Fostering College Readiness


​An initiative of the Philadelphia Education Fund and the Brook J. Lenfest Foundation, Fostering College Readiness supports students who are or were in foster or kinship care apply to and succeed in college.

2 students in blue caps and gowns toss caps in air.
Students' graduation caps very decorated in a view from behind.

Who We Serve

The Fostering College Readiness program targets current high school students who are experiencing or who have experienced foster care through the Philadelphia Department of Human Services at any point after their 16th birthday.

High school graduates or GED-holders also may be served by the program, although their educational support services may differ in nature from the high school-aged cohort.


Get in Touch

Madeline Birkner
Senior Manager, Persistence and College Partnerships

Follow us on Instagram @fosteringPEF!

What We Offer

Students engaged with our program are supported with

  • Personalized college counseling
  • 1-on-1 Financial aid help
  • Skill-building workshops
  • Access to the Lenfest Immensitas Scholarship for college room and board
  • College transition support

During the 2021-22 school year, counseling sessions and workshops will be in-person and virtual. As pandemic-related restrictions are relaxed, we will hold other enrichment opportunities for high school-aged foster youth, such as campus visits, expert speaker series, and hands-on career exploration.

Graduation cap adorned on top with the words "She's on her way"!

Youth involved in foster care experience unique challenges and barriers to educational attainment. Approximately 50% of former foster youth will attend college, 8% will graduate, and less than 3% will earn a degree by age 25.