Foster and Unhoused Youth Scholarships

Use the links below to find scholarship information for foster and unhoused youth.


Filling out FAFSA as an Independent

Use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form to apply for financial aid for college or graduate school.

CASA scholarship

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) screens, trains and professionally supervises caring adult volunteers –more than 1,500 since 1992- who have served as mentors and powerful advocates for more than 2,000 of Santa Cruz County’s most vulnerable children.

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.

Cabrillo Guardian Scholars

The Cabrillo College Guardian Scholars Program is a space on campus for highly motivated students who want to earn a degree, certificate, or prepare to transfer and are currently or have been in foster care at any point in their life. We are here to help students achieve their education goals and connect them with resources.

UCSC Renaissance Scholars

The Renaissance Scholars Program is committed to fostering the professional and academic development of our community. In providing financial, personal, and communal support for independent students who have faced significant challenges or hardships, Renaissance Scholars takes a holistic approach to ensure the success and enrichment of our students’ university experience.

Foster Care to Success Sponsored Scholarships

FC2S partners with organizations, foundations, and individuals to deliver scholarships to foster youth across the country. With this funding and our support, hundreds of young people reach their educational goals every year.

Dreams 33 Scholarship

We are dedicated to helping foster youth achieve their personal goals in higher education. We believe each child’s journey is different, for that reason we do not solely focus on grade point averages. We work closely with each student to develop a scholarship catered to their specific goals and needs.


The SchoolHouse Connection Leadership and Scholarship Program

Provides scholarships to youth who have experienced homelessness to ensure their completion of a post-secondary education program. – Homeless/Formerly Homeless Scholarships

Complete your profile and gain free access to our scholarship database. We make it simple and match you to college scholarships you qualify for instantly.

NHCE Scholarships

Having access to higher education is a key opportunity for young people experiencing homelessness to move towards financial stability as adults. These resources provide young people experiencing homelessness and people who support them with ready access to scholarship information.


The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) is a national membership association dedicated to ensuring educational equity and excellence for children and youth experiencing homelessness.

NAEHCY connects educators, parents, advocates, researchers, and service providers to ensure school enrollment and attendance and overall success for children and youth whose lives have been disrupted by the lack of safe, permanent, and adequate housing. NAEHCY achieves these goals through advocacy, partnerships, and education.


College-bound students who are considered “at risk”, or from disadvantaged backgrounds, may find that there are more scholarship opportunities dedicated to their needs than they at first imagined.