Representatives Davis and Walorski Applaud New Flexibility to Help Foster Youth Complete Financial Aid Packages


July 10, 2020

Worker & Family Support Subcommittee Chairman and Ranking Member Partner to Help Foster Youth Remain in College


Today, U.S. Reps. Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Chairman of the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Worker & Family Support, and Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Ranking Member of the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Worker & Family Support, applauded the new flexibility from the Department of Education to help foster youth and other vulnerable students document their income information during the pandemic. 

After the Child Welfare League of America and the Children’s Aid Society of New York City alerted the top House Democrat and Republican on child welfare policy to challenges that foster youth were experiencing in completing their financial aid packages given barriers to documenting their income, Chairman Davis and Ranking Member Walorski raised the concerns with the Department of Education.  As leaders on issues related to foster youth and as Members of the Committee with responsibility for tax policy, Reps. Davis and Walorski discussed the particular challenges for foster youth during the pandemic and, in particular, to obtaining the typical tax documentation required to complete financial aid packages.  On July 9, 2020, the Department of Education released guidance recognizing the challenges facing foster youth and homeless youth in documenting their income, reminding colleges and universities about the existing flexibility for income verification for independent students, and including new guidance allowing institutions to accept a signed statement of income in place of a W-2 for foster youth.

“Less than 3 percent of foster youth graduate from a 4-year college,” said Rep. Davis.  “I am proud to have partnered with Congresswoman Walorski to help foster youth continue in higher education.  I am thankful that leaders in the Department of Education listened to our concerns and offered timely flexibilities about documentation of independent status during the pandemic.  This guidance will help foster youth and other vulnerable independent students – such as homeless youth – to complete their financial aid packages and continue enrollment.” 

“The most vulnerable young Americans deserve every opportunity to reach their full potential, and this new flexibility will help remove an obstacle in the way of achieving the American Dream,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “I’m grateful to have worked with Chairman Davis and the Department of Education to bring about this commonsense guidance, which will make it easier for foster youth and homeless youth to pursue higher education during this public health and economic crisis.”

The new guidance from the Department of Education is available HERE.