Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance
A Program of the Board of Regents

What is the M.J. Foster Promise Program?

The M.J. Foster Promise Program provides financial assistance to eligible students who enroll in a qualified program at a two-year public college or university, or an accredited proprietary school licensed by the Board of Regents to pursue an associate degree or a shorter-term postsecondary education credential required for certain high-demand, high-wage occupations aligned with Louisiana’s workforce priorities.

The program is named after the former Louisiana Governor Mike J. Foster.

The M.J. Foster Promise Program is available to all eligible Louisiana residents (21 years or older) with individual student awards available on a first-come, first-served basis. Students will qualify for financial support to earn credentials that align to high-demand jobs in growing industry sectors, such as construction, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, and transportation and logistics.

Industry Sectors

  • Information Technology

    About the Sector: Information Technology, as used here, covers a broad range of occupations, including software development, cybersecurity, and creating visual effects for the movie industry. IT jobs are available in every sector of the economy and in every region of Louisiana. Employers often have difficulty finding enough candidates with the required skill sets, and demand is expected to increase substantially well into the future. With many of these jobs offering opportunities for remote work, the emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) on the part of employers, and high growth projections, the IT sector offers job-seekers with an excellent set of potential career pathways.

     

    About the Jobs: IT jobs offer enormous variety, like working as a network administrator in a hospital or school, protecting critical infrastructure for an industrial operation, selling software solutions to corporate executives, and helping cities offer their services more equitably. You can explore opportunities in your area by clicking the link below. Below the search fields, click “Additional Search Options” and select “Computer and Mathematical Occupations” from the Occupation Group menu. You can narrow down your region as well, but a statewide view may give you the best overall perspective.

     

     

    Choosing a Program: Start by exploring the jobs available as described above, talking to teachers and people in your community, and researching potential employers. You’ll want to consider the work environment and your preferences – do you prefer to work with people? Are there particular work hours that are important to you? Do you need to work remotely? Are you willing to travel? Choose a few fields of work that sound appealing to you, and look at the qualifications for those jobs. The IT sector is often focused on industry-based certifications (IBCs), things like Comp-TIA certifications and specific software packages, and many of these can be acquired through relatively short-term programs. However, many jobs require advanced degrees and/or many years of experience. Almost every IT job will require you to show proof that you have a specific skill set. Make sure you understand the difference and then look for programs that offer the credentials you need.

     

  • Manufacturing

    About the Sector: The Manufacturing industry is one of the leading private employers in every region of Louisiana, making everything from wood products to basic chemicals to the Artemis manned lunar rocket built at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. These regional differences are very important to this sector, so be sure to explore options in your community or the community in which you’d like to live. This industry is robust and projected to continue creating jobs across the state well into the future.

     

    About the Jobs: The Manufacturing industry employs a wide variety of people. Here, we are specifically looking at production and maintenance occupations, including welders, production technicians, and millwrights. Many production tasks are currently being automated through industrial robotics and other technologies. That means that these occupations require technology and computational skills, with far less manual labor required than was the case in previous decades. Manufacturing  workers across the board require increasingly sophisticated skills, often using technologies like drones to conduct inspections and imaging systems to evaluate the integrity of critical components. Many manufacturing skill sets have significant transferability to other sectors like construction and transportation, providing flexible options for future career pathways. You can explore opportunities in your area by clicking the link below. Below the search fields, click “Additional Search Options” and select “Production Occupations” from the Occupation Group menu.

    About the Sector: The Manufacturing industry is one of the leading private employers in every region of Louisiana, making everything from wood products to basic chemicals to the Artemis manned lunar rocket built at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. These regional differences are very important to this sector, so be sure to explore options in your community or the community in which you’d like to live. This industry is robust and projected to continue creating jobs across the state well into the future.

    About the Jobs: The Manufacturing industry employs a wide variety of people. Here, we are specifically looking at production and maintenance occupations, including welders, production technicians, and millwrights. Many production tasks are currently being automated through industrial robotics and other technologies. That means that these occupations require technology and computational skills, with far less manual labor required than was the case in previous decades. Manufacturing workers across the board require increasingly sophisticated skills, often using technologies like drones to conduct inspections and imaging systems to evaluate the integrity of critical components. Many manufacturing skill sets have significant transferability to other sectors like construction and transportation, providing flexible options for future career pathways. You can explore opportunities in your area by clicking the link below. Below the search fields, click “Additional Search Options” and select “Production Occupations” from the Occupation Group menu.

     

     

    Choosing a Program: Start by exploring the jobs available as described above, talking to teachers and people in your community, and researching potential employers. You’ll want to consider the work environment and your preferences – do you prefer to be physically active or to be seated? Are there particular work hours that are important to you? Do you want to work with sophisticated technology? Are you willing to travel? Choose a few fields of work that sound appealing to you, and look at the qualifications for those jobs. Many production and maintenance jobs require education and training that can be accomplished in two years or less, and apprenticeship programs can be an excellent option.

