From Foster Care to College Life

From Foster Care to College Life
SparkAction (at press time, Connect for Kids)
Julee Newberger
March 23, 2001
Average: 4.1 (34 votes)
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Growing up in foster care, Adam Cornell didn't think much about going to college. He moved from home to home outside Seattle, Washington, worrying about food, clothing and shelter more than academics. But toward the end of high school, his best friends and a favorite teacher convinced him that he could succeed in higher education.

"College is not something people talk to foster children about," Cornell says. "They don't grow up with that cultural expectation."

Cornell went to law school at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Georgetown University, he is one of only 13 percent of kids who age out of foster care and make it through a four-year college. Experts agree that many more kids in foster care could succeed in higher education if they faced fewer barriers.

"College is not something people talk to foster children about ... They don't grow up with that cultural expectation."

 "They are not even expected to succeed academically," Cornell says, "but once we start expecting them to succeed, they will."

As a law clerk at the Juvenile Rights Project in Portland, Cornell helped to author legislation that would provide free tuition for Oregon foster children who go to state schools. Eleven other states already have laws that help kids in care move on to higher education.

"I didn't think about cost too much at the beginning," Cornell says, "which is probably a good thing, because it might have scared me. I went in kind of blindly and put my faith in those people who believed in me."

It Takes More Than Money

Young people making the transition from foster care to independence need more than help with tuition costs. More than 20,000 youth aged 16 and older transition from the foster care system each year. Only 50 percent will have graduated from high school. Over half will be unemployed, and a quarter will be homeless for one or more nights.

The 1999 Foster Care Independence Act gave states more leeway in providing programs to help kids during the precarious period of "aging out." But gaps remain. Many foster youth who enter college do so without reliable access to housing or medical insurance, not to mention family support.

Alfred Perez, who lived in 11 group homes in 4 years, didn't think of himself as a great student, and particularly not as a great test-taker. But thanks to the support of his independent living program in Contra Costa County, California, he applied to college and was accepted.

"I only applied because I knew there were dorms on campus," Perez says, "and I knew if I got in, I would have somewhere to live. I was so afraid of being homeless."

Perez graduated with a 3.7 GPA and only $2,500 worth of loans, thanks to the independent living program that helped him with his financial aid forms.

"Once I decided on the schools I wanted to apply to, the independent living program contacted the schools themselves," Perez says. "I didn't qualify for certain aid because I was working all through high school, so my program made sure that they knew I was a foster youth and my income was temporary. They made sure that I was able to receive full benefits of financial aid," Perez says.

"I only applied because I knew there were dorms on campus ... I was so afraid of being homeless."

A Pell Grant paid for much of his tuition, and his job as a resident assistant took care of housing. Perez worked during the summer to pay for books and living expenses. He also benefited from a program sponsored by a local nonprofit organization and the county department of human services that provides scholarships to youth in transition.

But for many foster youth, applying and reapplying for aid is a struggle. Don Graves, director of the Contra Costa County independent living program, says that filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) itself is the first obstacle. It looks as daunting as an income tax form, and some of the language can be confusing for kids.

"You have to check off 'orphan' or 'ward of the court,'" Graves says. "That signifies you should get more aid. But they're so used to being called foster youth"

David Rippon, formally of the U.S. Dept. of Education says that the government has taken measures to make the FAFSA easier to fill out, such as posting it online. Parents or students who don't have financial aid counselors can call 1-800-4FED-AID for help.

"The kids who are going to have the most difficult time filling out FAFSA and going to college are the kids whose parents didn't go to college," Rippon says. "That group may include foster kids plus others."

Whether or not a student receives financial aid depends on the student's particular situation. Foster youth applying to college should be eligible for Pell Grants, the only federal aid that students do not have to repay. They are also eligible for Stafford Loans, although the amount depends on whether or not the student has income from part-time jobs.

Special Challenges

Many foster youth have moved from school to school throughout their education and find that they have gaps in their learning. They may not be prepared to take on a full course load, which also has impact on their eligibility for financial aid.

Adam Cornell says that many foster youth have not yet learned basic studying skills and time management. "How do you sign up for classes, manage your time, work and go to school when you haven't formed meaningful relationships with people who have already been through it?" Cornell asks.

