Passport for Foster Youth
Disclaimer: With the passing of Senate Bill 6274, the Legislature expanded eligibility for the Passport program. Program updates are currently being developed for phased-in implementation. Continue to check this page for updates.
The Passport to College Promise Scholarship program (Passport) was created in 2007 by the state of Washington to help students from foster care attend and succeed in college. Without significant intervention, fewer than two percent of foster youth are likely to attain a bachelor’s degree.
Passport is a comprehensive program providing support to students from high school through higher education completion. Three primary components are administered by the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC):
- A student scholarship to provide former foster youth with financial assistance beyond other state, federal, private, and institutional financial aid for which they are eligible
- Campus incentive funding to postsecondary institutions that designate campus support staff and take other steps to recruit and retain former foster youth
- A partnership with the College Success Foundation to provide additional student intervention and retention services to foster youth and to provide training and technical assistance to campus staff.
WSAC is also responsible for managing the Supplemental Education Transition Program (SETuP) to support high school students.
Since 2008, the Passport scholarship has been awarded to an average of 345 students annually. In the 2016-17 academic year, 335 students were served.
A groundbreaking data exchange was developed between WSAC, DSHS, and colleges to enable verification of student eligibility. Intensive support services on college campuses assist with student retention and postsecondary success. Currently, 47 institutions are participating in the “viable plan” to offer these support services.
The Passport program provides the first opportunity to obtain verifiable baseline data on foster youth aspirations and performance in postsecondary education in Washington.
More information about the Passport Scholarship can be found on our partner site, readysetgrad.org.