It is imperative that youth list his/her status as “independent” and check the box for
GPA Verification Form
Complete the GPA Verification Form. You can obtain a copy of this from the Records
Office at your school. You can also access the form at California Student Aid
Commission at http://www.csac.ca.gov/doc.asp?ID=23
Important College Application Tips
1. File your FAFSA and Chafee Grant Electronically.
2. Get a federal PIN number at: http://www.pin.ed.gov
3. Get documentation that proves you were a foster child. A statement from the Courts or a
letter from your child welfare worker on County letterhead will be sufficient. Turn in this
letter to the Financial Aid office.
4. Turn in BOG Waiver to the Financial Aid Office.
If you are in foster care or have been dismissed from dependency, then you are an
INDEPENDENT STUDENT. Your foster parents are NOT your LEGAL GUARDIANS
for purposes of applying for financial aid.
12. Check the ORPHAN or WARD OF THE COURT box.
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Grants are financial aid assistance that does not have to be paid back. Make sure to apply for as
many grants as possible. Both grants and scholarships are FREE money; however government
loans must be paid back. Two main grants are the Pell Grant and the SEOG Grant summarized
below. For more information visit, http://www.ed.gov.
The maximum amount that you can obtain from the Pell Grant is $3,300. The grant helps
low/middle income students to attend a four-year college or community college of their choice.
You can receive only one Pell Grant in a school year. The amount you receive will depend on the
following criteria: expected family contribution, the amount it will cost to attend the college,
whether you are a full-time or part-time student and whether or not you attend for a full
academic year or less. For more information visit, http://www.ed.gov.
The federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is available for first time, fulltime
undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Students who receive Federal Pell Grants
are given priority. You do not need to repay the SEOG grants. Awards are made to the earliest
eligible students. For more information visit, http://www.ed.gov.
To apply for a Cal Grant you have to first apply for FAFSA. The second step is to file a verified
grade point average (GPA) with the California Student Aid Commission. The Cal Grant filing
period is January 1st - March 2nd and January 1st - September 2nd. For more information, visit
http://www.calgrants.org. Some high schools automatically file their students’ verified GPAs.
Some do not. You must confirm whether your youth’s school will file the GPA, or obtain a GPA
Verification Form, get it certified by a school official and mail it yourself. For more information
The Chaffee Grant gives up to $5,000 annually in free money to current or former foster youth to
use for vocational school training or college. The monies aren’t limited to tuition. The youth
can use the money for rent, transportation, childcare, etc. 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 be a current or former foster youth and not have reached your 22nd
birthday as of July 1 of the award year. The California Department of Social Services will
determine your foster youth eligibility status.
For more information visit, http://www.chafee.csac.ca.gov. Students must also complete the
FAFSA, which can be completed online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. For program questions, call
1.888.224.7268 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students can obtain between $5,500-$9,500 their first year, and the amount increases each year.
The amount awarded is determined by whether or not the youth is a dependent or independent
student. For more information visit, http://www.staffordloan.com.
Up to $5,000 per year, with a very low interest rate. For more information, visit
Education and Training Vouchers
Foster youth can get up to $5000 per year for help with getting a college degree or attending a
work or training program that is at least one year long. If you were in the program when you
turned 21, then you may be able to get this educational and training voucher until you’re 23
years-old. Ask ILSP about Educational Training Vouchers. To continue receiving money under
the voucher, you must maintain a 2.0 GPA or be performing satisfactorily.
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Renaissance Scholars is dedicated to the recruitment, retention and graduation of former foster youth at CSU, East Bay. We provide a variety of wraparound services and believe in the holistic support and betterment of the personal, academic, social and professional development of former foster youth. We work with a broad cross-section of community and child welfare agencies, non-profits and on-campus support services to ensure the continued success of our students.
Benefits and Services
The Renaissance Scholars Program provides all-encompassing services to help our former foster youth. Program support services include:
- Year-round on-campus housing
- Priority registration
- Tutoring and mentoring
- One-on-one liaison services
- Scholarships and emergency financial assistance
- Academic, career, and financial aid advising
- Psychological counseling
- Career development and internship opportunities
- Workshops, Social Activities and Field Trips
You must meet the following prerequisits for acceptance into the Renaissance Scholars Program.
- Must apply and be accepted to CSU, East Bay.
- Must be a California resident and former foster youth between the ages of 17-23.
- Must qualify as an "independent" student under federal financial aid guidelines.
- Freshmen must have a minimum 2.2 cumulative GPA.