One foster youth describes the experiences of friends who dropped out of school for a semester or took a summer job and found they were no longer eligible for the same amount of aid upon returning. Other kids do not know they are eligible at all because they don't tell financial aid officers that they were once in foster care.

"They miss out on a lot of money because they think it's stigmatizing," she says. "They say, 'I'm out of the system now, that's behind me.'"

Joan Merdinger, a former professor and now associate Vice President of Faculty Affairs at San Jose State University, surveyed foster youth attending the school. She found that many kids did not want to identify themselves with foster care. "People didn't want to be identified as former foster youths because they'd been so marginalized by their status earlier," Merdinger says.

Merdinger found that foster youth on campus were in dire need of food, housing, financial aid, medical insurance, health insurance and counseling. They did not know about faculty mentoring programs, academic advising, legal counseling services, psychiatric counseling, career planning and other services. To help inform students, Merdinger and her colleagues created a pamphlet about campus services. Rather than addressing the pamphlet to foster youth, they addressed it to first-year students whose parents had not attended college. Merdinger conducted a larger survey of foster youth across California State Universities over the next year.

Programs and Policies

Around the country, programs and policies are beginning to assist foster youth in obtaining a college education. Here is a sample of innovative public and private programs:

  • California State University, Fullerton, in partnership with the county foster care program, offers the Guardian Scholars program for kids who have been in foster care. The program provides tuition, books, year-round housing and faculty mentors.
  • Together with the state department of child welfare, Texas A & M University at Commerce offers a four-year, $1,000 per year scholarship to help pay for room and board for foster youth who qualify. Each student is paired with a faculty or staff mentor and a sponsor family in the community.
  • In Massachusetts, the state department of social services provides state college tuition waivers for foster and adoptive youth.
  • A Connecticut policy enables the Department of Children and Family Services to pay educational expenses—including books, health care and room and board—for foster youth attending college.
  • The Orphan Foundation has given out $1.3 million in scholarships to foster youth in 46 states since 1991. This year, they well give out a total of $1.1 million, thanks to a partnership with Casey Family Programs.

Still, most states do not have legislation or regulations to help foster youth attend college. Eileen McCaffrey of the Orphan Foundation says there is a danger in thinking that piecemeal efforts involving private scholarships and small-scale public programs will ensure that all kids who age out of foster care have a fair chance of going on to college.

Denis Ichikaw, formally a of Casey Family Programs and now Assistant Director of the Human Services Department of Maricopa County, Arizona, agrees. "Tuition is only a small part of the barrier, because most of these children aren't in traditional situations where they have supports from family," Ichikawa says. "Finances are one part of the big picture, which is just getting kids through basic education. What are we going to do to compensate for their lack of support, their living expenses, and a place to go for the holidays?"

For More Information:

Julee Newberger is the former assistant managing editor of Connect for Kids.

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Hello my name is Jennifer I'm 37 years old. I grew up in foster care from the age 9 to 18, this was in Arizona, I know live in grants pass Oregon. I have been going to school for a year at RCC. Is there any scholarships or grants that can help me

August 29 at 01:20pm

Obviously you have no Idea what your talking about clearly you are speaking your opinion and your entitled to it but since you have no clue please shut up! These faster children deserve the right to an education just like everyone else and yes they need the money to go to college and I am a tax payer and if that's where my money goes then so be it! I am in student affairs and you have no idea what these kids go through so they deserve a hand up in life! So please keep your ignorance to your self. That is all.

November 28 at 04:42pm

My name is Summer Blair and ive been a foster child for about 8 years due too drugs and abuse in my family. I know as a foster child i get a full ride to college but since i moved out of my foster home at age 18 what i do not know is what are the restrictions and where to begin so a little help would be nice. Thanks (:

