What is ETV?
The Education and Training Voucher (ETV) is an annual federal grant provided to states to fund youth who have aged out of the foster care system and who are enrolled in college, university and vocational training programs. Students may receive up to $5,000 a year based on their cost of attendance. They must enroll before their 21st birthday and may continue to receive support until age 23. Funds may be used for tuition, dorm fees, books, student loan repayments and qualified living expenses.
What are the eligibility requirements for ETV?
Basic requirements are as follows:
- Youth must be in foster care, adopted from foster care after age 16, or aged out of foster care.
- For most states, youth must be aged 18-20; however the age requirement varies by state.
- Youth must have a high school diploma or GED.
- Youth must be accepted into or enrolled in a Title IV, accredited college or vocational/technical training program. Each state’s ETV contact information is available on this website by clicking that state on the home page. Contact the individual state for detailed information on eligibility.
Do students have to re-apply for ETV every year?
Students must re-apply online for every new school year. Every term ETV students must complete and submit a new Financial Aid Release Form. (see ABOUT ETV FORMS, below).
About ETV Forms
What are the ETV forms?
There are two ETV forms, which can be downloaded and printed out from this website. Students should keep copies of the completed forms for their own records.
- The ETV Financial Aid Release Form. Students must complete and sign the top part of this form and bring it to their school’s financial aid office. The financial aid officer fills in cost of attendance and all of the student’s other loans, grants and scholarships and faxes it to ETV. This form shows ETV the student’s ESTIMATED NEED.
- The ETV Student Participation Agreement. This form explains the student’s responsibilities as a program participant. It must be must signed and faxed or mailed to ETV before funding is disbursed.
Why do students apply on line only once a year, but submit ETV forms every term?
ETV funds are assigned one term at a time. The ETV Program needs to update students’ financial information, school enrollment, attendance and educational progress before any funds are assigned, and therefore the forms must be submitted on a semester, quarterly or term basis.
About FAFSA and Student Loans
What is FAFSA and why is it important for ETV applicants?
ETV participants are required to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) every year. The FAFSA tells students which federal and state grants and loans they are eligible for, as well as whether they are eligible for work-study. Completing the FAFSA ensures that each student receives the maximum funding possible. For further information and to complete a FAFSA, visit http://www.fafsa.ed.gov.
What kind of information does ETV need to help repay student loans?
Students must declare their loans in the budget section of their ETV application and follow the Student Loan Repayment Instructions on this website or from ETV emails (see ABOUT ETV FORMS, above). ETV can only repay loans that were taken out during the current/same academic year as the ETV funding (i.e., 2012-13 ETV funds may only be used to repay loans taken out for the 12-13 academic year).
Why does ETV need official transcripts?
Transcripts demonstrate educational progress as represented by GPA and the number of credits achieved. To be eligible for ETV funding, students must show proof that they are advancing towards their educational degree or certification. Therefore, ETV requires an official transcript for each term a student is funded.
When does ETV need official transcripts?
At the end of every term funded by ETV, ETV must receive the student’s official transcript, including final grades for that term, mailed directly from the school’s registrar. Students in vocational/technical schools must have their equivalent grade sheet submitted from their schools to ETVs as well. Faxed, emailed or unofficial copies of transcripts/grade sheets will not be accepted. ETV funding will NOT be disbursed until the student’s transcript has been received.
Does ETV need the applicant’s high school transcripts?
No; high school transcripts are not required to receive ETV funds. It is understood that as a college/vocational student, the applicant must have completed high school or received a GED.
Withdrawing from Classes or School
What happens if an ETV student withdraws from classes or drops out of school?
ETV awards funds based upon college/vocational school attendance, and the number of credits students are taking. If they withdraw from any classes, they MUST inform ETV immediately as their funds may need to be adjusted. If students drops out of school and returns in a subsequent term, their eligibility and funding status are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Does ETV need an official transcript if students withdraw from all of their classes?
Yes; to be eligible for continued ETV funding, students must show proof that they are advancing towards their educational degrees or certification. If they drop all of their classes and achieve no credits, ETV must consider their withdrawal before assigning further ETV funds.
ETV Funding Priorities
What items can ETV funds be used for, and how are they prioritized?
ETV can pay the follow expenses (listed in order of priority):
- Balances due at school
- On-campus room and board
- Meal cards
- Books and school supplies (such as uniforms, tools, equipment)
- One computer package
- Federal Student Loans
- Study abroad through qualifying schools
Once these expenses have been addressed, ETV funds can pay for other items, including:
- Health insurance premium costs
- Disability services
- Dependent childcare expenses to licensed child care providers
What kinds of expenses may not be paid with ETV funding?
