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Foster Youth

What is a California Chafee Grant? 

The California Chafee Grant is free money for current or former foster youth to help pay for college or career and technical training. Chafee Grants do not have to be paid back. You may also use your grant to pay for child-care, transportation and rent while you're in school. A Chafee Grant is a federal and state funded grant subject to yearly availability of funds.

How do I qualify?

To qualify, you must:

  1. Be a current or former foster youth.  Court dependency must have been established between the ages of 16 and 18.
  2. Not have reached your 22nd birthday as of July 1 of the award year.
  3. Have financial need. 

 How do I apply?

You must submit the Chafee Grant Program Application, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and JFK submits the Chafee Needs Analysis Report (NAR)
  1. Submit the California Chafee Grant Program Application online at
  2. Submit the FAFSA.
  3. Have JFK submit the Chafee Need Analysis Report (NAR).  This report can be filed electronically.  It can be found on the same site you find the application.
Need more information regarding other services for foster youth?
Visit these websites:


The Renaissance Scholars Program at Cal State East Bay is a program for foster youth. Renaissance Scholars exists to support the growth and development of former foster youth.  The aim is to improve graduation rates by providing support services with the help of other university departments and a variety of community organizations.  The Renaissance Scholars Program provides the following comprehensive support services for students:

  • Academic, career, and financial aid advising
  • Workshops, activities, and field trips
  • Assistance with purchasing books 
  • Priority registration
  • Individual and group tutoring
  • Loaner textbook library
  • Mentor and mentee opportunities
  • Counseling referrals
  • Loaner laptops
  • Leadership development
  • Priority for on-campus housing

Visit Renaissance Scholars Program for more information.

UC Berkeley has a similar program titled Berkeley Hope Scholars. This program provides support and resources to incoming freshman, transfer and continuing students who have recently emancipated from foster care or are orphaned, and been certified independent by the Financial Aid Office. Their principal goal is to create a safe an welcoming community where students can thrive. Berkeley Hope Scholars receive assistance with unmet financial aid needs, including:

  • Residence Hall/Apartment furnishing
  • Books and supplies
  • IPads/computers and repairs
  • Medical, dental, optometry, wellness
  • Emergency funding
  • Interim housing
  • Meal/food assistance
  • Grad school preparation materials and courses
  • Community building events
  • Mentorships
  • Finals Care Packages 

Visit Berkeley Hope Scholars for more information.

Contact your College of choice to see if they have similar programs.