October 31 at 10:51am

During the time in my life that should have been filled with Saturday morning cartoons and Barbie dolls, I was picking up the pieces of an emotional disaster. When I was three years old my mother abandoned me for drugs and I never knew my father. I lived with my grandmother. At the age of nine I found her dead. From then on I lived the life of a runaway; in and out of group homes, selling my worth to make a living, violated too many times to count, and on top of it all, I live in poverty.
I am seventeen years of age, but I feel like I am three times that. I had to grow up quick, learning things about my body I didn’t know. As a kid, I had to learn what life has to offer for a kid with no guidance. At the age of nine I was having sex and didn’t even know what a period was. A child forced to do things just to eat and have a place to sleep. At a young age, one thing I did know was that education is important. I was an honor roll student. I saw my mom on drugs begging me for money to get her next hit. At the age of thirteen I went through a lifetime of trials and tribulations.
I want to major in psychology. I can’t help people if I don’t understand how the minds work. The good thing about me growing up in poverty is I will understand what is needed to make it better. Our future depends on these very kids. These juveniles that are getting locked up or the kids dying over gang violence. Our kids are doing and selling drugs. What does that say about our future? We’re in for a rude awakening. As long as I helped one I will feel great. The only thing I want to get out of this is joy.
I love school; I want to help people especially at risk youth. Growing up in poverty is rough you don’t get the attention you need the love and guidance. Going through this gave me strength to continue my education. Seeing my community and even the schools gives me more motivation. Growing up in a place like this you have a few options you can either join them or beat them. I plan to beat them with my education but I will never forget them, because of my education I will join them for a better cause.
I plan to major in psychology and walk across the stage an honor student. Scholarship or not I will succeed nothing will stop me. I might have minor setbacks but I am determine to help others. I am glad for the opportunity to learn whatever I can, even with the major I will continue in school I will go for my doctoral degree and still keep going. “Education is the key to success”.

October 25 at 05:47pm

Just an update for all of you out there who want to go to college, don't get discouraged! I am in my final semester of grad school and my younger sister had just transferred from community college (after 3 years) to university to finish up her BA in social work. We were in foster care for a while, and later on adopted but got no help at all to pay for school, we were on our own. I joined the military right out of high school and the GI Bill helped me to pay my way through my BA degree, and I'm doing the Master's on my own via student loans. My sister is doing student loans and working. It takes years of hard work, but it's worth it, no one ever thought that we would amount to much, they looked at us as though we would become juvenile delinquents or become minimum wage slaves our whole lives(though we've both been there and done that) but we refused to give them the satisfaction of seeing us live in mediocrity and obscurity. We were born on welfare, but that doesn't mean that we have to continue the cycle. It has taken years of hard work, but we will be able to hold our own because of it. Being in foster care and coming from a rough background can make you stronger than that entitled kids that you're going to school with, making it through that will keep your will strong when others falter and drop out.

August 17 at 02:52am

Hello there Marcia. The first thing to do is register for college, whichever one you plan to attend. Ask for a waiver of fees, its called a BOG WAIVER. It is getting late, and I think late registration is currently taking place at most California Junior Colleges, and classes will have waiting lists.

If you missed the 3/2 deadline and are attending a California Community College, you have until September 2nd to submit your Cal Grant GPA Verification Form and your FAFSA to be considered for a Community College Cal Grant Competitive award. If your school cannot submit your GPA electronically, the paper Cal Grant GPA Verification Form must be certified by the school. To download the September 2 Cal Grant GPA Verification Form and the Instructions go to Your college financial aid office will have a Chaffee form for you to take to the County Foster Care Agency to fill out, then take it back to the college. You can also get this form online at the California Student Aid Commission Chaffee Grant page.

August 13 at 05:04pm

i was in foster care from 13 to 19 and know i am 21 i need help. i want to go to college but i need help i cant afford it what can i do to get proof i was in foster care. can i get help with college or am i to old?

July 24 at 03:00pm

California Student Aid Commission
California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth
Free money for foster youth for college or career training:

If you are or were in foster care and have financial need, you may qualify for up to $5,000 a year for career and technical training or college. You don’t have to pay this money back. You may also be able to use your grant to help pay for child care, transportation and rent while you’re in school. You can use your Chafee Grant at any eligible California college or university or career or technical school, as well as schools in other states.

To qualify, you must be a current or former foster youth and not have reached your 22nd birthday as of July 1 of the award year. The court must have established your dependency when you were between the ages of 16 and 18. (KinGap youth, adopted youth, guardian placement, and voluntary placement may not be eligible for the Chafee Grant, unless court dependence was established, at anytime, between the ages of 16 and 18). The California Department of Social Services will verify your foster youth eligibility status.

