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Independent Living

Tuition and Fee Exemption

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Florida provides tuition and fee exemptions to eligible young adults. The waiver is available for state (public) universities, colleges in the Florida College System, and school district workforce education programs.

A student is eligible for the fee exemption if the student was the subject of a shelter proceeding, a dependency proceeding, or a termination of parental rights proceeding, and:

  • Is, or was at the time he or she reached 18 years of age, in out-of-home care.
  • Is, or was at the time he or she reached 18 years of age, in the custody of a relative or nonrelative pursuant to ss. 39.5085 or 39.6225, F.S.
  • After spending at least six months in the custody of the Department after reaching 16 years of age, was placed in a guardianship by the court.
  • After reaching 14 years of age and thereafter spending at least 18 months in out-of-home care, was reunited with his or her parent or parents who were the subject of the dependency proceeding before he or she reaches 18 years of age, including a student who is reunited under s. 39.8155, F.S. For a student to be eligible under this subparagraph, the student must be Pell Grant-eligible, and the entity imposing the tuition and fees must verify such eligibility.
  • Was adopted from the Department after May 5, 1997.
  • Was placed in a permanent guardianship, regardless of whether the caregiver participates or participated in the Relative Caregiver Program under s. 39.5085, F.S., and remains in such guardianship until the student either reaches 18 years of age or, if before reaching 18 years of age, he or she enrolls in an eligible institution

**The exemption remains valid until the student reaches 28 years of age. See s. 1009.25(1)(c), F.S.

For questions regarding eligibility or how to obtain a Tuition and Fee Exemption form, CF-FSP 5220, contact your local Community-Based Care Lead Agency or the Office of Continuing Care at 1-850-300-HOPE (1-850-300-4673).

The Office of Continuing Care, part of Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity, offers free, one-on-one help for young people who are about to or have recently transitioned out of foster care, aiming to make the leap into adulthood a positive experience. Learn more by visiting the Office of Continuing Care page.