Preparing Foster Youth for College: A Timeline Presenters: Sarah Levels, Emancipation Supervisor Rayshawn Parnell, Foster Youth Alum and Student at Central State University Deric Cobb, Adoption Caseworker Chuck Cochran, Volunteer Coordinator, College Bound Mentor Program Neshaun Coleman, Emancipation Caseworker “Protecting Children by Strengthening Families” http://www.franklincountyohio.gov/children_services/
Introductions• Name• Agency/Organization and Position• What do you hope to learn from this workshop?• Questions for Rayshawn
College Preparation Timeline• Freshman Year• Sophomore Year• Junior Year• Senior Year – Fall – Winter – Spring – Summer
Freshman Year• Connect with high school guidance counselor• Learn about college requirements• Explore Careers – Talk with youth about their interests – Ohio Career Information Systems (OCIS) www.ocis.org – Link with someone in community• Develop your four-year high school curriculum• Encourage youth to start strong! Colleges look at cumulative GPA• Get involved in your community and school and develop a resume• Link with a College Bound Mentor
FCCS College Bound Mentor Program• Strong support can make all the difference for youth in transitioning to post secondary education.• Adult Support in the form of regular phone, e-mails, or in person is most effective.• Help students problem solve issues, identify career interests, encourage academic success , complete financial aid and application materials for admissions.• Develop connections and build relationships with individuals who have had similar experiences.• Provide Shadowing Opportunities• Seek out Friend/ Family member/ Peer at college to provide mentoring for youth.
Sophomore Year• OGT test – Testing begins their Sophomore year – Coach youth to work with teachers and guidance counselor to prepare for the test – Prep classes are provided as electives – Free online preparation called Plato system• Take the “Plan Test”, administered through ACT, in the fall – The PLAN® program helps 10th graders build a solid foundation for future academic and career success. – It is a comprehensive guidance resource that helps students measure their current academic development, explore career/training options, and make plans for the remaining years of high school and post-graduation years. – PLAN can help all students—those who are college-bound as well as those who are likely to enter the workforce directly after high school.• Continue researching colleges online• Look closely at careers and the college requirements for careers• Modify your high school curriculum, if necessary – Encourage youth to take challenging courses i.e. AP and Honors classes• Talk with your high school guidance counselor
Junior Year• Take the PSAT test in the fall• Attend College Fairs and Tours in the fall and spring – Kiwanis of Columbus College Fair at Aladdin Shrine Temple in early fall• Visit with college representatives at your high school• Participate in formal college campus visits• Motivate youth to attend ACT/SAT prep classes• Take the ACT and/or SAT• Explore Financial Aid, scholarships and grants• Talk with your high school guidance counselor – About planning first semester Senior class schedule – Youth should take challenging courses that would appeal to colleges• Encourage youth to find part-time employment and save!
Senior Year: Fall• Link with an FCCS Emancipation Worker• Meet with your guidance counselor• Take ACT/SAT again• Narrow your college choices – attend additional college visits• Apply for any and all scholarships – be mindful of deadlines! Most are at the end of December and some are in early Spring – www.fastweb.com – www.collegeboard.com/student• Complete your college applications by the required deadlines – Early deadline falls in December – Most colleges want to receive applications by mid March – Any applications received later, you risk losing housing and financial aid• Obtain letters of recommendation, ask supporters early!• Keep copies of everything!
Top 10 College Application Mistakes1. Misspellings and grammatical errors2. Applying online, but the application is not submitted3. Forgotten signatures4. Not reading carefully5. Listing extracurricular activities that do not count6. Not telling your high school guidance counselor where you applied7. Writing illegibly8. Using an email address that friends laugh about but colleges won’t9. Not checking your email regularly10. Letting parents or other adults fill out your application
Senior Year: Winter (Jan-Feb)• Complete the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid. http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/• Attend any college financial aid informational sessions, i.e College Goal Sundays• Understand the difference between grant, subsidized loan and unsubsidized loan
FAFSA• FCCS coordinated a “FAFSA DAY”• First come, first serve!• Independent Student• PIN, make sure youth remember this• Remember to collect personal financial and tax information• If youth is going to file taxes for previous year, this must be complete before completing the FAFSA• EFC or Expected Family Contribution = $0
Senior Year: Spring (Mar-Apr)• Look for college acceptance letters, share your success with guidance counselors, teachers, emancipation worker and college bound mentor• Review financial aid award letter with emancipation worker and college bound mentor• Finalize your college choice• Return acceptance forms for admission and financial aid• Submit appropriate fees to the college you plan to attend (i.e. enrollment fee, housing deposit fee)• Be sure to accept financial aid
Senior Year: Late Spring (May)• Complete follow-up paperwork for your college, such as scheduling an orientation session, housing selection and deposit, medical exam, immunizations, etc.• Notify your high school guidance counselor about your college choice and request a final transcript be sent to the college in June
Senior Year: Summer• Receive and review information on the orientation session, scheduling and housing from your college• Option to decline college health insurance, why? – Emancipating foster youth are eligible to receive Medicaid until 21 years old.• Write thank you notes to all those who wrote recommendation letters for you and other awesome supporters!• Complete ETV or Education Training Voucher application on or after July 1st
Senior Year: ETV• ETV provides up to $5000 per academic year for college and vocational training• Eligibility: – Were in foster care on your 18th birthday and aged our – Your foster care case will be closed between the ages of 18 and 21 – Your were adopted from foster care with adoption finalization AFTER your 16th birthday• Website: www.statevoucher.org
Youth Perspective: Rayshawn, Central State University• How did your adult supporters help you prepare to attend Central State?• Knowing what you know now, is there anything to prepare for college that you would have done differently?• What mistakes have you seen your peers make in this process?• What kind of support system do you have now?
Keep in Mind…• Start having conversations with youth as early as possible• Never say never to your youth• Know that you make a difference• Research programs at colleges to help expose youth to higher education• Ohio = 120 colleges and universities! Possibilities are endless!