ‘aging out’ refers to turning 18 and realizing you have three years of support to get yourself launched into your adult life. Decisions need to be made about where you are going to live, what kind of work you want to do and whether or not to go to college or into a training program. It’s a lot to ask of an 18-year old!

For someone in the system who goes to college, the benefits can be enormous. Assistance with housing and general living expenses now can continue until age 26. And students will receive an education grant — commonly known as the Chafee grant — until age 26. Combined with Pell grants and the PHEAA grant, youth aging out and young adults with histories in the system can practically go to college for free. 

For this year only, until September 30, the maximum Chafee grant has been increased from $5,000 to $12,000 . To qualify, individuals must complete a financial aid application (FAFSA) and enroll in college within the next month or two to qualify for that money. 

IF YOU KNOW ANYONE who aged out of the foster care system and will be age 26 or under in September 2021, tell them to get in touch with us right away. They can come back into the Chafee program and earn a college degree debt- free through ACE and Harcum College. You can get more information by contacting [email protected].