Financial Resources for Foster Care Students


I attended undergrad and grad school.

I started my company, Bigger Than Your Block, back in 2008.

I have traveled to 18 countries on 5 continents.

I was a foster kid that aged out of the system at 17 years old.

Fewer than 3% of foster kids earn a degree. I was one of the lucky ones. There shouldn’t be “lucky ones”. We have to do better.

I found this list of scholarships and grants for college students that are wards of the state. The Fostering Access to College Education (FACE) page has tons of good stuff.

First, eligible current and former foster youth may apply online for the Chafee Grant at Grants are for eligible applicants ages 18-23 for up to $5,000 to assist with college tuition or job training. Youth must have been in foster care at or after the age of 16 to be eligible.

Other valuable sources for scholarship money are as follows: 

  • Promises2Kids Guardian Scholars Program ( The Program provides scholarships also up to $5000 per year to former foster youth enrolling in two and four-year colleges. Applicants should apply at the same time as their FAFSA filing (between Jan. 1 and Mar. 2). 
  • Just in Time for Foster Youth: (approximate deadline is May 1–check website for updates). Its “College Bound” program provides laptops, printers, school supplies and/or dorm room/apartment furnishings for selected youth.
  • Fostering Opportunities Dollars for Scholars: (approximate deadline is July 1 for fall semester and October 1 for spring semester–check website for updates). A $500 grant per semester is available to former foster youth enrolling in San Diego colleges or universities.
  • San Diego Foundation ( or call 619-814-1307. The San Diego Foundation is a clearinghouse for a large number of private scholarships, each with different sets of criteria. Scholarship applications may be filed online between Dec. 1 and February 9th (for first-time users). All application  materials are due February 13, 2012 at 5 PM. Check the website for details.
  • Change A Life Foundation: You may file your scholarship application between Dec. 1 and March 15. San Diego residents with questions may contact Cat Gomez-Holly at
  • Orphan Foundation of America (OFA): (approximate deadline is Mar. 31–check website for updates). OFA serves foster teens throughout the country and provides college scholarships.
  • Gates Millennium Scholars Program: (early January deadline for outstanding African American, Native American, Hispanic American and Asian Pacific Islander American students)
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund: (for Latina/Latino students–deadlines vary)
  • UNCF: (for African-American students–deadlines vary)



Finally, you may search the internet for other private scholarships by using a free Webbased search engine. Try or You should never pay to find, apply, or receive a scholarship.

$2,000 Scholarship to Travel


After spending most of March in southeast Asia, I’ve traveled to 18 countries on five continents. Nothing has changed my life as much as getting out into the world and seeing that there are tons of ways to do things and the way I learned certainly isn’t the only, and is possibly not the best, way to do things. If you’ve been wanting to travel, this may be the best way to get started – with someone else’s money! Lol

I saw this on the Growing Up Bilingual Facebook page:

Explore the World travel scholarships: HI USA is awarding 4 $2,000 Explore the World scholarships this year to individuals who are 18-30, permanent U.S. legal residents, live or go to school in one of the 14 participating U.S. cities, and who plan to incorporate education and/or service into their international travels. Application deadline is May 15, 2016.

Apply here:

Go for it!


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$10,000 Scholarship for 1st Year Law Students

From Nutka:

The MCCA Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program provides scholarship support for newly entering first year law students. The Scholarship Program will provide scholarships at $10,000 per year for up to three years. The total commitment per student is up to $30,000. In addition, several students will also receive a one-time award of $10,000 to assist with their first year expenses. MCCA intends to foster mentoring opportunities for the selected scholars as well as assist in the placement of the winners in paid summer internship positons with corporate law departments during the summer immediately following successful completion of their first year of law school.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens and able to show proof of same, if requested. Applicant must show proof of his/her acceptance into a U.S. accredited law school on or before the application deadline (to start in fall 2009). Applicant must have an interest in corporate law, including working in a corporate law department and/or law firm. Applicant must have an interest in diversity. Applicant must be financially disadvantaged and have completed the FAFSA and provide additional documents as requested. Applicant must demonstrate community service and leadership qualities. Applicant must have earned an undergraduate or graduate cumulative g.p.a. of 3.2 or higher. Applicant must be enrolled in law school on a FULL-TIME basis in the fall 2009.

