School Choices and Residency Requirements
- Students in foster care may either continue attending their current school or enroll in the school in the attendance zone of their placement. Different high schools in Austin ISD provide different areas of focus. For a list of the programs available at Austin ISD high schools, see (provide link)
- State law provides that students may continue to attend the school in which they were enrolled immediately before placement and may remain there through the highest grade offered. Austin ISD however, allows students to remain in the school or within the school’s feeder pattern on a tuition-free basis even if placed outside the school or district’s attendance zone. However, unfortunately, the AISD is unable to provide transportation.
- Austin ISD offers many programs to help students recover credits towards graduation including evening classes offered through Austin ISD’s Twilight Program, online credit earning through Garza’s Online High School program, or enrolling in a Premier High School at either Travis High School or Lanier High School. Contact your school counselor for more information.
- Remember, students are able to attend school and receive a high school diploma even after turning 18. This is especially crucial given the difficulty of passing the GED exam. Students under 18 are required to obtain permission from a guardian (CPS for foster care students) to take the GED in place of obtaining a high school diploma. Speak with your school counselor to obtain all the information necessary to make an informed and educated decision about your future.
Post-Secondary Education Resources
- College and Dual Credit Tuition and Fees Waiver-The Texas tuition and fee waiver provides tuition exemptions at state-supported institutions of higher education to youth who enroll as an undergraduate or in a dual credit high school course if:
- The student was under the conservatorship of DFPS either:
- on the day before the student’s 18th birthday;
- on or after the student’s 14th birthday, if the student was also eligible for adoption on or after that day;
- on the day the student graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma;
- on the day before the date the student is adopted or permanent managing conservatorship is awarded to a person other than the student’s parent, if that date is on or after September 1, 2009; OR
- during an academic term in which the student was enrolled in a dual credit course or other course for which a high school student may earn joint high school and college credit
- AND the student enrolls before the age of 25.
- For information on dual credit courses offered at Austin Community College, visit ACC’s website.
- College or Vocational Training Funding- The Texas Education Training Voucher (ETV) provides additional money to former foster youth who enroll in a college or training program. Students can be eligible to receive up to $5,000 a year to help with housing, food, books, computer equipment, tuition and other expenses. This is in addition to the Texas tuition waiver program. To receive funds students generally must be:
- 16 or 17 and in DFPS foster care and likely to stay in care until student is 18;
- Not yet 21, but aged out of DFPS foster care; OR
- Not yet 21, and were adopted from DFPS foster care after turning 16.
- Austin Community College also has specialized programs tailored for former or current foster care students. For more information, visit ACC’s Foster Care Alumni Program website.