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McMaster University eliminates barrier to post-secondary education for foster kids

McMaster University will eliminate tuition fees for up to 20 current or former Canada Crown Wards for study towards a first degree or graduate degree.
McMaster University will eliminate tuition fees for up to 20 current or former Canada Crown Wards for study towards a first degree or graduate degree. Lisa Polewski / Global News

McMaster University is helping level the educational playing field for a vulnerable group.

The Hamilton university has announced it will be allowing 20 foster children to get their first degree or graduate degree at the school, without paying for tuition.

Read more: Western University, affiliated colleges join push to assist students aging out of foster care

The announcement, made Wednesday morning in conjunction with a child welfare group that advocates for better post-secondary access for former foster kids, applies to any current or former Crown ward, as long as they have the grades to apply.

The release from Child Welfare Political Action Committee Canada says McMaster is the 11th school in Canada to extend the offer.

University President David Farrar says, “Removing barriers to education for students is core to McMaster’s Access Strategy,” adding that removing the financial barrier will enrich campus by “introducing new and diverse voices to our community.”

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Read more: Foster kids earn $300k less in their lifetimes, study says

Child Welfare Political Action Committee Canada says, “Current and former foster children are some of the most vulnerable in society.”

The organization adds that foster children typically leave care at 18, and can work for years to gain stability.

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