The Fostering Adoption to Further Student Achievement Act became law as an amendment to the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (Public Law 110-84), ensuring that teens adopted from foster care will not lose access to college financial aid. This law revised the definition of “independent student” to extend to youth who were in foster care on or after their 13th birthday, even if they were subsequently adopted. A status of 'independent student' means that a youth does not need to count parental income in determining their eligibility for college financial aid. This expanded definition of “independent student” went into effect in July 2009, and the provision will apply to youth even for adoptions that were finalized before the law was passed in 2007. Youth who meet this definition will need to indicate their status as an independent student when they complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form for college financial aid (marking 'yes' to Question No. 52).
For more information on the college financial aid provisions for former foster youth, please visit: http://voice-for-adoption.org/sites/default/files/FAFSA%20factsheet_updated2010.pdf.