“Because I fell seriously ill and went broke in one fell swoop, I was never able to finish college — which I’ll regret for the rest of my life, no matter how many book deals I get.”
Dear Ms. Norman,
As a former Admissions Officer I have known foster children who did go back to finish their college degrees; and I encourage you to do the same. Several schools in New England admit returning students to their regular programs through targeted admission programs. These are not extension or general studies programs; in at the following schools you earn the same degree as traditional age students.
As an alumna, I have a personal interest in you applying to the Frances Perkins Program for Nontraditional Age Students at Mount Holyoke College. https://www.mtholyoke.edu/fp
However, in the interest of you getting that degree, and a bit of your own back, I also recommend that you apply to the Ada Comstock Scholars Program at Smith. https://www.smith.edu/admission-aid/how-apply/ada-comstock-scholars
As for the other Seven Sisters:
Wellesley has the Davis Degree Program. http://www.wellesley.edu/advising/davis#V1Xh8LOdCKIWflti.97
Bryn Mawr has the McBride Scholars. https://www.brynmawr.edu/admissions/mcbride-scholars
Amongst the Ivies, Brown offers the Resumed Undergraduate Education Applicants program that specifically states that is: “a small, highly competitive program ideal for students who interrupted or delayed their formal education due to family commitments, financial concerns, health issues, military service, employment opportunities, or simply a compelling need to explore other paths.”
As far as paying for college, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation offers scholarships specifically for foster children who are aging out of the system and want to go to college: http://www.jkcf.org/foundation-awards-500000-grant-to-orphan-foundation-of-america/
Since you might not qualify for the Jack Kent Cooke scholarships, I thought this list might be helpful to you personally: 10 Scholarships for Women Returning to College https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/loans/student-loans/10-fantastic-scholarships-women-returning-education/
I wish you all the best with your writing and career endeavors, but I urge you, in the strongest way possible, to go back to college and get your degree; for yourself and for the foster kids who will be reading your book and know that someone out there cares what happens to them.