Launched in 2014, FIU’s Fostering Panther Pride (FPP) program offers tailored academic and support services to former foster youth and students experiencing homelessness. The program’s primary goal is to assist these students in their transition to FIU, their retention and graduation, and their pursuit of securing employment or graduate studies upon earning their bachelor’s degree.
FPP tailored support services and participation benefits include:
- Processing DCF and homeless tuition exemption paperwork
- Serve as liaisons between FPP students and FIU Housing & Residential Life to secure housing and promote a smooth transition into on-campus residence
- Connecting students to community resources and partners (i.e.: Homeless Helpline, Educate Tomorrow, Voices for Children, HANDY, etc.)
- Access to the FPP Cupboard (food, toiletries, and other personal care items) and the university’s Student Food Pantry.
- Dedicated Success Coaches who provide students with a support system and help them navigate university processes pertaining to admissions, financial aid, registration, and housing. Staff also assists students with accessing institutional resources (i.e.: academic advising, tutoring, counseling services, career development services) for academic and professional development.
- Students are paired with FIU faculty, staff, and/or alumni mentors who serve as guides through their academic journey.
- Access to priority course registration.
- Laptop loan program
- Access to book stipends and housing scholarships
Beginning Fall 2018, first time college students and transfer students seeking to use the DCF Tuition Exemption and/or the Homeless Tuition Exemption benefit must submit the tuition exemption to the Fostering Panther Pride program office in SASC-205.
In order to process DCF/Homeless tuition exemptions for subsequent semesters, students are required to:
- Meet with their academic advisor to discuss enrollment.
- Meet with FPP staff to verify enrollment. Upon this meeting, the DCF/Homeless tuition exemption will be processed.
- Tuition exemption will not be processed if students fail to meet with FPP staff.