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In an innovative new initiative by Hamilton’s own McMaster University, the institution will be eliminating tuition fees for students who are current or former foster kids working towards a graduate or undergraduate degree.
A collaboration between McMaster and the Child Welfare Political Action Committee Canada (Child Welfare PAC) is an effort to increase access to university education for foster children as one of Canada’s vulnerable populations.
Up to 20 students who are current or former foster kids will be able to access this new free tuition initiative, which will be awarded on an application basis based on eligibility requirements and with no age limits for applicants.
According to a release from the university, many foster children in Canada are evicted from their care facility at age 18, putting those in the foster care system at risk of greater hardship. With this initiative, McMaster hopes to help remove a crucial barrier that will help foster kids improve their lives.
“Increasing learning opportunities and removing barriers to education for students is core to McMaster’s Access Strategy,” said David Farrar, McMaster President and Vice-Chancellor.
“We are very pleased to launch this program at McMaster. It will not only help to remove financial barriers for Crown Ward students but will enrich our campus by introducing new and diverse voices to our community.”
The move also marks McMaster as the first university in the Greater Toronto/Hamilton Area to take action in addressing the systemic barriers that exist for those presently or previously in the foster care system.