     

    Choosing a Program: Start by exploring the jobs available as described above, talking to teachers and people in your community, and researching potential employers. You’ll want to consider the work environment and your preferences – do you prefer to be physically active or to be seated? Are there particular work hours that are important to you? Do you want to work with sophisticated technology? Are you willing to travel? Choose a few fields of work that sound appealing to you, and look at the qualifications for those jobs. Many production and maintenance jobs require education and training that can be accomplished in two years or less, and apprenticeship programs can be an excellent option.

     

  • Construction

    About the Sector: The Construction industry provides a huge variety of career pathways. The sector includes residential construction, or home-building; commercial construction, building things like office buildings and malls; industrial construction, building large manufacturing plants, refineries, and so on; and civil construction, which is the building of roads, highways, levees and similar projects. Construction work also offers many opportunities for self-employment. Louisiana has consistent demand for construction workers due to general building trends as well as state-specific factors like disaster recovery, significant investments in flood protection systems, and major industrial activity, providing excellent employment prospects now and in the future.

     

    About the Jobs: Construction jobs are often highly specialized, with workers developing increasingly sophisticated skill sets within fields like welding, carpentry, electrical, and plumbing, often called crafts or trades. However, there are also major opportunities for multi-craft workers. Much construction work is outside, but there are indoor jobs as well, so be sure to consider your preferences. Highly skilled specialized workers may spend much of their time at job sites away from home. Many construction skill sets have significant transferability to other sectors like manufacturing and transportation, providing flexible options for future career pathways. You can explore opportunities in your area by clicking the link below and selecting “Construction and Extraction Occupations” from the search criteria. You can narrow down your region as well, but a statewide view may give you the best overall perspective.

     

     

    Choosing a Program: Start by exploring the jobs available as described above, talking to teachers and people in your community, and researching potential employers. You’ll want to consider the work environment and your preferences – do you prefer to be physically active or to be seated? Indoors or outdoors? Are there particular work hours that are important to you? Do you want to work with sophisticated technology? Are you willing to travel? Choose a few fields of work that sound appealing to you, and look at the qualifications for those jobs. Many construction jobs require education and training that can be accomplished in two years or less, and apprenticeship programs can be an excellent option.

     

  • Transportation and Warehousing

    About the Sector: Transportation and Warehousing, as used here, is focused on vehicle operation and maintenance as well as logistics. In general, this industry sector is responsible for moving people and materials safely from one place to another and storing materials temporarily on the way to their final destination. Major employers in Louisiana include airlines, railways, trucking companies, and warehousing operations. Perhaps surprisingly, many agricultural jobs fall within this sector, due to the importance of vehicle operation and maintenance to these fields. There are significant regional differences in opportunities, but every region of the state offers excellent career prospects in this sector.

     

    About the Jobs: Transportation jobs generally focus on operating vehicles such as aircraft, ships, trucks, and autonomous vehicles; or maintaining those vehicles. Some transportation jobs will allow you to return home each night, but many of them entail major time away from home. Warehousing jobs are often fast-paced and employ software to manage extremely complex supply chains. Many transportation and warehousing skill sets have significant transferability to other sectors like manufacturing and construction, providing flexible options for future career pathways. You can explore opportunities in your area by clicking the link below and selecting “Transportation and Material Handling Occupations” from the search criteria. You should also look under “Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations” for vehicle maintenance jobs, and you may want to explore some of the other groups for relevant occupations. You can narrow down your region as well.

     

     

    Choosing a Program: Start by exploring the jobs available as described above, talking to teachers and people in your community, and researching potential employers. You’ll want to consider the work environment and your preferences – do you prefer to be physically active or to be seated? Indoors or outdoors? Are there particular work hours that are important to you? Do you want to work with sophisticated technology? Are you willing to travel or do you need to return home each day? Choose a few fields of work that sound appealing to you, and look at the qualifications for those jobs. Many transportation and warehousing jobs require education and training that can be accomplished in two years or less, and apprenticeship programs can be an excellent option.

     

  • Healthcare

    About the Sector: The Healthcare sector covers everything from hospitals and clinics to nursing homes and pharmacies. This sector offers a very broad set of opportunities with great variability in work environments and the level of education required to enter the field. Healthcare is growing fast in every region of the state and is expected to offer excellent career prospects well into the future.

    About the Jobs: Healthcare jobs offer enormous variety. Here, we are focused on the types of healthcare jobs that require two year or less of education, which includes many types of nurses as well as respiratory therapists, pharmacy technicians, and medical billing and coding specialists. Many of these jobs involve direct contact with patients, while others are more behind the scenes. There is significant variability in pay rates and many healthcare jobs entail working non-standard hours. Many healthcare jobs offer opportunities to enter the field after relatively brief educational preparation with career ladders that provide for further advancement with additional credentials. Some employers will offer benefits like tuition reimbursement for further education. Also be aware that many of these fields require licensing that may not be available to people with certain types of criminal histories. You can explore opportunities in your area by clicking the link below and selecting “Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations” and “Healthcare Support Occupations” from the search criteria. You can narrow down your region as well, but a statewide view may give you the best overall perspective.

