Top Ten States Offering Scholarships for Foster Youth

Scholarships for foster youth transitioning from foster care to higher education can pose challenges. Foster youth face unique hurdles such as financial strain, academic instability, and a lack of support.

Scholarships play a crucial role in helping them achieve their educational goals.

Scholarships for Foster Youth
[Photo: Arizona Department of Child Safety]

Top 10 States for Foster Youth Scholarships


  1. California Chafee Grant for Dependent Youth
    • This grant provides financial assistance to current or former foster youth for college or vocational training.
    • In California, around 3,000 students benefit from this grant each year.
  2. Seymour Thaler Scholarship
  3. Foster Youth A.A. Transfer Scholarship


  1. Texas Tuition Exemption for Former Foster Care Children
    • Texas provides a tuition exemption for students who were in foster care on or after their 16th birthday.
    • This program helps these students attend public colleges or universities without paying tuition.
  2. Texas Foster Youth Scholarship Program
  3. Horatio Alger National Scholarship


  1. Florida Foster Care Education and Training Grant
    • This grant in Florida supports foster youth in their educational journey.
    • It addresses the financial challenges these students often face, ensuring they have access to the resources needed for success.
  2. Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program
    • Florida Bright Futures is a merit-based scholarship program.
    • While not exclusive to foster youth, it provides opportunities for academic achievers, including those who have overcome challenges like being in foster care.
  3. National Foster Parent Association Youth Scholarship
    • This national scholarship, though not state-specific, supports foster youth across the country, including those in Florida.
    • It aims to encourage educational pursuits by alleviating financial constraints.

New York

  1. New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
    • TAP provides tuition assistance to eligible New York residents, including foster youth. The program considers financial need, making higher education more accessible to those who might face economic challenges.
  2. EOF Scholarship
    • The Educational Opportunity Program (EOF) in New York includes a scholarship component. It focuses on students with exceptional financial need, ensuring that individuals, including foster youth, can access and complete higher education.
  3. Horatio Alger National Scholarship
    • This nationally available scholarship is open to students in New York, offering substantial financial aid to those in need, fostering academic achievement.
Scholarships for Foster Youth
Scholarships can play a major role in helping foster youth achieve their educational goals. [Photo:]

Scholarships for Foster Youth Application Key Components

Completed Application Form:

Acquire the application form for your desired scholarship. It’s the foundation of your application.

Fill in all necessary details, including personal information, educational background, and any specific questions from the scholarship provider.

Personal Statement:

This is a vital part of your application, allowing you to share your story, achievements, challenges, and aspirations.

Be authentic, expressing your passion for education and how the scholarship contributes to your goals.

Tailor it to align with the scholarship program’s values.

Letters of Recommendation:

  • Most scholarships need recommendation letters.
  • Pick individuals who know you well and can vouch for your character, academic abilities, and potential.
  • These could be teachers, mentors, or employers.
  • Give them ample time to write compelling letters highlighting your strengths.


  • Scholarship applications commonly require transcripts.
  • They offer a comprehensive view of your academic performance.
  • Ensure transcripts are up-to-date and accurately reflect your achievements.
  • Address any exceptional circumstances in your personal statement.

Proof of income:

Tips for a Successful Application:

  • Start Early: Begin the application process well in advance of the deadline to avoid last-minute stress and ensure all components are thoroughly prepared.
  • Follow Instructions: Carefully read and follow all instructions provided by the scholarship program. Failure to adhere to guidelines may result in disqualification.
  • Tailor Your Application: Customize your application for each scholarship. Highlight experiences and achievements that directly align with the scholarship criteria.
  • Seek Feedback: Before submitting, ask teachers, mentors, or peers to review your application. Constructive feedback can enhance the quality of your submission.
  • Be Genuine: Scholarship committees appreciate authenticity. Share your genuine experiences and aspirations, as this can set your application apart.

Tips for Success in College for Foster Youth

  • Get involved in campus life.
  • Build relationships with professors and advisors.
  • Utilize tutoring and support services.
  • Don’t give up on your dreams.


Scholarships significantly aid foster youth in achieving their educational goals. Research and apply for scholarships to increase your chances of attending college and graduating debt-free.

Additional Resources

  • National Foster Youth Institute
  • National Foster Parent Association
  • Children’s Defense Fund