- Transfer students must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA.
- Must qualify for and be accepted to EOP.
- Must qualify for and be accepted to Summer Bridge (freshmen only).
- Must have high motivation and potential.
- Must have completed and submitted the Renaissance Scholars Application by May 1st, 2008!
Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute
1203 Preservation Park Way, Suite 203
Oakland, CA 94612
Web site: http://www.mafei.org
MFEF, in partnership with local business, community groups, and individuals, provides
scholarship funds to at least 60 graduating high school seniors who are pursuing a postsecondary
Graduating seniors may use the scholarships to pursue post-secondary education at a two- or
four-year college, or at a vocational training institute. Some scholarship sponsors choose to
maintain a long-term relationship with their students, providing extended internships and
employment for them upon graduation.
Orphan Foundation of America
21351 Gentry Drive, Suite 130
Sterling, VA 20166
Web site: http://www.orphan.org
Orphan Foundation of America offers scholarships to foster youth from many different
individuals, foundations and corporations such as Casey Family Scholars, Hidegard Lash Merit
Scholarship, etc. Visit this site which is the umbrella for many different scholarships. Fill out
the general application for Orphan Foundation of America (OFA) and you may be awarded merit
scholarships from various organizations.
Benjamin Eaton Scholarship Program - from the National Foster Parent Association
Scholarship: for foster youth who wish to further their education beyond high school, including
college or university studies, vocational and job training, and correspondence courses, including
the GED. Details at: http://www.nfpainc.org
Burtrez Morrow Educational Loan Program - low-interest loans for young women currently
in foster care or in foster care at the time of their high school graduation. Recipients must also be
enrolled full-time at a four-year college or university and entering their junior or senior year in
college. Details at: http://www.orphan.org/programs/burtrez.html
Casey Family Scholars - up to $10,000 awarded to young people, under the age of 25, who have
spent at least 12 months in foster care and were not subsequently adopted. Applications are
available in January. Details at: http://www.orphan.org/
Coca-Cola Scholars Scholarships – 50 students are designated as National Scholars and receive
awards of $20,000 for college; 200 students are designated as Regional Scholars and receive
awards of $10,000 for college. Details at: https://www.coca-colascholars.org
Gates Millennium Scholarships – the goal of GMS is to promote academic excellence and to
provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need.
Scholarships will cover room, board and tuition for at least 1,000 outstanding high school
students with significant financial need. Details at: http://www.gmsp.org
Hildegard Lash Merit Scholarship - $5,000 per academic year, available to students who are
currently in foster care or were in foster care at the time of their high school graduation and/or
18th birthday, who are entering their sophomore, junior or senior year as a full-time student at a
four year college or university. Details at: http://www.orphan.org/programs/hildegard.html
Hispanic College Fund Scholarships – Site for Hispanic students majoring in business-related
areas. The award amount varies and over 140 awards are granted. Details at:
Holocaust Remembrance Project Essay Contest - national program, up to $5000. Details at:
Independent Living Skills Program (ILSP)
Offers a one-time grant ranging from $500 to $3,000 and per semester grants based on GPA.
Contact ILSP at 510.667.7696 for more information. Details at:
Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship – Jackie Robinson Foundation provides scholarships
of up to $7,500 annually to minority high school students showing leadership potential and
demonstrating financial need to attend an accredited 4-year college or university of their choice.
Details at: http://www.jackierobinson.org
NACME Scholarships (National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering) – the award
amounts go to $20,000 and many are awarded. This is a major engineering scholarship gateway.
Details at: http://www.nacme.org
National Association of Black Journalists – annually, NABJ awards more than $60,000 in
scholarships to deserving students interested in pursuing careers in journalism. Scholarships are
worth up to $25,000. Each scholarship is worth up to $5,000. Scholarships are open to any
foreign or American born students, currently attending an accredited four-year college/university
in the U.S. or those who are candidates for graduate school. Details at:
Patrick Charnon Scholarship – awards $1,500 scholarships to full-time undergraduate students
who have demonstrated their commitments to building communities. Details at
Ron Brown Scholarships – for students who have demonstrated academic merit, leadership, and
community service and will use these skills for social causes within their community. This is one
of the most prestigious scholarships for African Americans and it’s very competitive. $10,000
for 10 students, renewable for four years. Details at: http://www.ronbrown.org
SAMMY Awards – milk mustache scholar athlete awards, seniors, $7500. Details at:
Society of Women Engineer Scholarships – provides financial assistance to women admitted to
accredited baccalaureate or graduate programs, in preparation for careers in engineering,
engineering technology and computer science. Award amounts are from $1000-$10,000 each and
at least 90 are granted. Details at: http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org
Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund – financial need at historically black public colleges.
