NSHE Fostering Success Initiative Celebrates New Growth

Graduates at a TMCC commencement ceremony

NSHE announces financial aid eligibility expansion and over $1 million in additional private grant funding for its initiative serving students who have experienced foster care.

The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) announced today the recent growth of its Fostering Success Initiative, including expanding eligibility for its Foster Youth Fee Waiver and securing three new private Walter S. Johnson Foundation grants that are assisting NSHE and its institutions with providing both financial and wraparound support to students with experience in foster care.

The Foster Youth Fee Waiver permits qualifying undergraduate students to register for classes without being charged course registration or certain laboratory fees. Initial eligibility required students to have been in the custody of a Nevada child welfare agency at or after age 14. At its June 2022 meeting, the Board lowered the age at which a student must have been in the custody of the Nevada foster care system—from 14 to 13 years old—opening up eligibility for students who exited foster care at age 13 or older (Board of Regents Handbook Revision, June 2022).

This year, NSHE System Administration and two of its institutions received a total of $1,025,000 in additional Walter S. Johnson Foundation grant funding, to help improve financial and wraparound support for students with experience in foster care: $200,000 was awarded to the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) in January; $225,000 was awarded to Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) in March; and $600,000 went to System Administration in July. With the $830,000 previously awarded to System Administration, TMCC, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), this brings NSHE to a total of $1,855,000 in grant funding from the Foundation.

“We are grateful for this additional grant funding from the Foundation that allows us to reach more students,” said Nevada Board of Regents Chair Cathy McAdoo. “The combination of dedicated financial aid and tailored campus-based services is crucial in ensuring that our students who have experienced foster care are well-supported in accessing and thriving in college.”

About the NSHE Fostering Success Initiative

Established by the Nevada Board of Regents in 2018 and supported by the Walter S. Johnson Foundation, the primary mission of the systemwide Fostering Success Initiative—including its critical fee waiver component—is to more effectively recruit, support, and retain students who have experienced foster care. To date, the initiative has assisted over 150 students with accessing and thriving in higher education.

About the Walter S. Johnson Foundation

The Walter S. Johnson Foundation assists transition-age youth with experience in foster care and other vulnerable youth, in Northern California and Nevada, to become successful adults.