Scholarships for Adoptees and Foster Youth

Age of adoption if applicable, is a huge factor in determining eligibility for certain programs and or scholarships.

Students who were adopted out of the foster care system at age 13 years or older are considered independent on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This means they be eligible for more financial aid regardless of their family’s income.

If adopted at the age of 16 or older they are eligible for Education and Training Voucher assistance via the federal government. This also applies if they leave the system at age 14 or older for guardianship with a kinship or partake in a guardianship assistance agreement.

For foster youth, year-round housing on college campuses may be available and covered with aid. Seek guidance from the Office of  Residence Life on campus.

Tuition waivers and vouchers as well as institution specific scholarships may be available solely for adoption or foster youth according to geographical location.

There are scholarships that partake in preference in applicants who are adopted/ were ever apart of the foster care system.

Scholarship Tips

What to Look Out For: 

  • Eligibility (academic/ institutional based)
  • Due Dates
  • Requirements to stay eligible for these services
  • More work usually leads to less applicants (look for essay submissions)
  • Start application sooner rather than later
  • Apply, apply, apply

New York State Excelsior Scholarship

In order to apply, students must:

  • Be residents of New York State
  • Attend a SUNY or CUNY two- or four-year degree program
  • Take 30 credits per calendar year (including January and Summer sessions)
  • Plan to live and work in New York following graduation for the length of time they participate in the scholarship program

For New York State students whose families make less than $125,000/year (AGI on 2017 tax return). The Excelsior Scholarship applies to tuition only and does not cover the other costs of college. After graduation, you must live and be employed (if working) in NY for the number of years you received the scholarship. Learn more about Excelsior eligibility and the next application period.


More Scholarship Opportunities to Explore:

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