Welcome to the Foster Care Initiative!
Launched in 2016, with generous funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the CUNY Start-ASAP Foster Care Initiative (FCI) builds on the success of CUNY Start and ASAP to support the success of young people at CUNY. FCI connects youth between the ages of 17-25 who are currently or were formerly part of the New York City foster care system to CUNY Start and/or ASAP.  With the goal of improving persistence and increasing the likelihood of timely associate degree completion, FCI provides a defined pathway from CUNY Start into ASAP for students with significant remedial needs. Students with few or no remedial needs may enter ASAP directly. FCI staff have established strategic partnerships with 19 foster care agencies and intermediaries across the New York City to create a streamlined referral process and provide an additional layer of college advisement and financial support, including paid internships and social engagement activities.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The CUNY Start-ASAP Foster Care Initiative will serve students aged 17-25 who are currently, or were formerly, in foster care.
  • Students with ACS involvement in a justice setting will be considered.
  • Students must be enrolled in CUNY Start/Math Start and/or ASAP/ACE in order to join the FCI.

Joining FCI

If you are interested in being a part of FCI, complete the following enrollment steps. Get started early!

  1. Complete the online referral form.
  2. Apply online to CUNY.
  3. Apply for Financial Aid (complete the FAFSA and TAP applications).
  4. Accept the offer of admission.
  5. Take the CUNY Assessment Test.
  6. Complete immunization requirements.
  7. Attend a CUNY Start, Math Start or ASAP/ACE Info Session and complete the campus-based enrollment steps.
  8. Meet FCI team.

Services & Supports

Youth in foster care who are part of the CUNY Start-ASAP Foster Care Initiative are eligible for enhanced services and financial support:

  • Assistance with the CUNY admissions and financial aid process
  • CUNY application fee waiver, tuition assistance, and other financial supports
  • Academic advisement and college navigation supports
  • Unlimited MetroCards to support successful participation in CUNY Start or ASAP
  • Opportunities for free summer and winter courses
  • Paid, on-campus internships at $15/hour for up to 15 hours a week
  • Link to year-round on campus housing

How We Support Agency Work

  • FCI Program Staff work closely with foster care agencies and community-based organizations to support student through admissions, testing, and enrollment. Our goal is to collaborate with strategic partners to ensure youth in foster care are supported through a seamless transition into CUNY.
  • To become a strategic partner, contact us at

For more information

Please contact the Foster Care Initiative Program Coordinators:

Phone: 718-254-7791

Program Descriptions

Watch our videos to learn more about FCI’s services and supports.

FCI in 2 Minutes

FCI supports the college readiness, enrollment, and timely graduation of young people at CUNY connected to the foster care system. This overview provides a brief glimpse of FCI’s services and supports, dedicated staff, and students’ experiences.

 How to Apply

A Strong Path to Graduation! Watch our How to Apply video and find out how to become an FCI student and the steps to join.