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Georgian College offers free tuition to students from foster care

Applicants for the new program, dubbed the Youth in Extended Society Care Tuition Waiver, must be current or former residents in foster care who are pursuing their first post-secondary program. Provided/Georgian College

Georgian College will soon offer free tuition to students in or from foster care, with funding available for up to 15 individuals, beginning in September.

“We heard directly from Georgian alumni who once lived in foster care as to how life-changing improved access to post-secondary education without age restrictions can truly be,” Georgian College’s president and CEO, MaryLynn West-Moynes, said in a statement.

Applicants for the new program, dubbed the Youth in Extended Society Care Tuition Waiver, must be current or former residents in foster care who are pursuing their first post-secondary program. There is no age restriction to apply.

In the spring, Georgian College faculty and staff will be offered a workshop that teaches them how to provide effective support to foster care students. Fourteen faculty and staff who have applied to become coaches will also be trained.

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“Coaches will be matched to a learner, and the intention is that they act as an additional support,” Georgian College’s internationalization lead, Renee Ferguson, said in a statement.

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“They will work to advance each learner’s understanding of the college, how to find success as a student and connect them to our services here that can help them have the best experience.”

Individuals who apply for the tuition funding must have been in foster care for at least one year and complete an OSAP application each academic year.

The waiver will be valued at the total amount of tuition fees, minus what’s received from OSAP non-repayable grant funding and/or any other provincial funding.

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