Former Foster Youth

If you have been involved in the foster care system and have financial need, we can help you navigate the process of planning and paying for college. The resources below can get you started down the road to college and a successful career.

Career and College Calendar and Checklists

Chafee Education and Training Grant

The Chafee Education and Training Grant program helps current and former foster care youth pay for postsecondary education and training.

OSAC Chafee Contact
Kristin Vreeland, Grants Administrator
Phone: (458) 209-1036
Email: kristin.vreeland@HECC.Oregon.gov

DHS Chafee Contact
Tiffany Bramhall
Phone: (503) 945-6912
Email: Tiffany.M.Bramhall@dhsoha.state.or.us

Chafee ETV Grant - Important COVID-19 Related Changes

The COVID relief and spending package passed by Congress in December 2020 has temporarily changed the awarding requirements for the Chafee Education and Training Voucher (ETV). The Chafee ETV Grant can now be awarded to students who might not have qualified before. These changes are effective through September 2021. Please see the changes below.

  • States may waive the enrollment and satisfactory academic progress requirements (SAP) for Chafee ETV if young people are unable to meet the requirement due to the pandemic.
  • Chafee ETV Grant funds can pay up to $12,000 per student, including costs other than Cost of Attendance, to help students to remain in school. Young adults may still be eligible for funds even if they had to leave college or a training program due to COVID. Costs for basic needs like food, housing, and transportation, as well as supplies (laptop, internet, etc.) can be covered under this grant. Students can receive a maximum of $5,000 through the OSAC and financial aid awarding process.  Students can request additional funds of up to $7,000 by contacting the Youth Transition Programs to apply. For more information, email: ILP.Central@dhsoha.state.or.us.
  • Young people through age 26 (up to 27th birthday) who experienced foster care when they were age 14 or older are eligible for Chafee ETV Grant funds. Even if they had to leave college due to COVID-19, they may still be eligible for funds.
  • The five (5) year cap remains in effect. 

 

Pearl Scholarship Fund

Scholarship Purpose: To award scholarships to students who have been or remain in foster care and wish to attend an Oregon public college or university and major in health sciences. 

DREAM Scholarship

Scholarship Purpose: To award scholarships to students who are current Oregon residents and who have been in foster care and wish to attend any Title IV financial aid eligible institution within the United States.

Foster Youth Tuition and Fee Waiver

Foster Youth Tuition and Fee Waiver

The Foster Youth Tuition and Fee Waiver is for undergraduate students who were in the care and custody of DHS, or one of the nine federally recognized Tribes in Oregon. Former foster youth must have spent at least 180 days in substitute care after age14, AND did not have left substitute care and custody of (DHS or Tribe) prior to the youth’s 16th birthday. The undergraduate student must access the Tuition and Fee Waiver prior to the age of 25.

Students are expected to complete the FAFSA each year and fulfill FAFSA verification requirements if selected, so that other federal (Pell, FSEOG) and state (Oregon Opportunity Grant) financial aid may be applied to a student’s tuition and fee amount prior to calculation of the waiver amount. Students who do not submit verification documents/information as requested will not be eligible to receive the tuition and fee waiver.

The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) partners with the Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) to determine potentially eligible students and to match DHS data with a student’s FAFSA information. Based on information listed on the FAFSA, OSAC provides a list of eligible students to be considered for a Tuition and Fee Waiver in the Financial Aid Offices (FAO) Portal. A student may list several eligible institutions; all will be notified of the student's eligibility.

Financial Aid and More

Oregon Financial Aid Opportunities:

In addition to federal financial aid opportunities and programs specific to each institution, Oregon residents, regardless of age, may be eligible for the following state financial aid programs, as long as they meet all other program requirements:

File your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or ORSAA (Oregon Student Aid Application).

Oregon Opportunity Grant
 – Oregon’s largest state-funded, need-based grant program that prioritizes the lowest-income Oregon students of all ages who attend eligible public and private Oregon colleges and universities. 

Oregon Promise Grant – Oregon’s state grant program that provides recent high school graduates and GED® test graduates grants that can be applied toward tuition at Oregon community colleges.

Oregon National Guard State Tuition Assistance – Provides funds for tuition at Oregon community colleges and public universities for current eligible service members of the Oregon National Guard and the Oregon Air National Guard.

Student Child Care Grant – Assists parents who are enrolled in postsecondary education in obtaining safe, dependable childcare while allowing completion of the parent’s academic programs.

OSAC Scholarships – more than 600 privately funded scholarships are available to Oregon students, to which you can apply through a central application portal.

For additional Oregon grant and scholarship programs, please visit this link.

If you have already completed an associate’s degree, certificate, or some college, here are tools for transfer students

For information on how to build upon your current skills, including GED® resources, apprenticeships and training opportunities, career pathways, veteran resources, dislocated worker programs, workforce needs and more, please visit the Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s “build skills and training” webpage.

For additional resources on workforce, visit: 

WorkSource Oregon

Local Workforce Development Boards

Eligible Training Provider List

Information and Helpful Links