Are Scholarships for Foster Youth Available in the U.S.?

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Are Scholarships for Foster Youth Available, and How Can They Help?

Everyone could use college scholarships, but students coming from foster care are usually in dire need of assistance. Most of them don't have the support that regular students do, so getting scholarships and grants could easily make or break their higher education opportunities.

Tuition fees are high and unattainable for most students from foster care in the U.S. To assist these generally underprivileged students, many state-owned and privately-sponsored organizations offer scholarships for foster youth. Because application requirements and procedures vary, DoNotPay jumps in to help with the research and application.

Where To Find Scholarships for Foster Youth

Many organizations throughout the U.S. raise money to fund foster and former foster youth higher education. Where to look for a scholarship depends on whether you:

  • Are currently in a foster system
  • Have grown up out of foster care
  • Have spent some time in the foster system
  • Have been adopted before or after your 16th birthday
  • Spent at least one consecutive year in foster care
  • Have been in a foster family in the U.S. and nowhere else

You should also check all scholarships available in your state.

How Specific States Assist Foster Kids in Getting Higher Education—Good Examples

All U.S. states assist children from foster care to some extent. Refer to the following info for some good examples.

Scholarships for Foster Youth in California

You may be eligible for Continuing Education and Job Training (CEJT) funding in California for graduates and undergraduates if you:

  • Attend a technical school, college, or university
  • Have a Bachelor’s degree


Maryland Waiver is a program enabling foster children to attend college. Eligible candidates must be in foster care at the time of their high school graduation and adopted after their 14th birthday. Note that you must also enroll in a state college or university.


Florida has benefits for foster youths adopted after 1997. They don’t have to cover the expenses of preparatory courses of study.


Massachusetts has a Foster Child Tuition Waiver Program allowing current and former foster candidates to enroll in a state college if they:

  • Are between 17 and 24
  • Have been in foster care guided by the state’s Department of Children and Families

How To Find a Scholarship for Foster Kids

Finding and applying for a scholarship or grant is a time-consuming process that could take days or weeks. Many websites list foster care college scholarships by the state and organization, but the information is incomplete, requiring you to do some additional digging.

Even when you shortlist scholarships available to foster youth, you still have to filter them to learn if you qualify, which could last forever. To simplify the research and focus your energy on applying, you need a different approach.

This is where we step in. to complete a short questionnaire and let us take care of the rest. We will deliver a list of scholarships you qualify for in a few minutes.

What Are the Application Rules for Scholarships for Foster Children?

Application requirements depend on the foundation offering tuition to adopted children.

Orphan Foundation of America

The Orphan Foundation of America grants scholarships to undergraduates younger than 25 if they have:

  • Been adopted after they turned 16
  • Spent one consecutive year in foster care before their 18th birthday
  • Lost both parents before turning 18 years

California College Pathways

California College Pathways is an initiative aiming to assist adopted children who aspire to get a college degree. They instruct the candidates and their guardians how to:

  1. Access financial aid for a higher education
  2. Find adequate support programs
  3. Make sustainable plans for their future education

To apply, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The deadline is usually in early March.

Emy’s Promise

Emy’s Promise delivers educational grants for women who have spent some time in foster care in Florida. For application details, send an email to

United Friends of the Children

To apply for this organization’s scholarship, you must complete a Next Step Tool Assessment at an Access Center and be:

  • Between 18 and 24
  • Former foster youth
  • Homeless or at risk of becoming homeless

Governor’s Scholarship for Foster Youth (Washington State)

To be considered for this scholarship, a candidate must:

  • Be a high school senior
  • Have a GPA of at least 2.0
  • Enroll full-time in a state-owned university or college
  • Be a resident at least three academic years before graduation
  • Have been placed in foster care, Guardianship or Dependency Guardianship, or federally recognized care

DoNotPay Can Help You Find a Scholarship in No Time

To make the process easier, to find scholarships you are eligible for in the blink of an eye. You should answer a few questions regarding your residency, academic interests, grades, and special qualifications (veteran, for instance). We will use the info to narrow down and list scholarships, grants, and prizes you qualify for.

You can even authorize us to automatically apply for no-essay scholarships since their rules are different from essay-based grants. We can also help you find scholarships for international students and learn how to get a letter of recommendation.

For a brief overview of the benefits we offer compared to online search, refer to the table below:

Search MethodWhat You Can Expect
  • Personalized search
  • Results are available in a few minutes
Online research
  • Scattered information
  • The research process is demanding and lengthy

To benefit from our convenient and quick service, complete the following steps:

  1. Access DoNotPay
  2. Select the Apply for Scholarships feature
  3. Choose the level of study
  4. Complete the questionnaire

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