Home > Policies > Child Welfare > Make technical fixes to the Tuition Waiver for Foster Youth and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

Maryland has a tuition waiver (Education §15-106.1) for unaccompanied homeless youth and foster youth to attend Maryland’s public colleges and universities. This bill is simply a technical bill to fix 2 small issues.

First, during the 2016 Legislative Session, in an attempt to fix some of the glitches in the tuition waiver statute, the new language added to the bill inadvertently excluded foster youth who are under 18. While it doesn’t happen often, some foster youth graduate high school or get their GED when they’re 17 and without this legislation they will remain ineligible to utilize the tuition waiver until they turn 18.

Second, it is important to clarify that the tuition waiver covers both credit and non-credit courses. Every year in Maryland, after taking placement tests, nearly 60% of first-year community college students discover that they must take remedial courses in English or mathematics, which do not earn college credits.[1] Two four year colleges in Maryland, have reported that over 90% of their first year students are requiring remedial course work.[2] Research has shown that even larger percentages of foster youth are required to take remedial courses in math and/or English compared with non-foster youth.[3] Therefore, it’s critical that remove this barrier that some foster youth have faced when enrolling in remedial classes.

[1] The Status of College Readiness in Maryland, located at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/Pubs/BudgetFiscal/2013-Policy-Briefing-College-Readiness.pdf, at p. 2.

[2] College and Career – Are Maryland Students Ready?, located at: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/Pubs/BudgetFiscal/2016fy-budget-docs-operating-HEPB1-Higher-Education-Policy-Briefing—Remediation.pdf at p. 15.

[3] “Charting the Course: Using Data to Support Foster Youth College Success” located at http://www.cacollegepathways.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/charting_the_course_final.pdf, at p.14.

Click here to read our one-pager about this legislation.

Our bill in the house is HB 462, and will be heard in the House Ways and Means Committee. Delegate Pat Young is our lead sponsor, along with Delegate Vogt and Delegate Mary Washington.

Our bill in the senate is SB 701, and will be heard in the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs (EHEA) Committee. Our lead sponsor, Senator Zucker, got all the members of EHEA signed on as co-sponsors! All of the co-sponsors include Senators Bates, Benson, Cassilly, Conway, DeGrange, Eckardt, Ferguson, Guzzone, Jennings, Kagan, King, Madaleno, Manno, McFadden, Middleton, Muse, Nathan-Pulliam, Peters, Pinsky, Robinson, Salling, Simonaire, Smith, Waugh, and Young.

HB 462 will be heard in the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, February 21st at 1 pm. Click here to read our testimony.

SB 701 will be heard in the Senate Education Health and Environmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday, March 1st at 1 pm. 

HB 462 and SB 701 have both received favorable reports in their committees!

HB 462 has passed second reader, and the following Delegates have signed onto the bill as cosponsors: Delegate Simonaire, Delegate Ali, Delegate Wilkins, Delegate Rose, Delegate Patterson, Delegate Hornberger, Delegate Ebersole, Delegate Afzali, Delegate Hixson, Delegate Kaiser, Delegate Turner, Delegate C. Howard, Delegate A. Washington, Delegate Tarlau, and Delegate Mosby.

March 21, 2017

SB 701 had its hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee today!

March 31, 2017

SB 701 received a favorable report from Ways and Means and is through second reader on the House floor. As soon as it gets through third reader, it will be ready to be signed into law! 

April 4, 2017

SB 701 passed third reader in the House unanimously! Now it’s ready to be signed by the Governor!