GCU gives Arizona homestay students the chance to go to college debt-free

PHOENIX — Children coming out of Arizona’s foster care system now have the opportunity to earn a college degree without going into debt.

Grand Canyon University and Arizona State announced the Fostering Futures Scholarship on Thursday. It will cover 100% of tuition, fees, and year-round accommodation and meals for qualified students.

“When they graduate, they will graduate with absolutely zero loans and they will graduate in very important fields like nursing, education, engineering, computer science and information technology,” said GCU President Brian Mueller.

In 2019, less than half of children in foster care were pursuing higher education.

“This new scholarship will ensure that more of these children will have access to an affordable, high-quality education, but it is more than that,” Governor Doug Ducey said, adding that the scholarship will give children with families foster access to basic needs that many people do not have. ‘t have to think twice.

Michael Faus, director of the Arizona Department of Child Safety, emphasized how important it is that room and board are also covered so that homestay students have a consistent place to live.

“Young people need a safe place to lay their heads,” Faust said. “Without sustainable housing, without a safe place to live, they can’t care about an education.”

Jacqueline Carter, a GCU alumna who was once in the foster care system, can attest to the impact of having year-round housing.

“This school became my home during school holidays, especially when I had no place to call home,” she said. “I celebrated Christmas here and Thanksgiving here.”

Other aspects are also included in the program, such as student access to counseling services with admissions and student services, free tutoring, mentoring programs, student work opportunities, and skills training. life.

“When we met with a group of students who are currently attending GCU, they said, ‘we need help with things like a checking account and health insurance,'” said Sarah Boeder, executive president of operations at GCU. . “So we’ll deal with that as well.”

The program receives money from several sources, including GCU, state, and federal scholarships.

The first scholarships will be awarded for the 2022-23 school year soon.

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John A. Bogar