The Chafee Grant (ETV) is federal and state funded with a current minimum Chafee Grant amount of $5,000 per academic year, not to exceed cost of attendance. The final award amount will be determined based on the college of attendance and enrollment status.

To complete Chafee Grant application requirements, in addition to verfication of qualifying foster youth status, the following forms must be submitted: Chafee Grant Application, the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), and Chafee Need Analysis Report (NAR)*.

May 28 at 10:03am

Hi David!
That's a tough one. Nevada's community college system might be different than the one in California, but I know that due to my low-income status when I went through community college from 2007-2010 in California I qualified for free tuition and pell grants simply based on being an independent adult student. I supplemented that with student loans to pay living expenses. Once you transfer from community college, look for universities that offer scholarships for your particular major, and apply for scholarships outside of the school as well for your major. Some scholarships are also awarded to students who have overcome a lot, like the one that was awarded to that woman Star on the "Remaking America" series on Good Luck and God Bless!

May 19 at 01:32am

My biggest hinderance for assistance for community college via foster care system is my age, being 29 yrs. old. I was introduced at the age of 6 and aged out at 18 in southern California. It seems every website I've searched for assisstance for college has an average age deadline of 24. I currently live in Reno, NV and am enrolled for my freshman year at Truckee Meadows Community College this summer. Do you know of any avenues to assist me with college expenses?

May 2 at 04:29pm

This website might help you, it's the US News website with "Best Value" college rankings, tips, etc.... It's probably the best website of its kind that I've found, and I've looked at quite a few. I just wish that I had found it before I went back to school 5 years ago, I might have approached things differently.

April 27 at 09:05pm

Hi Cheryl,
If he's not officially in foster care he probably won't qualify, but if social services has been involved in any way then you could try asking a social worker about his exact classification in the system. Other than that, he may qualify for a scholarship based on other factors such as major, ethnic background, financial need, hobbies, religion, talents, etc... Some universities offer scholarships within their schools as well to certain types of students.

April 27 at 08:57pm

My grandson has lived with my husband and I since he was 13. I was not his legal guardian but my daughter signed a document giving me temporary custody of him until he reached age 18. He is graduating from high school this spring. I am wondering if he would be eligible for any financial grants for college. His father has never been involved. Thanks for any help.

March 21 at 12:17am

thank you for this information it helped a lot so thank you so much

March 20 at 09:57am

Hi Makallah!
While I am not familiar with Michigan's particular laws, I am originally from Wisconsin. My guess would be that Michigan won't pay for you to go to college in another state, unless they already have an existing agreement with one of the surrounding states to share in-state tuition privileges between the two. This happens sometimes when two states have a number of students from a neighboring state that want to attend their state colleges and the nieghboring state has schools that students from the original state want to attend. Other than that, my guess would be no, simply because out-of-state tuition would apply elsewhere and that's very expensive and states tend to want to keep the taxpayer dollars that fund schools within their own state. Luckily for you, Michigan has some pretty good schools from what I hear, it could be worse, you could live in someplace like Wyoming which would give you far fewer options to choose from. The best way to find out if there is an agreement with a neighboring state would be to talk with a school counselor, or call the admissions office at one of the Michigan universities.

March 19 at 05:00pm

my name is makallah and i was wondering i am a foster kid in the state of michigan i am now 18 and working into collage i was wondering if the state might have something for me if i go to a different state for collage some people say the state wouldnt pay for me to go to a different state and some say other wise i need help into finding this out
thank you

March 18 at 07:09pm

Not sure why my replies weren't listed under the postings that they were specifically addressed to, but hopefully they reached the people that they were addressed to.

