College Tuition Waiver and Scholarship Programs

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A significant post adoptive service offered by states is the waiver or payment of college tuition on behalf of adopted children who were once in foster care.

States with College Tuition Waiver Programs

Children who are in foster care, receiving independent living services, or who are adopted from the Department of Children and Families after December 31, 1997 are exempt from all undergraduate fees, including registration, matriculation, and laboratory fees associated with enrollment in college preparatory instruction and completion of the college level communication and computation skills testing program in the State Community College System, the State University System, and other adult general education programs.

Tuition and mandatory fees for any public postsecondary institution, including all four year universities and colleges and institutions of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, shall be waived for a Kentucky foster or adopted child who is a full-time student. [KRS 194B.050(1), 164:2847]

Funding is available for children up to age 21 using Title IV-B dollars. The program is limited to children whose families received adoption assistance.

Available for youths who were adopted after their 14th birthday.

Legislation passed July 1, 2000

Children who were a ward of the court and in the legal custody of the state between age 16 and 21 are able to apply for the Former Foster Children Scholarship. More information is available from 800-452-8807 x 7395

Available for youth in state conservatorship at 14 years or older, if the youth is eligible for adoption

Children must have been in foster care. For special needs children. Legislation passed in the 2000 session. Go to:

States With Other College Tuition Programs

Offers a scholarship program for former foster children. Adopted children can apply but family income is considered. The DE Legislature budgeted $50,000 in 2001.

District of Columbia
Offers a scholarship program for children adopted from the District's foster care system after Oct. 1, 2000. Covers vocational training, as well as college funding.

Continues to pay board rate for former foster children (not adopted) up to the 22nd birthday if in vocational school/college. See or 888-731-3863.

DFS has statutory authority to award up to 48 scholarships per year to children who are in substitute care, who have been adopted and prior to their adoption were under the Department's legal responsibility, or who are in subsidized guardianship living arrangements.

The Minnesota State College and University System offers free tuition to children committed to state guardianship (i.e., foster children) but are not adopted.

West Virginia
The department has tuition waivers for foster children only.

States That Are Exploring a Tuition Waiver Programs




Casey Family Programs and Orphan Foundation of America

Each year, more than 25,000 youth attempt to make the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency as they reach age 18. Only half finish high school, and about 11 percent go on to college or vocational education ­ much lower rates than the national averages. Through a new post-secondary education scholarship program, The Casey Family Programs will provide up to $10,000 per year to youth under the age of 25 who have spent at least 12 months in foster care and were not subsequently adopted.

The awards will be renewable each year, based on satisfactory progress and financial need. The Orphan Foundation of America (OFA) will administer the program, and the recipients will also receive ongoing support through OFAšs E-Mentor Program. OFA scholarship coordinators will match each student with a trained, screened adult who will interact with the student via e-mail, letters, and phone calls on a weekly basis to address specific issues faced by young people without parental support, including money management and life skills.

For more information on this and other OFA scholarship programs, visit or call 800-950-4673.

North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)
970 Raymond Avenue, Suite 106
St. Paul, MN 55114
phone: 651-644-3036
fax: 651-644-9848
Visitor Comments (2)
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mary ellen - 11 months ago
0 0 1
I beleive our adpted children are the nedxt to be focused on rights.Most are in a vulnerable situation their whole lives and deserve an extra boost like free or subsidized college give the myriads of obstacles they have to jump over to acheive and feel good about themselves-confident enough to keep going in education. #1
Michael - 12 months ago
0 0 0
how do you applied the OFA scholarship program??? #2
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