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Getting a good education can lead to a more secure future. As a young person, it is important to get all the information you can about how to make sure your educational experience is the best it can be, at every level. Having the right information is key to succeeding now and preparing for the next level.

Get help with a school-related issue

The ACS Office of Education Support and Policy Planning (OESPP) can help you:

  • Resolve issues concerning school rules and policies;
  • Get school or community-based educational supports, including information on special education services and finding alternative education programs;
  • Work with schools to address any barriers to school enrollment or school credit transfers;
  • Navigate the college admissions and financial aid processes, and/or vocational training and career counseling; and
  • Inform you about your educational rights.

These services are available to all youth receiving ACS services. Ask your social worker to schedule an advisement appointment or contact OESPP.

Foster Parents can download the Foster Parent's Guide to education.

What You Should Know at Every Level

Middle School

The ACS Office of Education Support and Policy Planning (OESPP), helps middle school youth in foster care prepare for high school. OESPP offers:

  • Individual support to choose a high school that is best for you
  • Help from counselors to navigate the New York City High Schools choice process

Contact OESPP to schedule an appointment.

Student sponsorship programs (SSP) can help you:

  • Attend a partnering Catholic High School.
  • Receive one-on-one mentoring to help you do well in high school.
  • Assistance to pay for your high school education

Learn more about SSP

Learn more about middle school programs at the Department of Education website

High School

High School is a great time to begin seriously working on skills such as time management, building relationships and planning a career.

For more information on of these topics, talk to your agency education liaison or contact OESPP.


Once you decide to go to college, paying for it can be a challenge. Help is available through federal, state and city agencies as well as through support from private and not-for-profit organizations.

Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants are usually awarded only to undergraduate students. The amount of aid you can receive depends on your financial need, the cost of attendance at your school, and more.
Learn more about federal student aid as well as other financial aid sources


The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State. TAP is an annual grant of up to $5,165, which does not have to be paid back. Learn more about TAP

Education Training Vouchers (ETV) is a federally funded program administered by each state. Youth receiving ACS services up to age 23 attending college or a certified training program can receive ETV.

  • ETV provides up to $5000 per year to help pay for tuition, student fees, room and board, books, supplies, etc.
  • It is available on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible students.
  • Youth must complete the ETV application which includes documentation each semester that is sent directly from the school to ETV confirming enrollment, the cost of attendance (COA) and unmet need.
  • Youth must apply before turning 21.

Go to ETV New York for more information.

Vocational Training and Apprenticeship Programs

Not sure about going to college? Vocational training and can help you get the job you are looking for. Training is available from many institutions, but be sure to get all the information and talk to your caseworker before committing to a program.

Vocational Training Resources

New York State Department of Labor
NYC Training Guide
Workforce 1

Free or No Cost Training & Apprenticeship Information

NYC Programs
Brooklyn Public Library
More Education Resources