February 21 at 04:42am

Hi Brianna!
Your best bet would be community college or a cheaper state university. You'll be able to qualify for early "independent status" for federal financial aid if you have had documented criminal abuse in your background which prevents you from being able to live at home or have a normal family support network, normally you would have to be 24 years old, married, or a military veteran to get early independent status. This independent status will provide you with larger grants and access to more student loans. Even without independent status though, you'll still qualify for grants and federal low-interest student loans that you can access regardless of your credit history (or lack thereof since you're so young). Try for the state colleges first, and in your application explain your academic situation and background since your grades aren't as high as you'd like, but stress how motivated you are and get free tutoring through your school if you're struggling. If you can't get into the state college right away, you can actually get into the community colleges easily, but it can take a while to transfer from a community college to a 4-year university, but it is the cheapest option most of the time. Nursing schools are competitive, sometimes it helps to go to school for a little bit, prove yourself by doing well in your pre-requisite courses, and then applying to the actual nursing school. Whatever happens, don't give up! It's gonna be a long road, it takes years of work to get your degree but your life will be sooooo much better because of it. Even though you'll have to take on student loans (almost everyone does) don't be discouraged, nurses make good money and you'll be able to pay off your debt once you graduate and get a good job. Good Luck and God Bless You!

February 21 at 04:37am

my name is Brianna i was just wondering is there any scholarships for just foster kids that are graduating. i turn 18 next month and I've been through a lot of abuse since i was abandoned from my mom and dad at 7 months old and i was adopted once but i was locked in my room for 6 years and beat and starved the whole time. people tell me i should go to college i get free money from the state but it won't cover all the expenses i need help so i can go to college but do to moving from foster home to foster home i don't have the best of grades but i know i'm smart enough to go to college please do you know any colleges that can help me make my dreams come true. i want to become a Registered Nurse and Certified Nursing Assistance. please can you help?

February 9 at 12:46pm

You have NO idea what these kids go through! NONE. So cut the crap there princess. These kids want to go to school, they have absolutely no support system, and they are doing their best to make their lives better. How dare you sit there and criticize them, you should be ashamed of yourself. And yes, America is great, but because of people like them, it's people like you that make us look bad.

February 7 at 08:01am

For every foster kid (and former foster kid) on here, know that you CAN go to school! If you have to, you can start at a community college and take remedial courses to get you to where you need to be academically so that you can later transfer to a 4-yr university. I was a foster kid who was later adopted at age 12, then after high school I went and joined the Air Force for 5 years so that I could get money for college. I just finished my bachelor's degree and now I'm in graduate school. It's not easy, but you can all make your life better and get an education. There is financial aid available to help you get through school, and if you stick with it you can make it through school. Make sure that you fill out your FAFSA federal financial aid form and if you were a foster child after age 13 that should help you get extra help. If not, you can still get Federal Pell Grants and Federal Stafford Loans (which DON'T require a cosigner or credit check like regular loans do) and a part time job can help, especially a part time job that relates to your eventual career goals. Also, don't sweat the student loans, yeah, it's debt, but it's debt that will secure you a job later on down the road (just don't get excessive with it, or drop out of school after you have accrued a lot of debt). It's not like a credit card debt, it's an investment in your future and eventually you will be able to pay it all off with the job that you get after you're done with school (plus they have income-based repayment plans so that you won't have to pay more than 10% of your monthly income towards your debt payments). DO NOT give up! It takes years of work, but we're just as capable as everyone else of getting to where we want to be, we just have to always think 2 steps ahead and taking any and every opportunity that we can find to use to our advantage.

February 7 at 07:26am

I'm from Madison originally. Something that you might consider is the military. I was a foster child who was adopted at age 12, then after high school I joined the Air Force for 5 years. This gave me money for school and also helped me to establish myself independently as an adult. Another option is to join the Air National Guard, it's part time, but you still get some money and benefits, but the best part is that since you'd be joining the military from Wisconsin you would qualify for a special state benefit known as the "Wisconsin GI Bill", which would give you 8 full time semesters of tuition at any state school. It's hard, but it can help you get a strong start in life and separate yourself from all the trauma of growing up in foster care. Good Luck and God Bless You!

February 7 at 06:58am

The court ordered you to pay back the foster care funds for your daughter? Wow, that's seriously messed up! Since you were in foster care after the age of 13 I think that you qualify for special consideration for federal financial aid on the FAFSA form. Good Luck and God Bless You!