     

    Choosing a Program: Start by exploring the jobs available as described above, talking to teachers and people in your community, and researching potential employers. You’ll want to consider the work environment and your preferences – do you prefer to work with people? Are there particular work hours that are important to you? Do you have any obstacles to receiving the required licenses? Choose a few fields of work that sound appealing to you, and look at the qualifications for those jobs. Then look for programs that offer the credentials you need.

     

What is the Award Amount for the M.J. Foster Promise Program?

The M.J. Foster Promise Program will serve as a “last dollar” award, which means all applicants will be required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine or demonstrate eligibility for other sources of federal aid. M.J. Foster Promise Award can be used over a period of three years to cover tuition and fees, but students cannot receive a refund from the M.J. Foster Promise Program.

The award amount of $3,200 per award year is for a student enrolled full time. Students can receive a maximum of $6,400 over a period of 3 years. A student may receive the maximum award amount of $6,400 in one year for certain high cost programs. The award amount will be applied to any balance for tuition and fees after all federal, state, and institutional aid has been applied, so award amounts will differ student by student.

For FAFSA assistance, email GeauxFAFSA@la.gov

Applicants must complete the 2022-2023 FAFSA application prior to submitting the M.J. Foster Promise Application to be considered for the program.

Where can you use a M.J. Foster Promise Award?

What are the eligibility requirements for the M.J. Foster Promise Program?

Students must enroll by January 30, 2023 to maintain their spot on the eligible list. Those who do not enroll by this date will be removed from the eligible list and must reapply. 

  • To be eligible for an M.J. Foster Promise Award, a student must:
    • Be 21 years of age as of the date the school bills LOSFA for your award.
    • Have earned a high school diploma or equivalent or co-enroll in a qualified program of study and in a program to earn a high school credential that is recognized by the state of Louisiana.
    • Be a U.S. Citizen and a Louisiana Resident*
    • Have not previously earned an undergraduate degree at the associate level or above.
    • Must complete the MJ Foster Program Award Application
    • Must have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the academic year in which they will be enrolled
    • If a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces and been separated from service, have received an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions.
    • Meet the admission requirements of the institution the student plans to attend; and
    • Enroll and remain enrolled in an eligible program of study through the 14th class day at semester schools, or, for any qualifying summer sessions, students attending proprietary schools, and students enrolled in a program that is not provided on a traditional semester/term basis, through the end of the last day to drop and receive a full refund for the course of study in which enrolled.
    • Agree to reside and work full time in Louisiana for a minimum of one year after the completion of the last program of study for which funding is received.
    • Agree to perform each year funding is received at least 20 hours of community service or participate in at least 20 hours in an internship, apprenticeship, or mentorship that is related to the qualified program of study.
    • The student must also certify that:
      • They are not currently imprisoned; and
      • They have not been convicted of a violent crime; and
      • They have a family income that does not exceed three hundred percent of the federal poverty guidelines; or certify that they are currently unemployed or has been underemployed for a period of at least six months prior to the date they would receive an award.

    *The student must have actually lived and resided in Louisiana for 24 months prior to completing the FAFSA to be considered a Louisiana resident for the MJ Foster Promise Program. If the student was a veteran of the United States Armed Forces who received an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions, and after separating from active duty, must become a Louisiana resident within 24 months prior to the application date.

  • To maintain eligibility to receive an M.J. Foster Promise Award, a recipient must:
    • Annually complete the FAFSA.
    • Annually complete the on-line application for an M.J. Foster Promise Program award.
    • Make steady academic progress
    • Remain in good academic standing at the college in which enrolled.
    • Maintain continuous enrollment, unless granted an exception
    • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 calculated on a 4.00 scale in a qualified program for which letter grades are issued.
    • Maintain steady academic progress in a qualified program for which letter grades are not issued.
    • Not be incarcerated and not have a conviction for any violent crime
    • If a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces and been separated from service, have received an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions.
    • Have received the award for not more than three consecutive academic years unless granted an exception
    • Have not used the award to earn more than sixty (60) hours of college credit.
    • Certify the completion of at least twenty (20) hours of community service or twenty (20) hours of participation in an apprenticeship, internship, or mentorship for the prior calendar year.
    • A recipient may continue to receive an award under this section after they have completed one or more qualified programs of study other than an associate’s degree if:
      • They continue to meet all of the continuing eligibility requirements
      • They have not exhausted the maximum award eligibility of six thousand four hundred dollars ($6,400).
      • They have not received the award for three years.

If a student does not meet the continuation requirements, a Request for Exception to the Continuation Requirements can be filed with the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Contact LOSFA staff at MJFoster.Promise@la.gov for more information.

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