Financial Resources for Foster Care Students

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I attended undergrad and grad school.

I started my company, Bigger Than Your Block, back in 2008.

I have traveled to 18 countries on 5 continents.

I was a foster kid that aged out of the system at 17 years old.

Fewer than 3% of foster kids earn a degree. I was one of the lucky ones. There shouldn’t be “lucky ones”. We have to do better.

I found this list of scholarships and grants for college students that are wards of the state. The Fostering Access to College Education (FACE) page has tons of good stuff.

First, eligible current and former foster youth may apply online for the Chafee Grant at www.chafee.csac.ca.gov. Grants are for eligible applicants ages 18-23 for up to $5,000 to assist with college tuition or job training. Youth must have been in foster care at or after the age of 16 to be eligible.

Other valuable sources for scholarship money are as follows: 

  • Promises2Kids Guardian Scholars Program (www.promises2kids.org). The Program provides scholarships also up to $5000 per year to former foster youth enrolling in two and four-year colleges. Applicants should apply at the same time as their FAFSA filing (between Jan. 1 and Mar. 2). 
  • Just in Time for Foster Youth: www.jitfosteryouth.org (approximate deadline is May 1–check website for updates). Its “College Bound” program provides laptops, printers, school supplies and/or dorm room/apartment furnishings for selected youth.
  • Fostering Opportunities Dollars for Scholars: www.mydollar.org (approximate deadline is July 1 for fall semester and October 1 for spring semester–check website for updates). A $500 grant per semester is available to former foster youth enrolling in San Diego colleges or universities.
  • San Diego Foundation (http://www.sdfoundation.org/GrantsScholarships/Scholarships/ForStudents.aspx) or call 619-814-1307. The San Diego Foundation is a clearinghouse for a large number of private scholarships, each with different sets of criteria. Scholarship applications may be filed online between Dec. 1 and February 9th (for first-time users). All application  materials are due February 13, 2012 at 5 PM. Check the website for details.
  • Change A Life Foundation: http://www.changealife.org/how_to_apply/default.aspx. You may file your scholarship application between Dec. 1 and March 15. San Diego residents with questions may contact Cat Gomez-Holly at cgomezholly@changealife.org.
  • Orphan Foundation of America (OFA): www.orphan.org (approximate deadline is Mar. 31–check website for updates). OFA serves foster teens throughout the country and provides college scholarships.
  • Gates Millennium Scholars Program: www.gmsp.org (early January deadline for outstanding African American, Native American, Hispanic American and Asian Pacific Islander American students)
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund: www.hsf.net (for Latina/Latino students–deadlines vary)
  • UNCF: www.uncf.org (for African-American students–deadlines vary)

 

 

Finally, you may search the internet for other private scholarships by using a free Webbased search engine. Try www.fastweb.com or www.collegeboard.com/pay. You should never pay to find, apply, or receive a scholarship.

6 Tips to Help Your Child Become Wealthy

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Do you remember when the hospital staff put that little bundle of new baby into your arms? Perhaps you met your child in an office somewhere or maybe it was a park. Regardless of how your child came into your life, I bet you promised yourself that you would make the best life you could for your child. A big part of making a good life for your child, means educating them about personal finance and setting their feet on the path to wealth. Here are six things you can do while your child is still young to help them do well.
#1 Open a savings account at a credit union
Credit unions have great customer service, lower loan rate, and are smaller than many banks. Opening an account a credit union allows the child to start developing a relationship with a financial institution and helps the child understand that money go into an account before one can swipe a card. Many credit unions also make an effort to reach out to youth, so they may offer incentives to open an account and yearly incentives to contribute more during Financial Literacy Month (April).
#2 Buy individual stocks for birthdays holidays
There are multiple sites where adults can buy individual stocks, complete with attractive stock certificates, for children. If the child is old enough, have them help by thinking about what products they use every day and why certain stocks might be a better investment than others. Place the stock certificates where they can view them often and bring it up in conversation.

#3 Encourage friends and family to contribute to a 529 plan

Most friends and family love to purchase new clothes or new toys for children. While any gift is certainly appreciated, a gift of $10 that could triple its value is much more helpful. Most 529 plans have a way for friends and family to put a few dollars in for milestones.

#4 Let the kid grocery shop with a spending plan and coupons

Kids see adults buying things all the time, but rarely do they understand why we choose one item over another. Including the child in grocery shopping helps the child to understand value over cost, that things do cost money, money is not infinite, and how money moves from a checking account to a vendor (through cash, check, debit card or credit card).

#5 Set limits at  amusement parks

When you arrive at an amusement park, hand each child a specific amount and tell them that once they spend it, there will be no more money. As they spend, try to guide them by explaining the rationale behind each choice but do not force them to spend the way you want. If they run out of money and become upset, it’s a tough lesson to learn but would you rather have them learn this lesson at nine years old or twenty-nine year old?

