IUP’s Connections Program for Foster Care Students

Reach higher. See further. Shine brighter.

The Connections program is designed to specifically help foster youth and their support team with information and answers to questions you need when you need them—from admissions to financial aid, and to academic and social support both on and off campus, providing each student with personal excellence in a caring environment.

At IUP, you will be a part of a community that is here to support you, encourage you, and help you find your success from where you are now to graduation day. This program helps provide students with access to mentors, supplies from the food pantry, and year-round on-campus housing options, even over scheduled breaks. You will not only become part of the IUP community, you will have a support team at your side, every step on your journey.

Connect with us.

Please complete the form to provide additional information so we can show a Connection.

Meet Your Team

Once you are admitted to IUP, your "team" will continue to support you until you graduate. Transitioning to college is a challenge, and we are here to provide you with the guidance you may need along the way.

Megan McCue

Assistant Director/Student Advocate

Academic Success Center



How I can help:

  • Assist with matching you up with a peer mentor. Our peer mentors are upperclassmen who can assist with goal setting, time management, and other college transitional topics.
  • Help with academic planning and skill development.
  • Connect you with additional campus resources and services as necessary.

Dr. Erin Fritz

Assistant Director of Financial Aid

Office of Financial Aid



How I can help:

Shawn Jones

Associate Director of Admissions

Office of Undergraduate Admissions



How I can help:

  • Assist with answering all general or specific questions about IUP.
  • Help with your college planning and with completion of your admissions application to IUP.
  • Assist with a planning your campus visit to IUP.

Susan Graham

Clinical Case Manager

Center for Health and Well-Being



How I can help:

  • Connect students to resources and services both on campus and in the community to help them meet their needs.
  • Provide resources and services for a variety of concerns, including health insurance, food and housing insecurity, basic needs such as toiletries and clothing, and mental health resources, among others.
  • Help you find the resources or services you need if you are struggling and having problems or issues and not sure where to go for help.

Hillary B Stitt

Assistant Director

University College



How I can help:

  • Provide support for exploration of major options, and connect students with offices on campus to identify potential careers.
  • Help with navigating university practices and available campus resources.
  • Support academic skill development and building positive relationships on campus by connecting students to a college and peer mentor.

Jennifer Trimble Faught

Associate Director for Occupancy and Marketing

Office of Housing and Dining



How I can help:

  • Assist you in signing up for housing and dining on campus.
  • Assist you to reserve housing over break periods.
  • Answer any housing and dining questions you might have.
  • Help you with any special housing and/or dining accommodations you might need.

A Great Place to Start

Regardless of where you are in your search for a great college, let us help you get started on your pathway to IUP. We will walk you through the entire admissions process, from applying to getting admitted. Preparing for College

Navigate the Financial Aid Process with Us

The financial aid process can often seem confusing and overwhelming. Our job is to help make this process as straightforward and stress-free as possible! Please use the Financial Aid Timeline for a step-by-step guide to maximizing your eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid.

For information about postsecondary tuition eligibility for foster care youth,  please visit Chafee Education and Training Grant Program (pheaa.org) and PA Fostering Independence Tuition Waiver Program (pheaa.org)

Secure Your On-Campus Housing

Our housing staff is here to help you with your housing and dining needs on campus. Follow the steps below to sign up for housing. If you encounter any problems during the process, feel free to reach out to us at IUP-Housing@iup.edu.

  • Log in to your MyIUP account

  • Choose Campus Services

  • Choose Sign up for Housing and Dining

  • Select the term you are applying for housing

  • Complete your personal information

  • Complete your roommate matching questionnaire and choose an available suite/room

Please note: If you have a need for any special accommodations, reach out to us and we will work to get you the accommodations necessary.

We can provide housing year-round, including break periods, if needed.

Get Oriented with IUP

Orientation is required for all incoming students, both first-year students and transfer. Once you submit your deposit to secure your enrollment at IUP, you will be invited to attend New Student Orientation.

During the orientation process, you will complete placement testing that will be used to determine your fall class schedule. Along the way, you will learn about campus services available to you, and much more. Our Student Success Leaders will guide you through your orientation experience and will provide opportunities for peer-to-peer interactions.

Please be sure to check your IUP email and MyIUP account often to receive information about your orientation program and other announcements through the summer months.

Tips along the way

  • Start the process early by beginning with the admission application. Completing the admission application as early as possible will maximize your receipt of information about financial aid opportunities

  • Start a financial aid folder to keep all your financial aid documents and information organized. Be sure to keep this folder throughout your years in college.

  • Do not miss a deadline. Each year, students miss out on receiving "gift aid" (scholarships and grants) because of missed deadlines. It cannot be stressed enough—apply early for financial aid! Make sure to review financial aid applications for accuracy and completeness.

  • Meet with your guidance counselor to help you through the college search and financial aid process. Talk with them often throughout this process for help.

  • Begin to search and apply for outside scholarships. You can use one of the free scholarship searches online, such as those at FastWeb, College Board, or GoCollege, or use scholarship handbooks at your public library. Remember, never pay anyone to find scholarships for you!

  • Check email. Most colleges communicate with students via email. Make sure you check your IUP email and log in to MyIUP on a regular basis.

Case Management Services

Navigating a new university and community setting may seem to be a daunting and overwhelming task for students who are not aware of what resources and services exist and how to take advantage of them.

The clinical case manager meets with students to discuss their needs and struggles and determines how best to assist them. Students are then connected with resources and services both on and off campus to help them meet their needs so that they may be successful at IUP.

Some examples of resources and services with which students can be connected include:

  • Resources for basic needs such food, toiletries, clothing, housing, and utility assistance

  • Mental health resources for both outpatient and inpatient services

  • Assisting students in signing up for health insurance, SNAP (formerly food stamps), and LIHEAP (heating assistance) through medical assistance.

  • Identifying and referring to appropriate campus resources for a variety of concerns

The clinical case manager's office is located in IUP's Counseling Center in the Center for Health and Well-Being on the ground floor of Suites on Maple East. Call 724-357-2621 or email counseling-center@iup.edu for more information or to make an appointment.