Nevada regents pass foster care fee waiver | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada regents pass foster care fee waiver

Nevada Appeal staff report

RENO — The Board of Regents on Thursday unanimously passed the Nevada Foster Care Fee Waiver initiative.

The program focuses on people who have aged out of the foster care system. It allows individuals to register for credit without a registration fee or certain laboratory fees, similar to the current waiver for members of the Nevada National Guard.

"These students face incredible challenges, through no fault of their own, having lost families, homes, and hope for a brighter future," said NSHE Chancellor Thom Reilly. "This initiative can give access to higher education, opportunity, and a better future to an underserved group of people in our state."

Nevada is the 29th state in the nation to implement such a waiver program. The program will begin in January and feature a partnership with Clark and Washoe counties, which would provide mentors to foster care students.

This fiscal impact for creating a foster care waiver program is estimated to be $115,000 for the first group of students based on the 2018-19 approved base registration fee and a college continuation rate of 20 percent of foster youth, or about 47 students. Eligibility of the program will begin at 14 years of age.

"I'm eager for this program to begin," said Board of Regent Chair Kevin J. Page. "It provides a way out for youth who have tremendous difficulty and hardship. Education is the great equalizer and now foster youth can have a chance."