Grants for Foster Kids doesn’t come often. Typically, grants or free money are awarded for education. There are some social security programs from the government to meet the basic needs and ensure the health of these children; but individual grants that don’t have to be repaid is usually in the education field.
It is great that many foster kids in the United States are pursuing education, but as you know, college is expensive. There are indeed some Federal programs aimed for low-income students, but the competition is pretty harsh and not every foster kid may be eligible for the grant program.
That being said, being a foster kid also has its own benefit. There are many programs designed for foster kids that can give you free money in the form of scholarships and grants. Below are some of your options:
Grants for Foster Kids Programs
Private Organizations and Foundations
There are many nonprofit organizations and foundations that take the foster and ex-foster kids’ education seriously. For example, the National Foster Parent Association requires you to apply and submit a short essay on the provided topic. In exchange, they can provide some financial assistance for higher education.
Meanwhile, there is a scholarship competition available for students who were a foster kid for at least one year before their 18th birthday from the Casey Family Scholarships. The amount of grant award would be somewhere between $1,500 and $6,000, depending on your financial need and academic merits. This scholarship is administered by Foster Care to Success, which also provide other financial assistance from donors to foster children needing money to pay for their tuition. The minimum cumulative GPA used by Foster Care to Success is 2.0 on a scale of 4.0.
Another reputable nonprofit organizations and foundations that may be able to help foster children’s education are the Darko Rapotez Memorial College Scholarship for Aged out Foster Youth. This one gives out tuition aid for eligible persons who have aged out of the foster-care systems. The grant money awarded is between $5,000 and $10,000. There’s also a chance of getting up to $10,000 money for college grants for foster kids from Horatio Alger Scholarships.
Note that most of these grants and scholarships are need-based. The GPA requirement is usually flexible, but typically those who have at least 2.00 GPA score are favored.
Instead of searching for Federal programs, it is better to search for resources from the state that you’re living in. There are many programs –under different names– from these state governments. Some of the examples are the Florida’s Special College Incentives for Former Foster Children, Kansas’ Tuition Waiver program, Kentucky’s Forgiveness of Tuition and Mandatory Fees, Maryland Waiver, Massachusetts’ Foster Child Tuition Waiver Program, New Jersey’s Foster Care Scholarships and Grants, Oregon Opportunity Grants, Pennsylvania State Foster Parent Association (PSFPA) scholarship, South Dakota WIA scholarship, Texas tuition waiver, Virginia Tuition Grants, Washington Governor’s Scholarship
Just like the scholarships and foster kids grants from organizations, the state programs also aim the needy foster or ex-foster kids. You can find the specific information on each program by contacting your preferred university’s financial aid office.