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PHOENIX -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill that will allow foster children to attend state universities and colleges for free.

Brewer signed Senate Bill 1208 Thursday without comment. The bill establishes a 5-year tuition waiver pilot program for current or former foster children who were in state care while under the age of 17.

Children who were adopted from foster care after the age of 16 also qualify.

The children must be legal residents, complete at least 30 hours of volunteer service each year and remain in good academic standing.

State officials estimate the bill will increase the number of Arizona foster children at state universities by 50 percent. More than 100 foster children are expected to receive tuition and fee waivers through the pilot program in 2014.

Associated Press,

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