Georgian College will be the first Ontario college to offer free tuition to learners in/from extended society care (foster care), with no age restriction.
Applicants for the Youth in Extended Society Care Tuition Waiver must be current or former residents in extended society care who are taking their first postsecondary program. There is funding available for up to 15 students starting in September 2020.
“We heard directly from Georgian alumni who once lived in foster care as to how life-changing improved access to postsecondary education without age restrictions can truly be,” says MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO of Georgian College. “We are thrilled to assist our students on their education journey and through this program, we hope to bridge what they have with what they need to succeed.”
This spring, Georgian will offer a college-wide workshop for staff and faculty to help them provide effective support to students who have lived in extended society care. Fourteen staff and faculty who have applied to become coaches will also be trained, which will enhance the supports already offered.
“Coaches will be matched to a learner, and the intention is that they act as an additional support,” says Renee Ferguson, Internationalization Lead, International Education and Development at Georgian. “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. They will also act as guides and encouragers when the journey gets bumpy.”
Students who apply for the funding must have been in extended society care for at least one year and complete an OSAP application each academic year. The waiver is valued at the total amount of tuition fees, minus funds received from OSAP non-repayable grant funding and/or any other provincial funding for which the student may be eligible.