3.5A Youth Eligibility1. Question: Must a youth be 18 years of age to receive a Chafee Educational and Training Voucher?
Answer: No. The statute does not place any minimum age restrictions for the Chafee Educational and Training Voucher program.
Answer: No. For purposes of the ETV program, section 477(i)(2) of the Act permits former foster youth who have been adopted from foster care to be considered as "youth otherwise eligible" for services. However, it restricts eligibility to youth who are adopted on or after the youth's 16th birthday.
Answer: No. Federal law does not require that students attend school on a full-time basis to receive a voucher.
Answer: If the State determines that the youth is still enrolled, based on the academic institution's definition of "enrollment," in a postsecondary education or training program and has been making satisfactory progress toward completing the program, despite not actually taking classes at the time the youth turns 21, the State may continue the youth's eligibility for a voucher until age 23 (section 477(i)(3) of the Social Security Act). The State should consult the individual institution's policy on enrollment and standards for satisfactory academic progress to make this determination.
Answer: Typically, no, because Chafee requires that a youth attend an institution of higher education, as defined in section 102 of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended. Among other things, HEA defines what constitutes an "institution of higher learning" based on certain criteria. We encourage the State to consult the specific community college or institution of higher education about whether such a youth is considered a student for whom the institution can calculate the cost of attendance and whether the college or institution of higher education meets the criteria in sections 101 and 102 of HEA.