California Chafee Grant
If you are or were in foster care for at least one day, between the ages of 16 and 18 as a dependent or ward of the court and have financial need, you may qualify for up to $5,000 a year for career and technical training or college. You don’t have to pay this money back. You may also be able to use your grant to help pay for child care, transportation and rent while you’re in school. You can use your Chafee Grant at any eligible California college or university or career or technical school, as well as schools in other states.
To qualify, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a current or former foster youth who was a ward of the court, living in foster care, for at least one day between the ages of 16 and 18.
- If you are/were in Kin-GAP, a non-related legal guardianship, or were adopted, you are eligible only if you were a dependent or ward of the court, living in foster care, for at least one day between the ages of 16 and 18.
- Have not reached your 26th birthday as of July 1st of the award year.
- Have not participated in the program for more than 5 years (whether or not consecutive).
Pursuant to Assembly Bill 2506, starting with the 2017-18 award year, you can only receive your Chafee Grant if you attend a school that is either of the following:
- A qualifying institution that is eligible for participation in the Cal Grant Program.
- An institution that is not located in California with a three-year cohort default rate that is less than 15.5 percent and a graduation rate greater than 30 percent.
- Your foster care placement history need only be verified once. Complete and submit a Foster Care Eligibility Form
- To be considered for a California Chafee Grant, you must complete the following:
- Submit the California Chafee Grant Application online;
- The Commission will review your FAFSA or CADA and Chafee Grant Application.
- The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) may verify your foster status. If CDSS is not able to verify your foster status, please complete the Foster Care Eligibility Certification Form and mail it.
- Your school’s financial aid office will determine your financial aid eligibility.
- Once all of the above is completed, the Commission will send you a letter if you are selected for an award.
- The school will verify payment eligibility and disburse the check to you.
- If you applied for a Chafee Grant, go to WebGrants for Students to check the status of your application.
You can use your Chafee Grant at any eligible California college as well as colleges in other states. In California, you can attend:
- Career and technical schools
- California Community Colleges
- California State University campuses
- University of California campuses
- Private colleges
- Enroll in an eligible public or private college or university or technical school.
- Be enrolled at least half time.
- Enroll in a program at least one academic year long.
- Attend class regularly and maintain satisfactory academic progress or you may lose your Chafee Grant funds.
If you receive a Chafee Grant, it may be renewed through your 26th birthday as of July 1st of the award year. You do not need to reapply for a Chafee Grant each year; however, you must submit a FAFSA or CADAA.
The Commission may contact you for updated information. Be sure to respond to e-mails, letters or forms that you may receive.
For more information, contact our Foster Youth Success Initiative liaison:
Feather River College
570 Golden Eagle Avenue
Quincy, CA 95971
Phone: (530) 283-0202 ext. 603
Fax: (530) 283-4659
Current and/or former foster youth students can stay up-to-date by periodically monitoring their WebGrants4Students account.
- Log on to https://mygrantinfo.csac.ca.gov/ to set up your account.
- Access information and manage your account 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- You can also update your e-mail address, mailing address, telephone number or, school of attendance.
California Student Aid Commission
Specialized Programs Operations Branch - Chafee
P.O. Box 419027
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9027
Current and/or former foster youth students may find helpful information on the following websites:
- Chafee Grant Fact Sheet - Download
- More Ways to Pay for College Fact Sheet - Download
- California College Pathways - Visit Site
- The Community College Foundation - Visit Site
- California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office - Visit Site
- California Department of Social Services (CDSS) - Visit Site
- CDSS Children and Family Services Division - Visit Site
- California Youth Connection - Visit Site
- Foster Club - Visit Site