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College Scholarships for Adoptees

Scholarships Available for Adoptees and Youth Adopted from Foster Care

Education can unlock the door to the rest of your life, but access to education is not always guaranteed. Costs can be especially prohibitive, which leaves many children who were adopted asking questions like:

  • “Are there college scholarships for adopted children?”
  • “What college scholarships for adoptees could I be eligible for?”
  • “Where can I find information about available scholarships for youth adopted from foster care?”

We’re going to provide all the information you need on college scholarships for adopted children and youth from foster care in this guide.

There are financial assistance opportunities for adoptees and for children adopted from foster care.

While college is not free or paid for, necessarily, if you’re adopted, there are still opportunities for financial assistance specifically for adoptees and children adopted from foster care.

We’ve put together detailed lists of available college scholarships for adopted children, and also for youth who have been or still are in the foster care system. If you are an adoptee or youth adopted from foster care, you’ll find information below on each scholarship and how you can apply.

Scholarships for Adopted Children

1 Daniel A. Terry Scholarship

This scholarship provides higher education financial assistance to the children of California’s fallen firefighters. To be eligible for the award, an applicant must be the natural or legally adopted child of a California firefighter who died in the line of duty and whose name appears or is approved to appear on the California Firefighters Memorial Wall. Each scholarship award amount is $2,000.

To learn more, click here.

2 Adoption STAR Academic Scholarship Program

This award is granted to young adults who were adopted or in foster care and have overcome diversity. Applicants must demonstrate good character and high achievement, have a history of academic progress through high school and plan to attend a four-year college.

To apply, click here.

3 Holt Adoptee Scholarship Contest

To qualify for this $500 award, applicants must be an adoptee from a domestic or international adoption agency and be graduating high school and planning to attend an institution of higher education. Holt International awards three scholarships annually. Applicants are encouraged to creatively respond to a prompt and accept a wide variety of mediums, including self-portraits, essays, digital art, and even songs.

To learn more, click here.

4 Calvin College Richard and Janice Van Deelen Scholarship

This scholarship is available to students who attend Calvin College and have been adopted. Students will need to have no less than a 3.0 GPA and be majoring in sociology. This scholarship is $2,000.

To learn more, click here.

5 Higher Education Opportunity Scholarship

The University of Florida’s Higher Education Opportunity (HEO) is offering a scholarship for kids of full-time TEAMS employees. This scholarship is available to a child who is a natural, adopted, step, foster, or be under the legal guardianship of a full-time TEAMS employee.

To learn more, click here.

Scholarships for Youth Adopted from Foster Care

6 DREAM Former Foster Children Scholarship

This award provides up to $2,500 to eligible students who were adopted from the child welfare system in Oregon between the ages of 14 and 16. Qualified candidates must be under the age of 25 years old, have spent at least 180 days in foster care, and be accepted for enrollment at any public university or community college on at least a part-time basis.

To apply, click here.

7 Emily Lester Vermont Opportunity Scholarship

This award is granted annually for $1,000 to $3,000 for individuals who were adopted from the custody of the Vermont Commissioner of the Department for Children and Families (DCF) between the ages of 16 and 18. Eligible applicants have to be enrolling in an undergraduate associate's or bachelor's degree program at an accredited Vermont school. They must also demonstrate a financial need for assistance.

To apply, click here.

8 Fostering a Future Scholarship Program

This award provides national scholarships each year to youth who were adopted from foster care at or after the age of 13. To qualify for up to $2,500 in financial tuition assistance, candidates under the age of 21 must be currently pursuing a college education at any vocational training program, two-year community college, or four-year university nationwide.

To apply, contact your local government foster care agency. Here is an example of the application.

9 Kansas Foster and Adoptive Children Scholarship Fund

This award distributes many awards twice a year to students who are or have been foster children in the state of Kansas. This award is for eligible graduating high school seniors and current undergraduate students who must use the funding for tuition expenses at an accredited trade school, junior college, or four-year university.

To apply, click here.

10 National Foster Parent Association Youth Scholarship Program

Every year, the National Foster Parent Association (NFPA) presents five Youth Scholarships for $500 each to foster, adopted, and biological children of currently licensed foster parents who are seeking post-secondary education beyond high school at any accredited U.S. institution. Candidates must submit an application, proof of parent membership in the NFPA, two letters of recommendation, an official high school transcript, and an essay on how foster care experiences shaped their future goals.

To learn more, click here.

11 Nebraska Foster and Adoptive Association Scholarship

The Nebraska Foster and Adoptive Association (NFAPA) offers annual scholarships for adoptive, foster, guardianship, and kinship children of Nebraska foster parents who wish to further their education beyond a high school diploma or GED. Award recipients must be U.S. citizens, reside in a foster or adoptive home within Nebraska, has been a Ward of the State, and be enrolled in a two- or four-year U.S. institution.

To apply, click here.

12 ACF Youth in Foster Care Scholarship Program

This scholarship program awards young adults aging out of foster care who want to develop a marketable skill or continue their education at a post-secondary school. Applicants must be a New Mexico resident for a minimum of one year, have been in the New Mexico foster care system for a minimum of one year, be between the ages of 17 and 21 at the time of initial application, and have a minimum 2.5 GPA for high school, undergrad, or have completed a GED program.

To learn more, click here.

13 Education and Training Vouchers for Youths Aging Out of Foster Care in Texas

This award provides financial assistance to help current and former foster youth ages 16-21 to begin, continue, or complete post-secondary education and training programs. This award can be up to $5,000.

To learn more, click here. You will need to contact your ETV coordinator if you think you may qualify for additional funds.

14 Foster Care to Success Scholarship

This award helps fund foster youths’ post-secondary education so they can achieve brighter futures. Applicants for the general scholarship must have been in public or private foster care for the 12 consecutive months leading up to and including their 18th birthday, have been adopted or placed into legal guardianship after their 16th birthday; or have been orphaned for at least one year at the time of their 18th birthday and not subsequently adopted. Applicants must also be under the age of 25 by the deadline for the scholarship, have been in foster care or orphaned while living in the U.S., and have been accepted into or expect to be accepted into an accredited, Pell-eligible college or postsecondary school. This award can be up to $5,000 for recipients.

To learn more, click here.

15 Foster Hope Academic Award

This academic award stems from Foster Hope's desire to encourage, empower, and uplift at-risk youth. An eligible applicant must be enrolled at a University of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Technical College System school, or an approved private institution. Applicants must have a 2.0 GPA or higher who has had a Foster Care or Kinship Care placement.

To apply, click here.

16 Maryland Tuition Waiver for Foster Care Recipients

This waiver is available to foster care youth who are enrolled as a candidate for an associate, bachelor’s degree, or vocational certificate at a Maryland Public institution of higher education. Applicants must be students under the age of 25 who have resided in an out-of-home placement in Maryland and who are attending a Maryland public two-year or four-year institution. All applicants must also complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 each year.

To learn more, click here.

Scholarships for Birth Parents

17 Lifetime Adoption Foundation Educational Scholarships

This award offers various educational scholarships for up to $500 to birth parents who have chosen adoption to fulfill college goals. To be considered, applicants must submit a completed application, proof of enrollment at an accredited U.S. institution, an official transcript showing a 2.0 GPA or better, and verification of the adoption at least three months before the start of classes.

To learn more, click here.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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