Next application deadline
The deadline to apply for funding for the winter 2024 semester has passed.
Applications are now being accepted to begin studies anytime between May to August 2024. The application deadline is February 1, 2024.
About the program
Advancing Futures is a transitional support program for young adults aged 18 to 24 who were formerly in government care. The program provides social and emotional supports and funding to eligible young adults while they pursue post-secondary studies.
Young adults are invited to apply if they are interested in:
- academic upgrading if it is a requirement for entry into a post-secondary program,
- earning a license or certificate,
- learning a trade, or
- earning a diploma or degree from a post-secondary school.
In addition to providing funding, Advancing Futures helps young adults succeed by supporting them while transitioning into adulthood, learning life skills and becoming successful in school. The program recognizes the potential of young adults to reach their educational goals and overcome the challenges they may face.
- be between 18 and 24 years old at the time they apply
- be full- or part-time students enrolled in an approved institution, and
- have been a youth in government care as a result of an Alberta-based agreement or order
They must also have:
- had a Permanent Guardianship Order (PGO) or Permanent Guardianship Agreement between the time they were 13 and 18 years old, or
- been in the care or custody of Children and Family Services for at least 546 days (18 months) between the time they were 13 and 24 years old – the following intervention services are included in the calculation of these 546 days:
- apprehension order
- custody agreement with guardian
- custody agreement with youth
- custody order
- emergency apprehension
- enhancement agreement with youth
- interim custody order
- order to extend custody or temporary guardianship order to 3 years
- previous Child Intervention post 18 supports and services
- TAP agreement
- temporary guardianship order
Applicants with any days of PGO status between the ages of 13 to 18 who were subsequently adopted remain eligible for the program.
To confirm eligibility for Advancing Futures, contact us.
Young adults who received Supports for Permanency for more than 546 days between the ages of 13 and 18 should contact us to discuss requesting an exception to the above eligibility criteria.
This program is open to full or part-time students enrolled in one of over 400 approved schools, colleges and universities. These include:
- on-campus post-secondary programs in Alberta or Canada
- academic upgrading programs or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) at an adult learning institution if it’s a requirement for entrance to a post-secondary program
Young adults can use the School and Program Eligibility Search to see if the post-secondary institution they plan to attend is an approved school. Specialized high schools are not listed in the eligibility tool. Young adults can contact Advancing Futures to confirm the educational institution is approved.
Advancing Futures does not fund Masters degrees or Doctoral programs.
We encourage professionals to let eligible youth know about the program as early as 13 years old because:
- it can inspire them to stay in school
- it will provide time for an Advancing Futures TAP Practitioner to assist case workers and youth with the education portion of a transition plan
Advancing Futures can also help young adults plan by:
- assisting in career investigation
- discussing specific job requirements
- helping clarify career goals
- identifying different education paths to help young adults achieve their education and career goals
TAP/Advancing Futures Practitioner’s role
Young adults are each assigned a Practitioner who supports them from the initial application to the completion of their planned post-secondary studies.
The responsibility of supporting young adults is divided among Practitioners across the province. Together, they serve as a direct support to young adults as they transition from care into post-secondary education and adulthood. Using educational attainment as the medium for support, Advancing Futures practitioners help young adults understand and manage the day-to-day responsibilities required to complete their post-secondary program.
A Practitioner’s responsibilities are divided as follows:
- 85% case management
- 15% financial administration
Case management support is tailored to individual need to help young adults be successful. Prospective students typically require longer-term transitional planning as they prepare for further post-secondary education. Practitioners help prospective students explore their career and educational options, and help them to determine if they are ready, willing and able to attend school at this time.
For young adults who are ready, Practitioners assist with the application process and connect them to possible educational institutions. If young adults are not ready, Practitioners will help them understand their options and what they can do to become ready in the future. All of these activities are focused on transition into adulthood issues, supporting young adults in learning everyday life skills, and being successful in school.
As young adults’ circumstances change, the Practitioner is responsible for adjusting a young adult’s funding and transitional plan. Practitioners support them to develop a plan to overcome any challenges.
Throughout the process, young adults can meet with a Practitioner:
- in person
- by phone
- by email
- by online meetings
Practitioners have set times to meet with young adults. Although meetings are typically set once a month, clients can access their Practitioners as needed.
