Admissions & Aid

Chafee Grant


Please also visit the Guardian Scholars website for more information about this program for Foster Youth.

What is a California Chafee Grant?

The California Chafee Grant is free money for current or former foster youth to help pay for college or career or technical training that you don’t have to pay back. You may also be able to use your grant to pay for child care, transportation and rent while you’re in school. The Chafee Grant is federally and state funded and each year is subject to availability of funds.

Where can I use my Chafee Grant?

You can use your Chafee Grant at any eligible California school as well as schools in other states. In California, you can attend:

  • career and technical schools

  • California Community Colleges

  • California State University campuses

  • University of California campuses

  • Independent and private colleges

How do I qualify?

  • be a current or former foster youth

  • not have reached your 22nd birthday as of July 1 of the award year

  • have financial need

To qualify the court must have established your dependency when you were between the ages of 16 and 19. KinGap youth who are or were eligible to receive Independent Living Program services, guardian placements and voluntary placements are not eligible for the California Chafee Grant (also known as the Chafee Education Training Voucher) unless court dependency was established, at any time, between the ages of 16 and 19.

How do I apply?

  • Submit the FAFSA Application at or download the PDF version and mail it. You may also call toll free (800) 433-3243 to have the paper FAFSA sent to you. (If you’re an undocumented student, contact the Commission for assistance)

  • Submit the California Chafee Grant Program Application online at or contact the Commission to have a paper form sent to you.

Note: These forms are year-specific. Be sure to complete the applications that correspond with the academic year you’ll be attending school.

What is required to receive your Chafee Grant funds?

  • enroll in an eligible career or technical school or public or private college or university

  • be enrolled at least half time

  • enroll in a program at least one academic year long

  • attend class regularly and receive good grades

What happens after I apply?

  • The Commission will review your FAFSA and Chafee Grant application.

  • The California Department of Social Services will verify your foster youth status.

  • 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 regarding your award status.

How will I get a grant?

Your grant will be sent to the career and technical school or college where you are enrolled. Talk to your school's financial aid adviser about how the school will distribute the grant.

Stay in School or Lose Your Grant!

You must stay in school to keep your Chafee Grant. If your enrollment falls below half time or if you receive bad grades, you could lose your Chafee Grant money.

How do I renew my Chafee Grant?

If you receive a Chafee Grant, it may be renewed through your 23rd birthday. You’ll need to submit the FAFSA every academic year but you won’t have to submit another Chafee Grant application. Occasionally, the Commission will contact you for updated information. Be sure to respond to letters or other forms that you may receive.

Where can I find more information about the Chafee Grant and other services for foster youth?

  • high school counselor

  • college academic adviser

  • college financial aid office

  • county or college Independent Living Coordinator

  • One-Stop Career Center

  • social worker or probation officer

You can also visit:

How can I contact the Commission?