Scholarships for Foster Care Youth

Find scholarships designed to help foster care youth

The federal government and the State of Vermont each has a scholarship program dedicated to helping young adults who have gone through the foster care system pay for college or career training programs. You can also find additional scholarships for Vermonters on this website or in the VSAC scholarship booklet (PDF).

Vermont John H. Chafee Education and Training Scholarship

(Sponsored by the federal government)

If you’ve been in foster care and have recently graduated from high school, this scholarship may be right for you. Its purpose is to help young adults who’ve been in the foster care system prepare for and enter job training programs or college. Funding for this scholarship requires annual federal approval.

Under this scholarship, you may be enrolled in any program—and there are no requirements as to the number of credits that you must take.

Eligibility

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must:

  • Attend an accredited school approved for federal Title IV funding (Pell grants, Stafford loans, PLUS loans)
  • Be under the custody of the Vermont Commissioner of the Department for Children and Families (DCF) through your 18th birthday OR be adopted after age 16 (if you would have otherwise remained under the custody of the Vermont Commissioner of the DCF through your 18th birthday)
  • Be 21 years of age or younger
  • Demonstrate financial need

Required documents

To apply for this scholarship, you’ll need to submit a:

Amount

Scholarships generally range from $1,000 to $3,000 and may not exceed $5,000. The amount disbursed cannot exceed your total cost of attendance as defined by federal aid (tuition, fees, room, board, books, and personal expenses) minus your expected family contribution (EFC) and all other sources of gift aid combined.

Emily Lester Vermont Opportunity Scholarship

(Sponsored by the State of Vermont)

If you’ve been in foster care and you’re ready to go to college, this scholarship—funded by the State of Vermont—may be right for you.

Under this scholarship, you must be enrolled in an undergraduate associate’s or bachelor’s degree program. There are no requirements as to the number of credits that you must take.

Eligibility

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must:

  • Attend an accredited school located within Vermont and approved for federal Title IV funding (Pell grants, Stafford loans, PLUS loans)
  • Be currently under the custody of the Vermont Commissioner of the Department for Children and Families (DCF) OR be between the ages of 18 and 24 and have been under the custody of the Vermont Commissioner of the DCF for at least 6 months when you were between the ages of 16 and 18
  • Demonstrate financial need

Required documents

To apply for this scholarship, you’ll need to submit a:

Amount

Scholarships generally range from $1,000 to $2,000 and may not exceed $3,000. The amount disbursed cannot exceed your total costs (tuition, fees, room, and board) minus your expected family contribution (EFC) and all other sources of gift aid combined.