Reno, Nevada – The Board of Regents on Thursday unanimously passed the Nevada Foster Care Fee Waiver initiative that will increase the chances of educational access and success for Nevada’s foster children.
The program focuses on people who have aged out of the Foster Care system by addressing the perpetual educational inequities of foster children by adopting a fee waiver program. It allows individuals to register for credit without a registration fee or certain laboratory fees, similar to the current waiver for members of the Nevada National Guard.
“These students face incredible challenges, through no fault of their own, having lost families, homes, and hope for a brighter future,” said NSHE Chancellor Thom Reilly. “This initiative can give access to higher education, opportunity, and a better future to an under-served group of people in our state.”
Nevada is the 29th state in the nation to implement such a waiver program. The program will begin in January and feature a partnership with Clark and Washoe counties, which would provide mentors to the foster care students.
This fiscal impact for creating a foster care waiver program is estimated to be $115,000 for the first group of students based on the 2018-19 approved base registration fee and a college continuation rate of 20 percent of foster youth, or about 47 students. Eligibility of the program will begin at 14 years of age.
“I’m eager for this program to begin,” said Board of Regent Chair Kevin J. Page. “It provides a way out for youth who have tremendous difficulty and hardship. Education is the great equalizer and now foster youth can have a chance.”
The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents.