Foster Youth

Support for Students from Foster Care

WWU actively participates in Washington’s Passport to College Promise Scholarship Program, launched in 2014-15 to help students from the foster care system prepare for, attend, and succeed in college. Through the Passport program, WWU students who have been in the foster care system can access significant support from freshman year through graduation, with assistance in academic, personal/social, financial, and career areas.

Academic Support for Passport Scholars

A designated Academic Support Coordinator in Student Outreach Services helps Passport Scholars to:

  • Receive specialized academic advising each quarter and support them as they explore the university and surrounding community and settle into college
  • Enroll in “Education 108” (EDUC 108), an optional two-credit class introducing skills needed to succeed in an academic environment
  • Participate in workshops quarterly to develop study skills, explore major and career interests and create a résumé
  • Review their financial aid package, apply for financial aid and receive assistance with scholarship funds
  • Participate in social events with fellow Passport Scholars and others

For Washington State Residents:

If you have not heard or received information about these programs, please contact Lorrie Bortuzzo at Lorrie.Bortuzzo@wwu.edu, at (360) 650-4133, or in the Multicultural Center, Viking Union 755 for additional assistance.

  • Education and Training Voucher Program (ETV) – If you are a current or former foster youth or were adopted from care after age 16, you could be eligible for up to $5000 a year up to age 23 for education or training at an accredited college.
  • Governor’s Scholarship for Foster Youth – Scholarships are available in amounts of $2,000 – $4,000 a year for eligible youth. Contact the College Success Foundation at 1-877-655-4907. Deadline for application: the first Monday in March of your senior year in high school.
  • Passport to College – The Passport to College program provides scholarships and support services to Washington residents attending eligible Washington colleges.

Nationwide Support Programs:

For additional support and financial assistance, the following resources are available to you.

  • Orphan Foundation of America (OFA/Casey Family Scholarships) – Provides scholarships of up to $10,000 to young people, under the age of 25, who have spent at least 12 months in foster care and were not subsequently adopted.
  • National Foster Parent Association Scholarship – For foster youth who want to complete their GED or further their education beyond high school. For more information or to apply, visit www.nfpaonline.org or call 1-800-557-5238.
  • Filing FAFSA – Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov or call 1-800-4-FED-AID and make sure you watch for deadlines!