ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – State University of New York (SUNY) announces an incentive program that will grant an extra $1,000 to students eligible for New York State’s Foster Youth College Success Initiative (FYCSI) who is not already receiving benefits. SUNY says the initiative was established specifically for students who have experienced foster care or are orphans.

SUNY encourages students to sign up for the incentive program to ensure that every eligible student receives the state’s financial aid, benefits, and other supports that are a part of the initiative. State rules require students to self-report their foster background, to protect students privacy. A student may self-report at any time during their college education, according to SUNY.

The SUNY program coincides with a campaign to raise awareness about the educational opportunities available for the foster community that launched Tuesday. SUNY Interim Chancellor, Deborah F. Chancellor, hopes that this $1,000 incentive encourages more students to utilize these benefits.

FYCSI support includes:

  • Tuition and Fees
  • Meals and Housing, including recess/intersession housing
  • Books and Supplies
  • Transportation
  • Advisement, Tutoring, and Academic Support
  • Personal Expenses
  • Additional services and academic supports through SUNY’s Educational Opportunity Program

All students – regardless of immigration status – are eligible to access funding and resources through FYCSI if they meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Are currently a resident of New York State;
  • Became a foster youth, orphan, or ward of the court at any time after their 13th birthday. Students will have to present official documentation from the family court, a school official, a caseworker, or a foster care agency or death certificates to confirm they are/were a foster youth, orphaned, or a ward of the court; and
  • Are admitted and enrolled in a SUNY college or university.