#6 Sock the college fund in a Roth IRA

Investing for your child’s college education is good, but depending on where you put the money, the funds could count against the child with the financial aid office. A Roth IRA is a great place to park the money because it’s counted differently than other college investment plans, you can take out the principle with no fees whenever you want, and if there is money left over, that money can grow tax deferred until retirement. Talk with your fee-only financial advisor about this option.

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ShayOlivarriaHeadshotShay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, NBC Latino and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com.

 

 

Why Not Write a “Real”Book?

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I get asked this from time to time, “Shay, why not write a real book?” I think people appreciate the books I’ve written:Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook, 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money, All My Mistakes, and now the 2nd edition of 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money but they think the books are too small. When on thinks of a book, they think of “smart” people talking about subjects or creating characters that the average person couldn’t have put together. The more challenging the book, the better the book is.

Well, that’s not my cup of tea. There are so many really good in-depth books already covering advanced personal finance topics. What wasn’t there until I wrote 10 Things, was an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand book that explained the basics of personal finance for people that are just getting started. When I began learning about personal finance, I had to read with the book on one thigh and a dictionary on the other thigh! Lol I couldn’t understand HALF of the words and concepts that the books were throwing around. Young people and the uninitiated deserve to have a book too.

 

ShayOlivarriaHeadshotShay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, NBC Latino and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com.

DREAMers Leave Scholarship Money on the Table

“Overall, roughly a third of financial awards for illegal immigrant students attending state or public schools went unused in 2015 …. ” Business Insider says.

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According to ImmigrationPolicy.org, there are 1.5 million people that could consider themselves DREAMers. The DREAM Act is explained a bit below:

A new analysis casts some much-needed light on the question of exactly who might be eligible for the Obama Administration’s “deferred action” initiative for unauthorized youth who were brought to this country as children. This initiative, announced by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on June 15, offers a two-year, renewable reprieve from deportation to unauthorized immigrants who are under the age of 31; entered the United States before age 16; have lived continuously in the country for at least five years; have not been convicted of a felony, a “significant” misdemeanor, or three other misdemeanors; and are currently in school, graduated from high school, earned a GED, or served in the military. Immigrants who meet these criteria are commonly referred to as “DREAMers” because they comprise most (though not all) of the individuals who meet the general requirements of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

That means that there are students that eligible for money to attend college, but they are not applying for it. Some say that they are concerned about providing their parent’s tax information. They don’t want to be deported.

Many DREAMers came here are kids and would have no idea what to do if deported to their “home” country. Some don’t speak the language of that country. Some have no relatives or contact in that country. The DREAM Act is allowing students that are good kids to further their education. Students have to do well in school and cannot commit crimes.

“Moreover, Ed Source reports that many students were disqualified from Dream ACT scholarships for not obtaining the requisite 2.0 grade point average for community colleges and 3.0 for state school .. “. Business Insider has more about students not getting the funds that are available to them.

I want to share some places that offer scholarships to undocumented students:

Scholarships on Generation Progress Undergrad, grad school

Golden Door Scholarships Undergrad

United We Dream Undergrad

 

Do you know of more scholarships for undocumented students?

Leave ’em in the comments section. Thanks! =)

 

 

 

Virtual Book Launch June 8th

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As you all know, I am ecstatic about the printing of the 2nd edition of 10 Things College Students Need to Know about Money! I’m so excited that for the first time ever I’m hosting a virtual book launch on Facebook. What is a virtual book launch you ask? Good question.  *wink*

A virtual book launch is an opportunity for you to ask me about the book, win some cool gifts and score an AMAZING discount on the book. I’m so excited.

Sign up to receive my emails and get another gift.

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See you Wednesday, June 8th between 6:30pm and 8:30pm Pacific Standard Time.

Rihanna Gives $5,000 to $50,000 to College Students

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Wow!

Singer Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation that will provide 50 scholarships to students from Barbados, Brazil, Cuba, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti and Jamaica that have been accepted into a 4 year college program in the United States, saying:

“I don’t think it’s fair that children carry the burden of financial limitations at such a young age,” Rihanna stated. “To be able to give the gift of an education is actually an honor. Higher education will help provide perspective, opportunities and learning to a group of kids who really deserve it. I am thrilled to be able to do this.”

Applicants will need:

  1. A current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Unofficial transcripts must display student name, school name, grades and credit hours for each course and term in which each course was taken.
  2. A completed Applicant Appraisal Form (click to view and print the form).
  3. A copy of the acceptance letter from the accredited four-year college or university you will be attending in the United States.

Deadline is June 10th

Apply here