About the program
Advancing Futures is a transitional support program for current and former youth in government care aged 18 to 24. The program provides social and emotional supports and funding to eligible students while they pursue post-secondary studies.
Youth 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 students succeed by supporting them while transitioning into adulthood, learning life skills and becoming successful in school. The program recognizes the potential of students 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’s 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
- support and financial assistance 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.
Youth who received Supports for Permanency for more than 546 days between the ages of 13 to 18 should contact us to discuss their eligibility.
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
- limited exceptions for students to study outside of Alberta
- 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
Students 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. Students 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 program coordinator to assist case workers and youth with the education portion of a transition plan
Advancing Futures can also help students plan by:
- assisting in career investigation
- discussing specific job requirements
- helping clarify career goals
- identifying different education paths to help students achieve their education and career goals
Program coordinator’s role
Students are each assigned a program coordinator who supports them from the initial application to the completion of their planned post-secondary studies.
The responsibility of supporting students is divided among program coordinators whose offices are located in Edmonton and Calgary. Together, they serve as a direct support to students as they transition from care into post-secondary education and adulthood. Using educational attainment as the medium for support, Advancing Futures staff helps students understand and manage the day-to-day responsibilities required to complete their post-secondary program.
A program coordinator’s responsibilities are divided as follows:
- 85% case management
- 15% financial administration
Case management support is tailored around individual need to help students be successful. Prospective students typically require longer-term transitional planning as they to prepare for further post-secondary education. Program coordinators 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 students who are ready, program coordinators assist with the application process and connect them to possible educational institutions. If students are not ready, program coordinators 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 students in learning every-day life skills, and being successful in school.
As student circumstances change, the program coordinator is responsible for adjusting a student’s funding and transitional plan. Program coordinators support them to develop a plan to overcome any challenges.
Throughout the process, youth can meet with a program coordinator:
- in person
- by phone
- by email
- by online meetings
Program coordinators have set times to meet with youth. Although meetings are typically set once a month, students can access their program coordinators as needed.
Phone meetings: program coordinators whose students reside in communities outside Edmonton and Calgary set a time to speak with youth monthly.
In-person meetings: program coordinators visit the institutions a minimum of 2 times a year to meet with youth.
While Advancing Futures has offices located in Edmonton and Calgary, the delivery of the program is not centralized to these 2 communities.
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
- full parent portion of subsidized child care
- health benefit plan
- damage deposit for an apartment
Living allowance rates
|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.
Students 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 students 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
Students who intend to study at an institution outside of Alberta must speak with a Program Coordinator about their plans prior to submitting their application. Additional criteria apply to these requests.
Step 1. Confirm eligibility
Review Advancing Futures’ eligibility criteria. Contact us to confirm eligibility, if clarification is required.
Step 2. Apply to a program
Students must have applied for their program of study before applying to Advancing Futures. Students 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 student submit an application
Students must complete their own application form. Professionals are encouraged to help them to do so. However, application forms completed on behalf of a student 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 students check their email for updates regularly. At times, Advancing Futures may contact a student by phone or letter mail.
Students are responsible for providing Advancing Futures with their current contact information, including:
- email address
- phone number, and
- mailing address
If contact information changes, students must email us their updated information to: [email protected].
Intake and conditional approval
After a student applies, their application will be reviewed to determine eligibility and for completeness. Following this, program coordinators will contact students with information about next steps.
Students who meet the program requirements will be required to complete an intake form. The intake form will be reviewed and the student will be conditionally approved. An email will be sent to the student 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 students are required to submit a book and supply list at the start of each semester.
Students 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 students’ 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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