February 7 at 06:47am

You will qualify for special financial aid. You have to fill out the FAFSA financial aid form and list that you were a foster child and also that you're homeless. Find a local community college, go to their financial aid office and apply. Also, find a local church that offers homeless outreach services, they can connect you with the right social services to help you get a roof over your head. If there's not a church nearby that you can go to, look up the federal unemployment office near you, you may be able to get some help through them, they can at least tell you who to contact for welfare services so that you can file for emergency benefits. I was a foster kid too, then I was adopted when I was 12, and after high school I joined the Air Force for 5 years to get money for school. Now I'm in graduate school. You can make your life better! Don't be afraid to access any and all services that you can, use whatever social safety net you can access. Good Luck and God Bless You!

February 7 at 06:42am

Community College is a good way to get started. It will provide you with a good start on your lower-division classes and then you can transfer to a 4-year university after you finish all the "basics", plus you'll be able to get Federal Pell Grants and Stafford Loans to help you survive while you're in school. Make sure that you have school financial aid officials help you fill out your FAFSA financial aid forms and list that you're a former foster child, it gives you access to extra benefits. Good Luck! God Bless You (:

February 7 at 06:28am

You can go to community college. There are usually good programs for young low-income mothers, depending on your income you'll qualify for Federal Pell Grants and Federal Stafford Loans. Don't be afraid to take on student loans, as long as it doesn't get excessive of course, because this is an investment in your future. I was also a foster child who was later adopted when I was 12, I know how hard it can be coming from that type of background, nobody expects us to be able to succeed in life, but guess what, you CAN. Do it for yourself and for your baby. It will take you years of hard work and there will be times that you'll want to quit, but trust me, it's well worth it. Good luck and God Bless You.

February 7 at 06:24am

I was in foster care and later on adopted, but I didn't have any financial support from my family in order to go to college, so I understand your plight. Since you were adopted at age 12, you don't get to check the box on the financial aid forms that only counts foster care beyond the age of 13. The good news is that since your Aunt doesn't sound like she makes much money and since there are so many kids in your family, your family's expected income contribution will be next to nothing. This means that you will qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, as well as Stafford Loans; both interest subsidized (the gov't pays your interest while you're in school), and interest unsubsidized (the gov't doesn't pay your interest while you're in school so it adds to the total in loan repayment later on). The good news with Stafford Loans though is that it doesn't matter what your Aunt's credit situation is, it's not a traditional loan, there's no cosigner required. Get help from someone who has dealt with the federal financial aid (FAFSA) form before, also fill out a special circumstances form at your school's financial aid office to explain your situation to see what they can do for you. Some schools have internal scholarships for students with special financial needs. Don't be scared though, you will make it! I did, you can too! I went through the military for 5 years to get money for school, but if you choose a reasonably priced school and realize that your choice of major is a practical one, you'll be fine. Yes, you'll be in more debt than some of your peers, but you'll make decent money with a college degree so just don't let yourself worry too much. Living expenses are the most difficult part of getting through school, it's actually easier to cover tuition, but if you can live cheaply (and find work that's "under the table" like babysitting gigs, by "under the table" I mean money that won't be officially taxed and count against you on your financial aid forms) you can supplement your income to help you get by. Congratulations on getting into school! Don't give up! It's gonna work out (:

February 7 at 06:16am

my name is rowshell and i have been in foster care for 15 years (im 16) i have been moving foster home to foster home since then. i would like to go to UW Eau Claire to become a social worker. i stay awake at night and wonder how i am going to pay to go there. last year was the first year taht all foster kids in wisconsin did not get money for college. how do you know if you will not get money. i do not want to end up like my parent!

January 29 at 04:21pm

Dear Ann,

How pathetic you are.

You obviously have no clue about the perils of growing up in foster care. Some of these children endure years of torture while in foster care, let alone before they went in—torture that an ignoramus like you could not imagine in your worst nightmare. Many are raped, molested, beaten and emotionally abuse while they are actually in these foster homes. They are often forced to go from school to school every few months. Did you have all of this happen to you Ann? I doubt it. Then, after all that torture, they have to come on this board and read comments from an ignoramus like you telling them they are not working hard enough. You should have to work as hard as them! You could not hack it Ann, you would crumble after a week. You are the type of bully that perpetuates child abuse. You are what is wrong with this country. You are the one who is “dysfunctional”.

