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UNLV Fostering Scholars

The UNLV Fostering Scholars Program is a campus-based support network with dedicated programming to support individuals who have experienced foster care. The program recognizes that the population of students it supports is often navigating their transition from foster care to independence while transitioning to UNLV. Fostering Scholars strives to assist students who have previously experienced foster care at age 13+ during their transition from high school to university life and throughout their time at UNLV. This program launched in Fall 2021, modeled after other successful national programs, as the first of its kind in the state of Nevada. The program has demonstrated remarkable growth and success with student retention, GPA, and persistence.

The UNLV Fostering Scholars Program draws together resources from across UNLV and the community to address the holistic needs of students who have experienced foster care. By enhancing a student’s sense of independence and connectedness, the retention and graduation rates of participants improve. Students who have experienced foster care are much more than their experiences! In fact, our students’ experiences in foster care have developed our students into incredibly resilient individuals. Though the program is newer, UNLV Fostering Scholars participants as a whole have demonstrated persistence rates that have exceeded state and national rates for same-aged peers.

UNLV Fostering Scholars’ goal is to create an environment conducive to ensuring that students with a history of foster care involvement leave UNLV with the skills and tools necessary to transform their university experience into a meaningful career with social skills & tools necessary that will last a lifetime.

Contact Information

Heather Richardson
Fostering Scholars Program Coordinator
SU 302P
702-895-0638
heather.richardson@unlv.edu

Eligibility

  • In foster care at age 13+
  • Meet the eligibility criteria for admission to UNLV

Nevada Foster Youth Fee Waiver Eligibility

Eligibility - Students must meet all five (5):

  1. Was in foster care as an adjudicated “ward of the court” in Nevada, at the age of 13 years or older for at least one day;
  2. Graduated from high school (be admissible to UNLV; or pass the GED or HiSet at a 2-year college)
  3. Complete the FAFSA;
  4. Under the age of 26 years (by 1st day of class of the semester); and
  5. Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress for returning students

WHAT does it pay for? 

  • Undergraduate base course registration fees, as well as 
  • Lab fees at the 100 or 200 level for any applicable lower-division (No 300 or 400 level)

WHEN can it be used?

  • Fall and Spring ONLY (No summer courses)

HOW TO APPLY:

  1. Complete the Nevada Foster Youth Fee Waiver application.
  2. Submit the application to UNLV Fostering Scholars Program Coordinator, Heather Richardson via email at heather.richardson@unlv.edu 
  3. Submit formal documentation that student was in foster care after age 13 to Fostering Scholars Program Coordinator or provide permission to FSP Coordinator to obtain document from Nevada child welfare agency

3x3 Virtual Pop-up Fair: UNLV Foster Youth Conversation

3x3 Virtual Pop-up Fair: UNLV Foster Youth Conversation - Explanation: Please watch our virtual event from March 23, 2022, hosted by The Intersection, “A conversation regarding students who have experienced foster care.” This program was presented by program staff and more importantly, UNLV Fostering Scholars Program participant students. Watch as students share their raw, unrehearsed experiences with the UNLV Fostering Scholars program and with their transition to UNLV as students who have experienced foster care. Staff also share our own experiences about why we do this important work.

Help Support Fostering Scholars

Please help us assist former foster youth to become Rebels and achieve the dream of a college education by emailing heather.richardson@unlv.edu or fosteringscholars@unlv.edu for ways to support our UNLV Fostering Scholars. There are many different ways in which you can support our students!