Today, the Child Welfare Political Action Committee Canada (Child Welfare PAC) is proud to announce that Laurentian University in Sudbury, starting for the 2019-2020 school year, will waive tuition at any age for those raised in the Ontario foster care system as Crown Wards.
"This is amazing news for current and former Crown Wards across Ontario and paves the way for even more post-secondary schools to follow suit,” said Jane Kovarikova, Founder of the Child Welfare PAC, a former youth in care, and Laurentian alumna. "Thank you to Laurentian and MPP Jamie West for believing in this collaborative effort from the start."
"These students, many of whom are Indigenous, face unique challenges in accessing post-secondary education," said Dr. Serge Demers, Laurentian's interim Vice President, Academic and Provost. "It is important that we remove barriers and enable them to achieve their academic goals."
To view Laurentian press release click HERE
Typically, tuition waivers are only offered to those who were raised in care within a few years of high school completion. This can be restrictive because many foster kids struggle to finish high school or are not ready because they must look after themselves by age 18.
"The expectation that foster youth adult at age 18 and achieve milestones at the same time as their peers with very limited resources, after a life of instability in foster care, preceded by traumatic or neglectful circumstances with the original family is wildly miscalculated," said Kovarikova.
“Education is the one certain evidence-based pathway to success after foster care,” concluded Kovarikova.