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McMaster University offers free tuition to current and former foster kids

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.

Read the full release on the McMaster website.

Comments (5)

  1. Ashley Mclean

    My name is Ashley McLean. I am a 37 single mom and former ward of Hamilton children’s aid. I was a crown ward until age 21. I have had the chance to speak to the youth at the agency on two different occasions. I would love to be part of this great opportunity as I am at a point in my life where schooling would be an amazing opportunity !

  2. The samurai Gaming Channel

    Hello my name is Desiree Stanlick I’m 29 looking to further my education and apply to a bachelors program in social work and later complete my MSW. I’m a mother of two and a former foster child. I was a ward of children’s aid until the age of 14. I would like to further my education so I can then contribute to the system that helped me. I would like to be considered for this opportunity at a time where schooling is paramount in my life. I would like to set a positive example for my children as well as all children and former foster children that we can accomplish anything and not to give up.

  3. Gordon Baker

    I was a ward of the Children’s Aid Society and once out of the Children’s Aid Society my foster parents continued to be my family. I was very fortunate, after grade 13,I had $200 , my foster parents cosigned a bank loan so I could go to university. I graduated from McMaster in 1966 ,Honors BA, Western 1967, Masters Degree and Queens in 1970 ,LL.B. Around 1997, I
    established the Rosa Maude Sheardown award at McMaster in memory of my foster mother who had a great belief in education and reaching out in helping others. I also endowed an award in memory of my deceased brother and mother, the And Jean and Ross Baker award at Queens and endowed an award at Queens Law School, Kathryn and Gordon Baker Award. The awards are not for scholarship but for students who need financial assistance. Hundreds of students have benefited from these awards. To me the wards are a living legacy for those I love.
    Gordon R Baker, QC