If you’re a low income Louisiana student, you may be eligible for free support from the MJ Foster Promise Program! This program provides financial assistance and other support for students who are pursuing an education in high-demand industries like construction, healthcare and IT!
In this article, we will review what the MJ Foster Promise Program is, who is eligible for it, and how it can help you achieve your educational dreams.
What is the MJ Foster Promise Program?
The MJ Foster Promise Program offers support for low income students in Louisiana who are pursuing careers in certain fields. Students who are pursuing associates degrees, technical certificates and other qualifications may be eligible to participate.
This program, which is named after former Louisiana governor Mike J. Foster, began in September 2020. The goal is to help solve Louisiana’s shortage of workers in essential fields by making it easier for low income students to pursue the education required to fill those jobs. It helps people earn more money, and it helps the state fill those positions. Everybody wins!
Grants from the MJ Foster Promise Program can be used to pay for tuition, fees, and other expenses.
What does this program do?
This program can provide up to $6,400 toward your tuition and fees over a three-year period. The grant can be provided as a certain amount per year for three years, or it can be received all at once if you are enrolled in a certain high cost program.
The actual amount you receive will depend on the other financial aid you are eligible for. This is a “last dollar” award, which means that you have to apply all other forms of financial aid first. If there is still a balance due, the MJ Foster Promise Program will help fill that gap. However, you cannot receive a refund from this program.
The MJ Foster Promise Program is what is known as a “last dollar” award. That means that this program will provide financial assistance after you’ve already completed your FAFSA and used other sources of financial aid.
Who is eligible for this program?
In order to be eligible for the MJ Foster Promise Program, you must meet some very specific guidelines.
- You must be a US citizen.
- You must be a Louisiana resident.
- You must be at least 21 years old.
- You must have a household income that is 300% of the Federal Poverty Level or less.
- You must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent (or co-enroll in a program that can provide high school credentials)
- You must enroll before the enrollment deadline each year, since this fund is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
While you are participating in the program, you will be required to perform at least 20 hours of community service, internships, or mentorships per year. If you do not do this, you will not be able to receive the award every year.
After you complete your program, you will have to live in Louisiana for at least one more year.
Unfortunately, there are some things that can disqualify you from receiving assistance from the MJ Foster Promise Program.
- You cannot have previously earned a undergraduate degree.
- You cannot have been convicted of any crime of violence.
- You cannot be incarcerated.
How do I apply for this program?
If you meet the eligibility requirements for this program and you want to participate, there are a few steps that you will need to take.
- Fill out your FAFSA application.
- Complete the MJ Foster Promise Program application.
- Apply to a participating college.
- Enroll in a participating program.
Only certain colleges are approved to participate in the MJ Foster Promise Program. These colleges include:
- Baton Rogue Community College
- Bossier Parish Community College
- Central Louisiana Technical Community College
- Delgado Community College
- Fletcher Technical Community College
- Louisiana Delta
- Louisiana State University Eunice
- Northshore Technical Community College
- Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College
- Nunez Community College
- River Parishes Community College
- South Louisiana Community College
- Sowela Technical Community College
- Southern University Shreveport Louisiana
- Approved Proprietary Schools
Even if you select an approved school, you also need to enroll in an approved program. There are over 200 approved programs to choose from.
The list of approved programs includes but is not limited to:
- Architectural Engineering
- Artificial Intelligence
- Automation Engineer
- Automotive Engineering
- Automotive Repair
- Clinical or Medical Laboratory Assistant
- Composite Materials Technology
- Computer Engineering
- Computer Graphics
- Computer Programming
- Computer & Information Sciences
- Concrete Fishing
- Construction Trades
- Cyber Forensics
- Data Modeling
- Data Science
- Dental Assisting
- Drafting & Design Engineering
- Drywall Installation
- Forklift Operation
- Health Aide
- Health Information
- HVAC Technology
- Information Technology
- Metal Fabrication
- Mining Technology
- Physical Therapy Assistant
- Robotics Technology
- and more!
You can find the full list of approved programs in this PDF.
The MJ Foster Promise Program is a great way for low income Louisiana residents to save money on their education expenses. This program provides financial support to eligible students who want to pursue an education in a high-demand field like construction or health care. This program, which began in 2020, has helped many students afford their education.