Raleigh, N.C. - This fall, more than 360 college students across the state will attend classes thanks to additional funding approved by Governor Pat McCrory and the General Assembly for NC Reach, a state scholarship program managed by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services that assists former foster children with college expenses.
The Governor's budget added $200,000 to the program, for a total of $1.7 million during the current fiscal year. The projected number of students for this year represents the largest group ever to benefit from NC Reach, which provides a bridge from state care to independent adulthood.
"Without this transitional assistance, many of these promising young adults might not have access to a college education," said Dr. Aldona Wos, Secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services. "We know from experience that too many young people who age out of the child welfare system drift into lives of continued government dependence or into crime. This scholarship program is an investment that has long-term benefit for these young people and the state."
Scholarship recipients must be enrolled in North Carolina public college, university or community college. On average, 40 percent of those participating in the NC Reach program attend four-year schools, and 60 percent attend community colleges. The program covers the difference between expenses as determined by the school (tuition, fees, room and board, etc.) and other financial assistance such as grants or other scholarships. Students also receive case management and supportive services such as virtual mentoring, care packages and internships.
NC Reach was established by the General Assembly in 2007 and served just 54 students in its first year. Since then, NC Reach has helped a total of 967 former foster children attend college.
Scholarships are administered by Foster Care to Success, a private not-for-profit organization. The N.C. State Education Authority distributes funds.
For more information visit www.ncreach.org, or contact Foster Care to Success at 571-203-0270, firstname.lastname@example.org.