Foster Youth Services Frequently Asked Questions

Foster Youth Services Frequently Asked Questions

What are the initial requirements for Next Up?
The qualifications to be eligible for the program are:
  • Be considered a California Foster Youth between 16 and 25 years old.
  • Be enrolled in 9 or more units at the time you apply (unless approved for less through Disability Resources Department -DRD).
  • Be receiving EOPS services.
  • Not be older than 25 at the beginning of the academic year
       EOPS Eligibility:
  • Resident of California or AB-540
  • Not have completed more than 70 units that are applicable to a college degree
  • Qualify for a California College Promise Grant type A1, A2, A3, or B (formerly known as the Board of Governors’ Waiver- BOGW)
  • Be considered educationally disadvantaged according to EOPS regulations 
How do I apply?

Apply for EOPS:

  • Apply for a California College Promise Grant through Financial Aid (or complete the FAFSA or California Dream Act application)
  • Complete an EOPS Application
  • Submit Official Transcripts from all previous colleges attended
Once a student has been approved for EOPS, completed an EOPS/NextUp Orientation & 1 hour contract appointment with an EOPS counselor, they can receive NextUp services.
Do I need to be in EOPS to be eligible for Bear Cub Scholars?
No, you do not have to be in EOPS to get Bear Cub Scholars services. 
Can I be in NextUp and Bear Cub Scholars?
NextUp is a state-funded program with strict eligibility requirements. Our Bear Cub Scholars Program serves students that do not qualify for our NextUp Program.
I was told I needed to provide proof that I was in foster care to receive services. How do I get my Foster Youth Verification Letter?
We have three suggestions for tracking down your Foster Youth Verification Letter:
  • If you were in foster care in Sonoma County, make an appointment with our staff.
  • If your case is currently open, contact your social worker or probation officer: Your Social worker or probation officer should have access to your Foster Youth Verification letter.
  • If you were in foster care outside of Sonoma County, contact the Foster Care Ombudsman’s office: Former foster youth may request a verification letter from California Department of Social Services by calling the Foster Care Ombudsman’s office, toll free at 1-877-846-1602, or by calling the Foster Care Support Services Bureau, at (916) 651-7465. The CDSS will make an effort to process all requests for a verification letter in a timely manner. The letter will be completed by CDSS as soon as possible with a goal of no more than 5 business days after the request is made. Letters can be received via fax, email, U.S. mail, or in person. 
I receive services through the Disability Resources Department and I cannot enroll in 9 units. Can I still be eligible for Next Up?
Although all NextUp students are required to enroll in 9 units at the time of application, a student approved through our Disability Resources Department (DRD) to take less than 9 units can still be in the program. We have a form you can pick up from NextUp staff.  After the initial contract appointment, the EOPS/NextUp Counselor and student will determine the amount of units per semester that best supports a student’s ability to accomplish their education goal.
I’ve been placed on Academic Probation or not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) through the Financial Aid Office. Can I still receive Next Up grants and benefits?
Yes, students can receive NextUp benefits regardless of their status with Financial Aid.