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Foster Youth College Success Initiative (FYCSI)

The Foster Youth College Success Initiative (FYCSI) is a program established specifically for students who have experienced foster care or are eligible orphans. FYCSI funding can be used towards supporting the cost of attending college, including housing and meals. FYCSI is housed in the Center for Multicultural Affairs (CMA). FYCSI students at Marist receive a broad range of innovative support services, including academic, personal, and career counseling; individual and small-group tutoring; leadership training; and student development workshops. The FYCSI program is jointly sponsored by the College and the New York State Education Department.


Student Eligibility for Participation in the Foster Youth College Success Initiative Program:

• MUST be a NYS resident and enrolled in a college or university with an opportunity program on campus; AND
• Students MUST meet the federal Higher Education Act definition of a foster youth or orphan;
• Federal definition of a foster youth: student who is currently in foster care or was in foster care at some point after their 13th birthday. This includes:

o Students adopted from foster care after their 13th birthday;
o Students living with a relative or kin under a kinship foster care agreement;
o Students who have aged out of foster care; and
o Students that were in foster care in another state, but meet the opportunity program residency requirements (a NY resident for at least 1 year or received a high school diploma in NY)

Eligibility for other groups:

• Orphans – Only eligible if both parents are deceased and the student was NOT adopted prior to age 13
• Unaccompanied / Homeless students – the student’s parents are deceased after their 13th birthday. (A student whose parents (both) are deceased after their 13th birthday, and then subsequently go into a legal guardianship agreement, is ELIGIBLE.)

For further information, please contact the CMA/HEOP office at (845) 575-3204, Cannavino Library, Suite 337. Questions can be e-mailed to We invite you to visit our home page at