Phone meetings: Practitioners whose clients reside in communities outside their region set a time to speak with young adults monthly.
In-person meetings: Practitioners visit the institutions a minimum of 2 times a year to meet with young adults.
Practitioners are located across the province to best support young adults.
Advancing Futures funds education programs in a wide variety of career areas, including digital media design, teaching and plumbing. The program covers funding for:
- up to $40,000 in education costs, including:
- required tuition
- mandatory fees
- required books
- mandatory supplies
- approved technology
- living allowance
- transportation funds
- a portion of child care expenses
- health benefit plan
- damage deposit for housing needs
Living allowance rates for Advancing Futures Clients
|Parent with one child||$1991||$995.50|
|Parent with two children||$2583||$1291.50|
|Parent with three children||$3175||$1587.50|
|Parent with four children||$3767||$1883.50|
|Each additional child||$592||$296|
There are 3 annual application deadlines:
- apply by June 1 – to begin studies anytime during the upcoming academic year (September to August)
- apply by October 1 – to begin studies anytime between January and August of the following year
- apply by February 1 – to begin studies anytime between May and August of the same year
Applications that are received after any of the above deadlines will be deferred to the next application period.
Young adults who have not received funding through Advancing Futures before, and plan to attend a specialized high school, are offered extended deadlines:
- apply by October 1 – to begin studies in Fall Term (of the same year)
- apply by February 1 – to begin studies in Winter Term (of the same year)
- apply by May 1 – to begin studies in Spring/Summer Term (of the same year)
Applications are accepted year-round from young adults who are registered as an apprentice and are pursuing technical training for their trade. Applications must be received at least 6 to 8 weeks before training begins.
How to apply
Step 1. Confirm eligibility
Review Advancing Futures eligibility criteria. Contact us to confirm eligibility, if clarification is required.
Step 2. Apply to a program
Young adults must have applied for their program of study before applying to Advancing Futures. Young adults do not need to have been accepted into their program of study to apply for Advancing Futures. Proof of application to or enrolment in the intended program of study must be submitted when applying to Advancing Futures. For more information, see approved institutions.
Step 3. Help the young adult submit an application
Young adults must complete their own application form. Professionals are encouraged to help them to do so. However, application forms completed on behalf of a young adult will not be accepted.
Applications and supporting documents must be submitted before the application deadline.
It can take up to 30 days after the application deadline for applications to be reviewed. Requesting updates sooner than this will not result in faster processing.
It takes 8 to 10 weeks after the application deadline for applications to be fully processed.
Advancing Futures uses email as its main contact method. It is important that young adults check their email for updates regularly. At times, Advancing Futures may contact a young adult by phone or letter mail.
Young adults are responsible for providing Advancing Futures with their current contact information, including:
- email address
- phone number, and
- mailing address
If contact information changes, young adults must email us their updated information to: [email protected].
Intake and conditional approval
After a young adult applies, their application will be reviewed for completeness and to determine eligibility. Following this, Practitioners will contact young adults with information about next steps.
Young adults who meet the program requirements will be required to complete an intake form. The intake form will be reviewed and the young adult will be conditionally approved. An email will be sent to the young adult with a deadline to complete any tasks required for approval of their funding.
Payment of expenses
Tuition and mandatory school fees
Once funding has been approved, a sponsorship agreement will be established with the school. The agreement states that Advancing Futures will cover tuition and mandatory school fees for the academic term(s). The institution will invoice Advancing Futures directly.
Mandatory books and supplies
An account will be created at the school’s bookstore to cover the cost of mandatory books and supplies. All young adults are required to submit a book and supply list at the start of each semester.
Young adults are provided with funding to buy basic school supplies (for example: pens, pencils, paper) at the start of each semester, to a maximum of:
- $50 per year for part-time students
- $100 per year for full-time students
Monthly living allowance payments are deposited into young adults’ bank accounts 5 to 7 days before the first day of each month. The living allowance payment provided at the end of each month is for the next month of study.
Request a presentation
The Advancing Futures team is available to provide a presentation about our program to groups of prospective students, professionals, and others.
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