Learn about RTI
The most important advice from your peers was to learn about the RTI program. Florida law provides former foster youth with a monthly educational or vocational stipend as part of the Road to Independence Act (RTI). Depending on your financial situation, the RTI stipend could be equivalent to the amount of money you would earn working a 40 hour‐a‐week minimum wage job. The conditions are subject to change so always check the Florida Statutes for the current status. Search for “Road to Independence” when you get to the Florida Statutes website. Youth in relative care are not eligible.
Although many rules exist related to eligibility, you could be eligible if you are between the ages of 18 and 23, were in the foster care system for at least 6 months before age 18, have completed or are completing high school/GED, and are admitted to or enrolled full‐time in an accredited adult education program, college or vocational school. There are other conditions so be sure to check the latest Florida Statutes to find out if you are eligible.
Other Advice From Peers
If you receive RTI funding, you will need to stay in school full‐time and have to be making progress toward your degree. This is determined by the school you are attending but it usually means you must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher and must be taking courses that will count toward your degree.
You also have to apply for other grants and scholarships so check out the Finances section of this website.
If you have to stop out of school for a semester, you can re‐apply one time before you reach the age of 23.
RTI stops when you turn 23 so try to get as much of your education completed by then as possible.