Online application closes on June 1.

$1,000 for Student Volunteers at Conference and Trade Show in Boston

From Boston College Career Center Blog:

Ten $1,000 Student Student volunteers and scholarship applicants are needed for the 84th Annual Conference & Trade Show in Boston, MA, which will take place July 24-28, 2009.  Attending and volunteering at the Annual Conference & Trade Show is an invaluable experience for students to learn from and network with industry professionals.  All students who volunteer will receive full conference registration.  IAAM Foundation Student Scholarships are a great way to further offset trip expenses.  This year up to 10 student scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each will be awarded.

For more information visit IAAM.

10 Low Income Areas in Michigan Become “Promise Zones” for Scholarships

From Battlecreek Enquirer:

Michigan picks ‘promise zones’ scholarship locations

The Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan this weekend is announcing qualifying locations for a new program aimed at providing more college scholarships to high school graduates in 10 low-income areas of the state.

Designations have been awarded to Baldwin Community Schools, Battle Creek Public Schools, Benton Harbor Area Schools, the City of Detroit, the School District of the City of Hazel Park, Jackson Public Schools, the Lansing School District, the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, the School District of the City of Pontiac and the Saginaw School District.

A measure signed into law in January by Gov. Jennifer Granholm allowed the creation of 10 “promise zones,” and 14 communities submitted applications. The legislation was modeled somewhat after the Kalamazoo Promise, which guarantees free college tuition to graduates of Kalamazoo Public Schools.

“Communities need this powerful new tool to take charge of their economic futures,” Granholm said in a statement. An official announcement was planned for Sunday.

Communities, relying heavily on private funding, must prove they have enough cash to run their college scholarship programs for two years before they could get matching funds from the state. At a minimum, the programs must provide students living within the “promise zone” tuition for two years at a community college.

State Rep. Tim Melton, a Democrat from Auburn Hills, and state Sen. Gerald Van Woerkom, a Republican from Norton Shores representing the Muskegon area, spearheaded efforts to pass the law in the state Legislature.

“This initiative is one of the most creative ways to give children in these areas of higher than normal poverty a new lease on life,” Melton said in a statement.

Tylenol 2009 Scholarships

From Tylenol website:

As a company dedicated to helping people feel better, we’re proud to support the future of healthcare with our annual TYLENOL® Scholarship program. Now in its 17th year, the program helps students who are pursuing careers in the healthcare, life sciences, or related fields manage the rising costs of education.

This year, we’ll be awarding $250,000 in scholarships based on leadership qualities and academic performance, including ten $10,000 and thirty $5,000 grants.

Ethnic Scholarships Racist?

First off, everyone is ethnic because everyone has an ethnicity and we can’t think of one ethnic group that doesn’t have scholarships for students.

I took a poll around the office to make sure that I’m not crazy (well, that one came back inconclusive) to think that scholarships based on ethnicity are not racist. I have to admit, it never occurred to me that anyone would think that until I read a post from a student this morning. Her post led me to this article about how some kids in Boston are saying that scholarships directed towards students of color are racist.


Anyone that has ever searched for scholarships knows that there are scholarships for anything, and everything, under the sun! I have seen scholarships for tall people, wearing Duck Tape to prom, and for having the last name Zolp. Each group has the right to raise money and distribute it as the group sees fit.

It’s silly to tell a group that they can’t help students who believe in thier mission get throught school.  Happy scholarship hunting!

Scholarship Scams

We began talking about scholarship scams a little on today’s radio show. I just read this article and thougt it was a perfect compliment to the discusion. It lays out, quite clearly, the different types of scholarship scams.

We don’t believe in reinventing the wheel, so we’ll as you to read the article at your leisure and post any questions you may have here or DM us on Twitter.

Scholarships for Foster Kids and Orphans

We also talked about scholarships for foster kids and orphans on this week’s radio show. I am starting a list of scholarships available. Please post any that we don’t know about.

United Friends of the Children Scholarships

Orphan Foundation of America Scholarships

Seek out more scholarships. There are people that want to help us attend, and graduate, from college.

Understanding Your Financial Aid Package for College

Yea graduation..... hello... paying for college!

