Postsecondary Education policy is not intended to allow persons already attending college full-time to quit work and qualify for TANF. As you develop the Responsibility and Services Plan (RSP) at Intake with a college student, discuss how they have been supporting themselves. If they are not working and are not exempt, tell them about the job search requirements they must meet to be approved for TANF. Tell them a final decision about full-time postsecondary education without work will only be made if the application is approved. After case approval, include Postsecondary Education in the RSP, if appropriate.
Approve a general Associate or Bachelor Degree progam under Bachelor/Associate Degree on the RSP.
When deciding if Postsecondary Education is appropriate, use the desk reference to guide your discussion with the client as you develop or revise the RSP with them. Discuss how college fits with their current situation and what they need to go to school. Tell them about the supportive services available through DHS, such as payment for child care, transportation, books, fees, and supplies. Identify possible barriers and how the client plans to overcome them. Determine if the client has the motivation, funding, child care, transportation arrangements, time, etc., needed to succeed in school.
Example 1: A single teen parent who is a full-time college student with a newborn applies for TANF. She has previously supported herself on her financial aid and a part-time job. She states she is not able to work and go to school right now. If she meets the criteria for approval of Postsecondary Education, include it in the RSP if the case is approved.
Example 2: A single mother of 2 children, ages 10 and 11, applies for TANF. She is a high school graduate with a CNA certificate. She has been employed off and on as a CNA and other entry level jobs for the past 3 years. She is currently enrolled in the local community college, taking 12 credit hours. She is majoring in Computer Technology, working toward an Associate of Arts Degree. She has attended off and on, dropping several classes and is carrying a 2.2 cumulative GPA. She has earned 12 credit hours in the past 18 months. Work with the client during the application process as you would with other TANF applicants. Explain the Intake job search requirements. Explain to her that based on her current level of education, her possession of a CNA certificate, her work history and lack of recent progress in school, full-time school attendance will not be approved at this time.