Been in foster care? Find resources to pay for college

Teenage girl at collegeFiguring out how to pay for college is an essential step for anyone pursuing higher education. Students who have been in foster care may be eligible for special funds to help cover college costs.

For young adults who have been in foster care previously, or are currently in extended foster care, there are a variety of programs that offer financial aid resources:

You can find out about other school financial aid you might qualify for when you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Follow these special tips:

  • Foster parents or legal guardians are NOT considered parents when you’re applying for financial aid. So you don’t list their income or other information on the FAFSA. As a foster youth, your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) is generally ZERO, unless you personally have an annual income of over $10,300 and have to file a federal tax return.
  • You are considered independent if you were ever deemed a ward of the court after age 13.
  • You will need your foster care verification document. Ask your caseworker or agency for a letter verifying your foster care involvement for financial aid. This letter should include your dates and jurisdiction of your time in care and any resources you receive because you were in care. It may also list the programs for which you are eligible.
  • Find more FAFSA tips for students in unique situations.


Learn more at Pay for School on GetMyFuture, an employment and training website for young adults, developed by CareerOneStop.



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