Michigan taxpayers would be able to donate a portion of their tax return to the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund if a bill finalized by the Legislature is signed into law.
Senate Bill 197, sponsored by Sen. Peter MacGregor, would add the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund to the list of organizations that taxpayers are eligible to donate to on state tax forms, known as the Michigan Voluntary Contributions Schedule.
“The Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund does a great job helping our state’s foster youth to afford college,” said Sen. MacGregor, R-Rockford. “Foster kids can face unique challenges that should not stand in the way of earning a college degree, and the fund is there to lend a helping hand so they can focus on academic achievement. My bill provides another convenient way for taxpayers to donate to this worthy cause with a simple checkoff on their tax return to the state.”
The Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund provides eligible foster youth with scholarships to assist with tuition, room and board, and other costs associated with enrollment. Scholarships are available for students enrolled in Michigan degree-granting colleges and universities. Since 2012, fundraising efforts have totaled more than $1.1 million through individual and group donations, sponsorships, ticket sales, auctions and many volunteer-based fundraising events.
According to the Department of Treasury, which oversees the program, there are approximately 13,000 children in the Michigan foster care system at any given time. A growing number of Michigan youth are reaching adult age while in foster care and have no resources to attend college when they age out of the system.
For more information about the Fostering Futures Scholarship, go to www.fosteringfutures-mi.com.
“I am happy that, after several years, we were finally able to approve this legislation to support a great cause that helps our state’s foster youth,” said Sen. MacGregor.
The senator introduced a similar bill in 2015.
SB 197 and its companion bill, SB 196, await the governor’s signature.