ETV cannot pay for:
- Educational or vocational courses shorter than one year in duration
- Educational or vocational courses which do not lead to a degree or certification
- Coursework at non Title-IV schools
ETV funding is available for approved living expenses, including food, household utilities and gasoline for transportation. The following items are not included:
- Cell phone bills
- Personal loan repayments, banking late fees, bounced check fees or lost/stolen debit card transactions
- Computer games or DVDs
- Dorm room or apartment damage
When are ETV funds disbursed?
After states release ETV funds to the program administrator, they may be released to students within 15-45 days after receipt of all required ETV forms; previously funded students additionally need to have submitted official transcripts for the funded term before new funds can be disbursed to them.
How is funding allocated to each student?
The ETV award is based on the student’s unmet financial need (which is determine from the school’s published total cost of attendance, and the amount of other financial aid the student is receiving) as listed on the ETV Financial Aid Release Form. This form is submitted to ETV each term by the school’s financial aid office. The award can vary from school term to school term, depending on whether the student is attending full or part-time. ETV attempts to disburse funds evenly throughout the planned school year. It is important to note that every student may not necessarily receive the entire $5,000.
Responsibilities / Benefits of an FC2S ETV Student
What is the best way to reach ETV for questions not answered here or on the student’s application page?
Email is the fastest and best way to get answers about ETV. Here are the email addresses for states whose ETV Program is administered by Foster Care to Success. For other states, click on that state on the home page of this website.
Alabama – Alabama@statevoucher.org
Arizona – Arizona@statevoucher.org
Colorado – Colorado@statevoucher.org
Maryland – Maryland@statevoucher.org
Missouri – Missouri@statevoucher.org
North Carolina – Northcarolina@statevoucher.org
New York City – Newyorkcity@statevoucher.org
New York State – Newyorkstate@statevoucher.org
Ohio – Ohio@statevoucher.org
How can students check their application status?
To see their ETV status, students must click on their state on the home page of this website and from there, on “Update my information/Check my status.” After entering their user name and password (assigned when they first apply), students can see their current status, including what paperwork (forms and transcripts) has been received and what still needs to be submitted. Students should NOT call ETV regarding their application status, as all information is updated on the website as soon as paperwork is received.
What are the student’s responsibilities as an ETV award recipient?
The ETV Student Participation Agreement lists the student’s responsibilities as a recipient of the grant. Students should keep a copy of that agreement after they fax or mail their signed copy to ETV.
- Students must demonstrate that they are making progress toward their educational goals.
- Students must stay in touch with ETV by email or phone, at least twice a month.
- Students must read their email at least once a week.
- Students must send in new ETV forms each semester/quarter in order to receive ETV funds.
- Students must ask their schools to mail their official transcripts to ETV at the end of each semester/quarter funded by ETV.
- Students must update their applications every time their personal information changes.
How do students notify ETV that their contact information has changed?
Anytime their personal contact information changes, students must update their applications on this website. First, they need to click on their home state and then on “Update your contact information/Check your status.” After they enter their user names and passwords, they should correct their information, and save it. Students should also email ETV after they have updated their information to inform them that the changes have been made.
Can ETV put a student on academic probation?
Any students who falls below a 2.0 GPA in any term funded by ETV are placed in the ETV Academic Success Program (ASP), which they are required to complete over the course of the next term they attend school.
The program is designed to assist students in raising their grades, and in developing study skills and strategies enabling them to successfully complete their education/training. Any student who has a GPA lower than 2.0 for two (2) consecutive terms may no longer be eligible for ETV funds or other federal funding.
How do students use ETV funds to buy a computer?
If a student indicates in the budget section of the ETV application that they need a computer, they will receive an email from ETV explaining how to select a computer package. However, students may only obtain a computer package after all ETV forms have been received, their award has been determined, and their tuition, room and board, and supplies have been covered. Computers are mailed to the student at a secure address; they will not be shipped to post office box addresses.
How do students receive Care Packages?
Care Packages are sent out three times a year to all students who are in good standing with their college or school and have updated their personal contact information on their ETV application. Students will be reminded to update their information by emails from ETV and the FCS Care Package Program. Care Packages are NOT sent to PO boxes. If a student in good standing does not receive a Care Package, it is because he/she has not updated their addresses.
What is the Foster Care to Success Foundation (FC2S)?
F2CS is a national non-profit organization that has been helping college-aged foster youth successfully attend and graduate from post-secondary programs since 1981.