And yes, it is society’s fault that this situation exists, so it is only natural that society needs to pay for it until we can correct what ails our culture, a culture that tacitly condones selfishness, neglect and abuse, a culture that, unfortunately, produces trash like you. Take your Horatio Alger myth and put it where the sun doesn’t shine you vacuous, neo-con bully. I wish one thousand disappointments upon you. No one likes you Ann, you are coward for spewing your digital trash all over these poor people and perpetuating stereotypes.

January 29 at 03:47am

Angel, there are many available resource to help you with financial aide due to the fact that have been in Foster Care. First, go to and complete the registration process as an independent individual. The questionaire will ask if you have ever been in foster care and/or homeless. Answer accordingly. Also, go to and complete the grant scholarship form to be considered for the grant as well. If you live in California, also complete the CHAFEE Grant (for former/current foster youth) application at . Lastly, checkout this program has collaborated with many Universities offering up to $10,000 in scholarship monies to Foster Youth recipients. Above all, pray and ask God the Father of Heaven for HIS divine favor and blessings. For He is Faithful to do more than what you could ask or think! May God's Abundant Blessings be your portion. I will keep your well-being in my thoughts and prayers!

January 29 at 12:36am


January 23 at 04:12pm

I am 17 yrs. old. From ages 4-12 I was in and out of multiple foster homes, along with my 3 siblings. We were adopted right before I entered 7th grade. My aunt took us in at the age of 23. Since then, she has had 3 children of her own. She is 28 now, and I will be the first one to go to college. She can not help me in any way because she is also a single parent who does not get much child support for her own kids. She can not even cosign for any student loans for me. Unfortunately, this is what I'm struggling with and I do not have much time. I've been accepted into a really good program. It's a 5yr Master of Occupational Therapy. I've applied for multiple scholarships and essay contests, but honestly it seems way too hard to actually win. If anyone has any advice for me I'd really appriciate it...

January 18 at 11:57pm

I am a 22 year old female who has promblems as for aslike paying my my school i was told once ago that there were grants for people like me who got out of foster care and who wants to go college. i was not told what the grants were and how to get them and now i dont have no fasfa and nothting can pay for school im homless and i dont have a job. my life has been nothing but hell i been in foster care since i was 5 and got out of oit when i was 8 and out back in by my mother becuase she does not care about me it hurts buecause all i have done in my life was live places where i dont wanna stay and get treated like crap bex=cause sombody wants to take me in inoder to get money from the gov. i hate that im goin thou this im tryin to help myself but yet i dont know how to i need help i need guided to a better path with any body tryin to get money off me

January 12 at 02:23pm

how can i get my foster child fininacial assistance for a college that excepted her?

January 11 at 08:00pm

Dear 18,
I am the mother of 4 children, 2 of which had learning disabilities. This does not mean they were mentally slow, on the contrary, they were both very bright, they just weren't able to learn in the "main stream" educational environment that caters to visual learners.
Do you have a local community college? Most community colleges have special staff to help students find the resources they need to assisst with tuition, such as applying for grants and loans, and many colleges have free assessments to help you determine how you learn best. Depending on your county and state, they may also have transitional programs to help you as well. Also, contact your local United Way and local county Dept of Human Services and ask what programs are available in your area. You may also have good luck visiting your local library and asking a resource librarian for information on local educational programs for students who require adaptive educational programs to succeed.
My compliments to you for all your hard work and your desire to further your education. Good luck.

December 2 at 02:16pm

My grandson came to live with me at age 13 due his mother's divorce from his stepfather. My daughter was not able to care for my grandson and so I took full responsibility for him. His bio father is not involved. I have raised my grandson on my own since age 13 with minimal to no support from the state and now he is graduating spring of 2012. He is not officially a foster child but in reality he is. What is available to assist him with college?

November 29 at 11:49am

I was put in foster care @ age 12, after having a child in 1988. I succesfuly exited the indpendent living program. My focus was to reunite with my daughter which i won custody later. No, college was never a priority to me but survial was. After my dauther and I exited foster care, the courts order me to pay back the foster care funds onbehalf of my daughter. Since 1997 to the present I've been struggling to raise my children while being held in bondage to this debt. I am currently studing to become a nurse. I need help what help is out there?

