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Chafee for Foster Youth

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 19. (KinGap youth, adopted youth, guardian placement, and voluntary placement may not be eligible for the Chafee Grant, unless court dependence was established, at any time, between the ages of 16 and 19). 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 the 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 verification 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)*.
The majority of the Chafee Grant (ETV) awards are initiated during the fall term and additional awards are offered year-round based on available funding.
Student's completed applications are sorted by application date, and awards are offered based on the following priority selection criteria:
1. Paid renewal students who have not reached their 23rd birthday as of July 1st of the award year. **
2. New and ***non-paid renewal students who will be 22 years old as of July 1st of the award year.
3. New and non-paid renewal students who have dependents.
4. New and non-paid renewal students who have an unmet need of $5,000 or more.
5. New and non-paid renewal students who have an unmet need of less than $5,000.
** Students who have received a Chafee payment.
*** Students who have not received a Chafee payment.
Upon selection for an award, students are sent payment notifications for each term. To receive this grant, students must demonstrate financial need, be enrolled at least half-time, and maintain satisfactory academic progress. Receipt of this grant may affect other financial aid awarded by the college financial aid office.
* In addition, you must have financial need. Your school must report your financial need by submitting a Chafee Needs Analysis Report. (Copy of form attached below.) You must also enroll at least half-time in an eligible school, your program of study must be at least one academic year long, and you must attend class regularly and get good grades.
To apply, you must submit the following two forms either via online or paper application:
Chafee Grant application online.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

If you prefer, you may print and submit the paper version of the Chafee Grant Application (paper version) and complete the paper FAFSA. You can download the FAFSA at or call toll-free 800-433-3243 to have one mailed to you. (If you don’t have a Social Security number or are an undocumented student, contact the Commission for assistance.)
To learn more, read the Chafee Grant Fact Sheet or contact your high school counselor, college’s financial aid office, county or college Independent Living Coordinator, One-Stop Career Center, social worker, or probation officer. If you’ve applied for a Chafee Grant, go to WebGrants for Students to check on the status of your application.
Already have a Chafee Grant? Your Chafee Grant may be renewed through your 23rd birthday. To renew your grant, you’ll need to complete the FAFSA but you don’t need to submit another Chafee Grant application. If you have moved, changed your name, or transferred to another school, please call the Commission toll-free at 888-224-7268 or complete the Chafee Grant Update and Change Form and mail it to the Commission:
California Student Aid Commission
Specialized Programs Operations Branch
California Chafee Grant Program
P.O. Box 419029
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9029
Telephone 888-224-7268
The Chafee Grant is federally and state funded and is subject to the availability of funds each year.
Additional Chafee Grant materials:
Foster Care Eligibility Form
More Ways to Pay for College Fact Sheet

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