Foster Youth College Success Initiative

Every student deserves a bright future. Funding available through SUNY’s Foster Youth College Success Initiative (FYCSI) can help you earn your undergraduate degree from SUNY Empire State University and set yourself up for a lifetime of success.

What is the Foster Youth College Success Initiative?

The Foster Youth College Success Initiative (FYCSI) is a state-funded program that connects youth in foster care, eligible orphans, or wards of the court, many of whom are accepted into SUNY’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), with academic support services and financial assistance to help enroll in, pay for, and successfully complete college. While participation in EOP is not a requirement, those who are eligible are strongly encouraged to apply. New students qualifying for FYCSI are offered the opportunity to take part in our Empire Promise Program, which provides academic coaching, support, programming, and intensive advisement.

Who is eligible for FYCSI funding?

The FYCSI makes college possible for academically underprepared and economically disadvantaged students. You are eligible to seek FYCSI aid if you live in New York state and:

  • You are an orphan or ward of the court
  • You meet the federal Higher Education Act definition of a foster youth or orphan
  • You have spent time in foster care after your 13th birthday
  • You were adopted from foster care after your 13th birthday
  • You are living with a relative or kin under a kinship guardianship foster care agreement

Please note: the FYCSI also provides supplemental housing and meals to foster students who are not enrolled in an opportunity program on a SUNY campus.

FYCSI Benefits at SUNY Empire State University

In addition to the support services provided to you through the EOP (pre-freshman summer program, academic advisement, individual and group tutoring, counseling, mentoring and supplemental instruction) eligible foster youth receive an award each academic year to help pay for expenses above and beyond tuition.

FYCSI funding can be used for:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • Books and supplies
  • Transportation

For more information about FYCSI, contact the SUNY Empire State University Office of Opportunity Programs at or call 518.581.2204.