Details at: http://www.thurgoodmarshallfund.net/v1/
United College Fund Scholarships – This is a major scholarship gateway. The awards are of
varying amounts and there are many that are under different names and requirements. Details at:
Xerox Technology Minority Scholarship – Scholarships for students studying in areas of
chemistry, engineering, physics, and tech areas. The majority of scholarship winners are awarded
$1000, but it can go up to $10,000. Details at: http://www.xerox.com (type scholarship in the
Yoshiyama Award for Exemplary Service – open to graduating high school seniors in the
United States and its territories. Must demonstrate self-motivation, leadership, creativity,
dedication and a commitment to pursuing community service to be eligible for this award. Grade
point averages, SAT scores and school club memberships are not considered in the selection
process. Details at: http://www.hitachifoundation.org/yoshiyama/
Outside Scholarship Resources
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Scholarships for many ethnic groups and minorities
Comprehensive program serving Black students
Financial Aid Resources
Test Preparation/Practice Tests
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675 Hegenberger Road, Suite 100
Oakland, CA 94621
Beyond Emancipation’s mission is to help emancipated youth make successful transitions into
adulthood and living independently. They offer many services including:
In partnership with the Alameda County Social Services agency and other youth providers,
Beyond Emancipation places former foster youth in transitional housing or in the homes of
caring volunteer adults and families. In addition, Beyond Emancipation provides referrals to
other housing opportunities.
Access to Education
Provide support and assistance to students in secondary and post-secondary education. Beyond
Emancipation guides students through college application process and provides support through
the college experience.
Employment Skills Help
In addition to providing resume review and job search assistance, Beyond Emancipation refers
clients to employment focused agencies such as Pivotal Point.
Life Skills Instruction
Beyond Emancipation provides free life skills classes (such as financial literacy training) for
their clients. Beyond Emancipation also works to find mentors for interested youth.
Leadership Development Opportunities (Youth Engagement)
Beyond Emancipation is an active member in Alameda County's youth engagement strategy,
whereby former and current foster youth voice their opinions and provide their perspective in the
creation and oversight of programs and policies in Alameda County affecting foster care and
Casey Life Skills
These free, online tools allow youth to assess and develop their strengths in life skills including
money management, work and study habits, self-care, and readiness for seeking a job and
housing. Casey Life Skills is for young people age 8 and above, their caregivers, and child
welfare professionals and educators who serve youth.
Easy-to-use assessments provide instant, confidential feedback. Customized learning plans give
learners and mentors a clear outline of next steps. Teaching resources are available for free or at
a minimal cost.
Volunteer can help youth:
• Assess a young person’s strengths in life skills such as money management, work and
study habits, self-care, and readiness for seeking a job and housing
• Identify and set realistic goals for growth
• Create a customized learning plan
• Teach life skills with "Ready, Set, Fly" or other available teaching resources.
• Keep coming back to track progress
Volunteers can access these online tools at:
http://www.chafee.org/pages/assess/assess_printable.htm or www.caseylifeskills.org.
Preparing for Independent Living
To help youth make the transition from foster care to transitional living, there are documents,
skills and connections that the youth will need. The Transitional Independent Living Plan is one
of the documents that child welfare workers should complete for all foster youth 16 years of age
Transitional Independent Living Plan
The youth’s child welfare worker, ILSP program and youth must work together to come up with
a plan. This plan helps to identify a plan for the youth’s emancipation. It also outlines what the
youth and support team will need to complete to prepare them for his/her emancipation. This
plan should include information regarding plans for a college, housing, employment, childcare,
This plan must be documented and the youth should help to prepare this plan. Volunteers and
youth should make sure to get a copy of this plan and ask the team who will be supporting them
to implement the plan. Applications, scholarships, grants, financial aid, etc. have deadlines so
make sure to create timelines. If something needs be changed on the plan, contact their child
welfare worker to make the request.
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CHECKLIST FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING
Assist youth to obtain the following:
1. Original copy of their birth certificate
2. Social security card
3. California ID or driver’s license
4. Proof of citizenship or residence
5. Death certificate of parent(s), if applicable
6. Transitional housing
7. Employment that pays above minimum wage
8. Extension for Medi-Cal
9. Copies of medical records
10. Checking/savings account
11. Permanent adult connections
12. Library card
13. First Aid kit