The act requires all public higher education institutions (institutions) in Colorado to provide to Colorado resident students who have been in foster care or, following an adjudication as neglected or dependent, in noncertified kinship care in Colorado at any time on or after reaching the age of 13 (qualifying students), financial assistance for the remaining balance of the student's total cost of attendance in excess of the amount of any private, state, or federal financial assistance received by the student (remaining balance financial assistance). Subject to available appropriations, the act requires the Colorado commission on higher education to provide to an institution money to cover 50 percent of the remaining balance financial assistance provided by the institution to qualifying students. The institutions are required to designate an employee to serve as a liaison to qualifying and prospective qualifying students.
The act requires the department of higher education to designate four full-time equivalent employees as foster care student navigators to provide guidance to prospective qualifying students with selecting institutions and programs and to assist students with completing an institution's application for admission, the free application for federal student aid, and, if eligible, the application for a Chafee ETV grant.
School district and state charter school institute child welfare education liaisons are required to provide students in out-of-home placement with information and assistance regarding remaining balance financial assistance for qualifying students.
The act appropriates $2,610,575 from the general fund to the department of higher education for aid for foster students.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)