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Posted by: ifcayouth Category: Aging Out of Foster Care Comments: 0 Post Date: May 28, 2017

College Entrance and Scholarship System

Susumu Yamanouchi

I was bullied for being a foster child in my later elementary school years. I got hit and kicked by my classmates. I got an email that said to die. I hated it and told my mother that I wanted to take the junior high school exam and I did. I was passed and got into a school attached to a university.

I had decided on my dream ever since I came to my foster parent’s home when I was an elementary school student. I wanted to become a teacher because my foster father was a teacher. My mother supports my dream too, and I am studying to be a teacher at a university. 46,000 children live under foster care. The college attendance rate is approximately 20% of that number. The college graduation rate is approximately 9%. They must work to get money for daily living expenses and school expenses while attending college classes. As such, they tend to quit school. While I am going to university, I am working part-time.

Other than the usual scholarships that students can get, there are several kinds of scholarships for foster children. There is a grant type of scholarship, a repayment type of scholarship, a four-year scholarship and a one-time scholarship. In addition, there is a possibility to combine some scholarships but not others. All the scholarships I have are grants. These are scholarships that anyone could get if they apply for them, but a number of people determine who receives them. My mother said to me, “If you borrow money, apply for the grant type of scholarship”. I applied for everything that I could apply for. However, I wasn’t able to cover school expenses with just the scholarship that I had. Even though I did my best, I was only able to collect two years worth of school expenses. My mother paid for the other two years of school expenses.

If there are scholarships listed when you are looking on the Internet, there are also some that are not. In my case, the staff of the foster care facility that I was in told me about the list of scholarships that they brought me. There are a lot of things that I wouldn’t have known about if I hadn’t been told about them.I think that foster care staff should share this information with foster children. Nothing can be better than if the burden on those children decreases even a little bit.

There are a lot of people giving up going to college for various reasons, such as not having money or wanting to go but can’t. I think that I would not have gone to college if I did not meet these foster parents. I am one person but I hope more foster children will get more scholarships in order to achieve their own dreams, even just a little bit.

This post is also available in: Japanese

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