The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Get Help With Everything College
Options walks you through financial aid, admissions, and more
Represent Staff

You want to go to college, but you have no idea how to make that happen. How do you choose a college? What do you need to get admitted? How do they decide who to accept? How will you pay for it? What forms do you have to fill out? Once you’re in, how do you keep up with all the work?

You may be able to get answers to these questions from your high school guidance counselor, or from college specialists at your agency. But if you can’t get the help you need from them, there’s Options College Counseling on 110th Street.

You can join Options any time between second semester junior year and second semester senior year of high school. Options also works with former college students who want to return to college, and walks them through every process. There are no income or GPA requirements: All are welcome, the program is free to all students, and they provide one-on-one counseling.

New students are enrolled in the Access Program, where you are assigned a counselor. You meet your counselor every few weeks to prep for the SAT/ACT, choose a college, work on your application, personal statement, personal essay, and your FAFSA (federal) and TAP (state) financial aid applications.

image by YC-Art Dept

Options brings in recruiters from more than 30 colleges all through the fall, who answer your questions. In November and December, high school seniors apply for scholarships. There’s an overnight college trip in the spring. In March, you find out where you got in, and your counselor puts all your acceptances into an Excel spreadsheet. Together, you figure out which school is best for you.

Once you’ve picked a college, generally between May and July, you move from the Access Program to the Success Program. Your Success counselor and other Options workers help you manage your money, get internships, and get tutoring. They even train you to be a tutor so you can pick up extra money in college.

To make an appointment call 212-OPTIONS (212-678-4667). If you are in care, all you need to start is your high school transcript. (If you have reunited with your parents, you will also have to bring a copy of their tax returns to show their income.)

image by YC-Art Dept

Find out more at

Foster Care to Success
Foster Care to Success provides one-year scholarships to help students at community colleges and universities cover the costs of tuition, books, and other supplies.
This site offers a helpful list of scholarships and other funding sources for students in foster care, students who have been adopted, and low-income and minority students.

iFoster is a non-profit organization that supports youth in care with a range of resources, including linkages to college tuition reimbursement, scholarship, and employment opportunities.

Education and Training Vouchers (ETV)
ETV is a federally funded, state-administered program that provides funding and support for post-secondary education. Eligible students may receive grants of up to $5,000 per year for up to five years or until their 23rd birthday. ETV funds can be combined with other grants or scholarships to minimize or eliminate the need for student loans. For more on accessing ETV, go here:

The New York Public Library offers a range of college and career counseling and info

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