Chafee Foster Youth Program Reference Tool
SB 150 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs
1. What does SB 150 require colleges to do?
SB 150 went into effect on January 1, 2020 and allows students to receive Chafee grants for up to two years before becoming ineligible due to not making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Colleges are responsible for implementing this provision by adapting their SAP policies accordingly. In addition, SB 150 requires that:
- CCCs and CSUs must provide (and UCs are requested to provide) all recipients, upon release of the first payment, with information regarding available support services on campus and the process for completing an educational plan.
- After one year of not meeting SAP, students must meet with an appropriate staff member to develop a plan for improving academic progress or update an existing plan in order to receive Chafee funds.
- Returning students who have been disenrolled for at least one term regain eligibility for the Chafee grant.
- Campuses must offer a specific appeal process for students who have lost the Chafee grant due to not making SAP.
2. What does the new appeals process require?
Campuses must inform students of their option to appeal and provide written notice of the process. Students may appeal the loss of the grant in any subsequent term. Per statute, an “institution shall automatically reinstate a student’s Chafee grant eligibility” if one of the following applies:
- The student achieves either a 2.0 GPA during the previous semester or quarter, or other applicable term, or a cumulative GPA of 2.0, even if the student did not meet the institution’s satisfactory academic progress policy requirements.
- The student demonstrates the existence of an extenuating circumstance that impeded successful course completion in the past but that has since been addressed such that the student is likely to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress in the future.
- The student provides evidence of engagement with a supportive program, either on or off-campus, that is assisting the student to make continued academic progress.”
3. Do the new SAP provisions apply to all types of institutions (i.e., CC, CSU, UC, and private)?
Yes, these provisions apply to all institutions. The one exception is that only CCs and CSUs are required to provide information about available services with the first Chafee payment, though UCs and private institutions are encouraged to do so.
1. Do the new SAP provisions only apply to first-year Chafee grant recipients?
No. The provisions apply to any Chafee grant recipients who meet the eligibility criteria and are enrolled in a post-secondary institution that is eligible to receive Chafee payments.
2. If a student does not meet SAP for two semesters, then does meet SAP in the third consecutive semester, does the clock reset on their SAP status?
Yes. The clock resets after any term where SAP is made, as the loss of the grant eligibility is based on consecutive terms.
3. Are summer sessions considered consecutive terms?
Yes, summer terms are considered consecutive terms when determining SAP for purposes of Chafee grant eligibility. If a student did not meet SAP in the spring and summer terms, it would be considered two consecutive terms. Similarly, if a student who did not make SAP for one or more consecutive terms proceeds to make SAP during the summer term, the clock resets.
4. If a student does not make SAP for two or more consecutive semesters and subsequently disenrolls for at least one academic term, do they qualify to have their Chafee grant reinstated upon reenrollment?
If the student did not meet SAP for fewer than four consecutive semesters or five consecutive quarters, their Chafee grant should be reinstated either immediately or upon completion of a plan to improve academic success, at the college’s discretion. If the student did not meet SAP for four or more consecutive semesters, the academic institution has the discretion to either reinstate Chafee funds immediately or upon completion of a plan to improve academic success, or require the student to file an appeal to have the grant reinstated.
5. If a student attending a CSU is not enrolled for one semester or more because they stopped-out or took a leave of absence (while maintaining their admissions status), would this constitute a “break” in enrollment and would the student be eligible to receive their Chafee payment when they re-enroll in the subsequent semester?
Yes. By definition, a student on stop-out or leave of absence status is not enrolled in courses at the institution. Per the statute, “A student who loses Chafee eligibility by not demonstrating satisfactory academic progress and subsequently is not enrolled for one or more semesters or quarters, or another applicable term or terms, shall be eligible for a Chafee grant upon enrollment at a qualifying institution.” Therefore, when the student re-enrolls at the institution, they will be eligible to receive their Chafee grant.
6. Can Chafee recipients only receive their payment for one term if they return after a period of disenrollment?
No. Chafee recipients who have lost eligibility and subsequently reenroll after at least one term of disenrollment can continue to receive the grant as long as they continue to meet the eligibility criteria.
7. If a student does not make SAP after four consecutive semesters (or five quarters), are they required to complete an appeal to be eligible to receive their Chafee funds in the subsequent term?
Yes. The student has the right to appeal the loss of their Chafee funds in any term following disqualification due to not meeting SAP.
8. If a student does not meet SAP due to exceeding maximum time frame (i.e., 150% of credits required for degree completion), are they still eligible to receive the Chafee grant?
If the student has not met SAP for four or fewer consecutive semesters (or five quarters), they should continue to receive Chafee funding regardless of the reason for not meeting SAP. If the student has exceeded four semesters (or five quarters) of not meeting SAP and then appeals to have their Chafee reinstated, the criteria for a successful appeal should be used as guidance (see General Information Q.2).
Plan for Improving Academic Progress
1. Does the plan that gets created have to be a Student Education Plan (SEP) created by a certified academic counselor?
No, the plan does not need to be created by an academic counselor. Per the language in statute, the student must “develop a plan for improving academic progress” and this can be done by an “academic counselor, a Homeless and Foster Student Liaison, an EOPS counselor, a NextUp counselor, a DSPS counselor, or another campus-based foster youth support program staff member, or another appropriate adviser.” The plan may include items beyond those available from an academic counselor, such as a plan for accessing mental health support or other services. If the student does not already have a SEP in place, the plan for improving progress should include meeting with an academic counselor to complete an SEP.
2. Is there any guidance regarding what the plan for improving academic progress should include?
The staff person has discretion to create a plan that meets the needs of the student. There are numerous reasons why a foster youth student may not be meeting the institution’s SAP requirements. The campus personnel completing the plan with the student should address the academic, socioemotional or other factors impeding the student’s academic success. Staff should provide concrete action steps to overcome any barriers. For example, if a student demonstrates they are not confident in a core subject such as math or English, create a realistic plan to attend tutoring regularly and utilize additional campus support services and resources. A template that can be used to guide campus personnel can be found at jbaforyouth.org/sb-150-2/.
3. Does there need to be a unique appeal process for the Chafee grant separate from the institution’s existing financial aid appeal process?
The new requirements
may exist as a separate process or be incorporated into an institution’s existing process. The specific criteria that qualify a student for reinstatement of the Chafee grant, as required by law, must be included in the policy.
4. If a student changes schools, does their SAP status follow them to a new school?
This can vary depending on the campus. A student should inquire with the financial office at the college that they plan to attend as to whether the college requires the submission of transcripts from prior institutions.
1. If a student was disqualified based on SAP during the Fall term but will be receiving the grant for the subsequent Spring term under the new eligibility, how is that indicated in WebGrants?
On the Chafee eligibility screen, you should uncheck the term that the student is ineligible for based on SAP status in the Webgrants payment roster screen. The other terms should be left checked unless you know for certain that the student will not be making SAP, in that case, you would mark the student as “not meeting SAP”using the ineligibility reason for the entire academic year. The payment roster screen allows you to select eligibility for individual terms (see screenshot below). If a box is checked for an awarded student, it is holding funds in reserve for the student for that term.
2. Will CSAC develop a tool within WebGrants to help campuses track SAP eligibility for the Chafee grant?
CSAC is evaluating the feasibility of modifying WebGrants to support eligibility tracking.
3. Can CSAC create a mechanism in WebGrants such that financial aid offices can verify whether an education plan was completed for receipt of Chafee as required in SB 150?
CSAC is evaluating the feasibility of creating a checkbox within WebGrants that can be used for this purpose.