This article on reading the financial aid package clearly is invaluable. It clearly breaks down the differences, and what you can expect, from scholarships and grants.

Remember: scholarships and grants are monies that you don’t have you pay back. Loans, you always have to pay back.

Most students will get a package that has an offer for grants and loans. Scholarships must be applied for. Start looking early and apply for every one you can. Many scholarships are not even awarded because no worthy people apply. I reiterate: apply for every grant that you believe you qualify for.

Wards of the state (i.e. foster youth and orphans) are usually given independent status instead of dependent status as we have no one to depend on. This affords us the ability to receive more grant money and fewer loans. If this is a bit confusing, call in to our radio show on Tuesday, April 14th at 10am to ask your questions.

Win a College Scholarship by Entering Our Art Contest!

DEADLINE: May 13, 2009

Girls Helping Girls’ Fund-for-Respect Program is organizing a “Mirror, Mirror” art contest to empower girls to redefine “real beauty” and widen their perspectives on beauty.

Girls aged 11-19 can submit a visual, literature, or video piece responding to the question, “Who is the most beautiful woman to you?”

General Rules:

All entries much be submitted with a completed Entry Form ( Download here , or Email:
All contestants much be 11 to 19 years of age on May 13, 2009
By entering, the artist gives Girls Helping Girls permission to use their artwork for promotional, non-commercial purposes.
Entries must be original
Subject matters must be related to the theme
Contestants are limited to a maximum of 2 entries per person
All entries MUST be submitted and received by May 13, 2009
Contestants can either sent their submission online via email to or send it via mail to:
45945 Sentinel Place
Fremont, CA 94539

All submissions will be judged according to creativity, originality, personal connection to the theme.

Prizes for Each Category:
First place: $500, media support
Second, third place: display on Girls Helping Girls’ websites, certificates

Scholarships available at PCC for Latino students

PASADENA – The Pasadena City College President’s Latino Advisory Committee has established four $1,000 scholarships for PCC students through the PCC Latino Scholarship Fund.

To be eligible for the scholarship, an individual must, in addition to the requirements, be a full-time student with a GPA of 2.5 or higher, demonstrate financial need, show an understanding of Latino culture and be involved in extracurricular activities.

The application is available online on the PLAC Website at

Applications can be submitted to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (L114) by April 17.

Selected students will be notified by May 1.

From San Gabriel Tribune

Sandwich Contest for Students

I read about this contest on

Arnold Breads is giving kids the chance to win money for college and for the classroom by sharing their favorite sandwich in their Best in Class Sandwich Challenge Contest.
To enter, submit your favorite original sandwich recipe. Entries will be judged on the basis of their originality, healthiness, and how easy they are to make.

Each of the four grand-prize winners will receive a $1,500 US Savings Paper I Bond in the to use for continuing education and a $5,000 check for the winner’s school to be used in the winner’s classroom. Homeschooler’s may also enter. Check for $5,000 will be donated to charity of the winner’s choice.

Entry is open to students aged 6 – 18 who live in the following US states: ME, VT, MA, RI, CT, NJ, DE, SC, AL, GA, SD, MN, WI, IA, MO, IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, WV, PA, MD, FL, VA, NC, DC and NY. If the winner is home-schooled, the $5,000 check will be presented to a charity of the winner’s choice. Enter as many times as you like before May 4, 2009, so long as each recipe is unique.

Scholarship Scams

We post legitimate scholarship information as soon as we get it. We want to make sure that no one misses an opportunity due to our inactivity. In the spirit of being helpful we would love to share this article about scholarship scams.

As a general rule, legitimate scholarships do not require a fee to apply. Scholarship sites will not pressure you to “apply now”. Scholarships usually have a date listed and provide ample time for you to get the requisite essays, transcripts, applications, etc. together.

Read the article for a clearly laid out description of 23 different ways to spot a scholarship scam.

$16,000 Scholarships for Artists

FINAL DEADLINE: December 16, 2009

Myartspace launches 2009 cash scholarship competition for graduate and undergraduate students 

MYARTSPACE is giving away $16,000 cash Scholarships for students to continue their education in an approved MFA, BFA or higher level degree program for the arts. The 2009 scholarship amount of $16,000 will be divided equally for an undergraduate and graduate competition.