Launched in 2016, with generous funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the CUNY Start-ASAP Foster Care Initiative (FCI) builds on the success of CUNY Start and ASAP to support the success of youth from foster care at CUNY. FCI connects youth between the ages of 17-25 who are currently or were formerly part of the New York City foster care system to CUNY Start and/or ASAP.  With the goal of improving persistence and increasing the likelihood of timely associate degree completion, FCI provides a defined pathway from CUNY Start into ASAP for students with significant remedial needs. Students with little or no remedial needs may enter ASAP directly. FCI staff have established strategic partnerships with 19 foster care agencies and intermediaries across the New York City to create a streamlined referral process and provide an additional layer of college advisement and financial support including paid internships and social engagement activities.

Program Eligibility

  • The CUNY Start-ASAP Foster Care Initiative will serve students aged 17-25 who are currently or were formerly in foster care.
  • Students with ACS involvement in justice setting will be considered.
  • Students must be enrolled in CUNY Start/Math Start and/or ASAP/ACE in order to join the FCI.

Program Services & Integrated Supports

Youth in foster care who are part of the CUNY Start-ASAP Foster Care Initiative are eligible for enhanced services and financial support:

  • Assistance with the CUNY admissions and financial aid process;
  • CUNY application fee waiver, tuition assistance, and other financial supports;
  • Academic advisement and college navigation supports;
  • Unlimited MetroCards to support successful participation in CUNY Start or ASAP;
  • Opportunities for free summer and winter courses;
  • Paid, on-campus internships at $15/hour for up to 15 hours a week;
  • Link to year-round on campus housing.

How to Enroll

  1. Complete the online referral form.
  2. Apply online to CUNY.
  3. Complete the FAFSA and TAP applications (To learn more, visit
  4. Accept offer of admission.
  5. Take the CUNY Skills Assessment Test (CAT) (To learn more, visit
  6. Complete immunization requirements.
  7. Attend a CUNY Start, Math Start or ASAP/ACE Info Session and complete the campus-based enrollment steps.
  8. Meet FCI team.

For More Information

Please contact the Foster Care Initiative Program Coordinators:

Phone: 718-254-7791