GCU gives Arizona foster care students opportunity to go to college debt free

Feb 25, 2022, 4:55 AM | Updated: 12:12 pm

(GCU Photo)...

(GCU Photo)

(GCU Photo)

PHOENIX — Children aging out of the Arizona foster care system now have the opportunity to get a college degree without going into debt.

Grand Canyon University and the State of Arizona on Thursday announced the Fostering Futures Scholarship. It will cover 100% of the costs for tuition, fees, and year-round room and board for qualified students.

“When they graduate, they will graduate with absolutely zero loans and they will graduate in very important areas like nursing, education, engineering, computer science, and information technology,” GCU President Brian Mueller said.

In 2019, less than half of foster care kids pursued higher education.

“This new scholarship will ensure more of these kids have access to a high-quality, affordable education, but it’s more than that,” Gov. Doug Ducey said, adding the scholarship will give foster kids access to the fundamental needs that many people don’t have to think about twice.

Michael Faust, director of the Arizona Department of Child Safety, stressed how important it is for room and board to also be covered so foster care students have a consistent place to live.

“Young people need a safe place to lay their head,” Faust said. “Without sustainable housing, without a secure place to live, they can’t worry about an education.”

Jacqueline Carter, a GCU alum who was once in the foster care system, can attest to how impactful it was to have housing year-round.

“This school became my home during school breaks, especially when I didn’t have a place to call home,” she said. “I celebrated Christmases here and Thanksgivings here.”

There are also other aspects included in the program, such as students having access to counseling with admissions and student services, free tutoring, mentoring programs, student worker opportunities and life skills training.

“When we meet with a group of students who currently attend GCU they said, ‘we need help with things like a checking account and health insurance,”‘  Sarah Boeder, executive president of operations at GCU, said. “So we’ll be taking on that as well.”

The program receives money from multiple sources, including scholarships from GCU, the state and the federal level.

The first scholarships will be awarded for the 2022-23 school year soon.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

woman cutting a sandwich in the back of house...

Eligible Mesa small business owners can register for low-cost college courses

A new program in Mesa is expanding ways that small business owners can earn college credits. 

7 hours ago

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)...

Associated Press

Judge denies Phoenix request to extend clean up time at The Zone

A judge on Tuesday denied the city of Phoenix’s legal request seeking extra time to clean up the city’s largest homeless encampment.

11 hours ago

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is surrounded by staff, security and journalists as he walks to the Ho...

Brandon Gray

Kevin McCarthy out as speaker of the House: How Arizona representatives voted

In a 216-210 vote, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was voted off his post, making him the first in history to be removed from the role.

11 hours ago

(ADOT Photo)...

ADOT uses updated technology to improve operation of freeway ramp meters

Updated technology has allowed the Arizona Department of Transportation to optimize the operation of its freeway ramp meters.

12 hours ago

Mug shots of Frank Avila, left, and Albert Valenzuela. The men were arrested after a Phoenix bus ro...

1 man dead, 2 arrested after Phoenix bus robbery leads to hit-and-run collision

A man faces possible murder charges after a victim he allegedly tried to rob on a Phoenix bus was hit and killed by a vehicle while fleeing.

13 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: What would it mean if the city of Phoenix entered into a “consent decree?”

Maricopa County Sherriff Paul Penzone announced Monday that he would not run for re-election and after bringing in a police chief following a national search, Mike Broomhead ponders what message the city of Phoenix would send by entering into a consent decree. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.

Sanderson Ford...

Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford congratulates D-backs’ on drive to great first half of 2023

The Arizona Diamondbacks just completed a red-hot first half of the major league season, and Sanderson Ford wants to send its congratulations to the ballclub.



When most diets fail, re:vitalize makes a difference that shows

Staying healthy and losing weight are things many people in Arizona are conscious of, especially during the summer.

GCU gives Arizona foster care students opportunity to go to college debt free