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More money needed for state-run college scholarship fund for foster kids

Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Need for scholarships for former foster kids is running higher than funds available.

Michigan's Fostering Futures Scholarship Fund helps people who've aged out of foster care pay for college. It supplements other financial support students receive.

To be eligible for a grant, a student must have been in Michigan foster care after their 13th birthday because of child abuse or neglect.

"It's very vital in helping to keep the student in college, to keep them encouraged so that they can graduate," said Robin Mott, executive director of the Michigan Education Trust, which oversees some of the fundraising for the fund.

"What we found is that many foster youth will age out of the system and actually have no connection with family," Mott said.

That means they are often completely on their own at age 18 and have no resources to attend college.

Mott said the fund has raised about $150,000 per year since 2012. But more is needed to help with the more than 400 applications they get each year. 

Mott would also like to see the fund expand to cover trade and technical schools as well as colleges and universities.

Mott said the state has allocated about $500,000 to an endowment for the fund, and individuals' contributions to the fund are tax deductible.