November 26 at 01:56pm

this is really good site i like this site this site give us very useful information

November 19 at 08:05am

i was put into foster care at the age of 10 and adopted at the age 13 and now i will be 20 in april of 2012 and i was wanting to know if i could get a grant for college because now im married and have a 6month old and i can not afford a college but i cant afford to make min wage either... i need help

November 17 at 04:39am

I just wanted to know the best scholarships that are offered to foster care children?

November 16 at 04:44pm

Hello, my name is Jennifer and I was put into foster care when I was nine years olda, but adopted when I was eleven. I want to attend Westminster University in Missouri for Business Marketing but it will end up costing around $30,000 a year for me to go which is something my family cannot afford. I've been looking for scholarships for kids who have been adopted from foster care, but most of them require that the applicant be older than 16 at the time of their adoption (like the Casey-Family scholarship). I was wondering if there are any scholarships for students adopted from foster care preceeding their 16th birthday?

November 11 at 05:11pm

Hello my name is Tamika and I'm currently a senior in highschool I am also a foster youth and I was wondering how do I apply for scholarships that relate to my situation.

October 19 at 05:10pm

hey im isabella and im wondering how to get money to help with college
i was put in foster care when i was four up until i was 7 and was then adopted i graduated from an adult high school and got a diploma i am just trying to figure out how to start college now

October 19 at 03:13pm

hi i am really trying to find what to do in life. i was taken from my bio mom when i was 4 years old. i was adopted when i was 12 years old. i just want to know if i am mentally slow. i not retarded but i have trouble learning so i want to go to college but my family in not money stable. how can i find help... i am happy that my life was changed because i could be on drugs and in a bad life. thanks for listing to my problem

October 13 at 12:32am

I was taken for something that wasnt even happening in my house hold my little brother got mad because my mom didnt want to give hime candie so he called the cops and said that she beat him.

October 10 at 07:46pm

My sisters and I were in and out of foster care a lot when we were younger. My mom battled with a meth addiction and my dad was an abusive alchoholic. After beg shuffled around time and time again my dad finally got custody back, unfortunatly. I was wondering if my sisters and I could still get any kind of financial aid for college, having been in the states custody for the time we were. please help

October 7 at 11:24pm

Yes U can I asked my foster parents

October 6 at 02:22pm

I was taken from my mom along with my siblings but my dad died when i was two. Some one told on my mom that she wasnt really taken care of so the social workers came but i didnt know what was going on. I was scared and confused why they were taking me and my siblings away from my mom. We
were in 5 or 6 different homes until they found this family to watch over us for a lil bit. Few weeks went by and the social workers came and the family told them they wanted to adopt us. We were scared but we felt comfortable and safe after we heard that. It was hard for awhile but we got used to it. I graduated highschool in 2009 but now i dont know where to go from here.

October 1 at 08:14pm

I was in foster care from the age 4 years old to early 7 years old. I am now 17 turning 18 In February 22, 2012 . Those years were very difficult for me and i was always ashamed to tell people that i was not with my biological parents. My mother had a mental disorder where authorities had to take me away. She was and still is bipolar schizophrenia. My father was not financially stable and not only that my mother refused him to take me in his care. But once i turned 7 my father found me and took me in his care.

October 1 at 12:20pm

I was taken from my mom and stepfather along with my siblings because it was a drug house. We went to live with my step grandpa but that didnt last very long cause my brother and I had issuses so we were sent to foster care. We were in foster care for about a year and a half. till My grandmother got custdoy of us two. Then a year later we went to live with my father. But I missed alot of school and was way behind and the teachers and my parents belived that I would never make it to high school. Let alone gradute or go to college. But I gradute high a semester early and proved them all wrong I was also working when i turned 16. When I was 18 I had no idea about any of the grants for college so I didnt think it was possiable to go. So I moved out of my parents house as soon as I could and got A job. I have been working for four years and I even became manger. But i dont want to do this for the rest of my life I want to learn and go to school and maybe be a nurse or a dental hygenie. But I am 22 now and I dont know if i able to get any grants because I waited to long. I filled out my fafsa and marked what I need to mark. But what do I do now? Im sarced that I will be stuck not haveing a better education.

September 13 at 05:11pm


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