California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth

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.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify, you must meet the following criteria:

1. Be a current or former foster youth who was a ward of the court, living in foster care, for at least one day between the ages of 16 and 18.

2. Youth who are/were in Kin-GAP, a non-related legal guardianship, or were adopted, are eligible only if the youth was a dependent or ward of the court, living in foster care, for at least one day between the ages of 16 and 18.

3. Not have reached your 22nd   birthday as of July 1st   of the award year.

Pursuant to Assembly Bill 2506, starting with the 2017-18 award year, you can only receive your Chafee Grant if you attend a school that is either of the following:

1. A qualifying institution that is eligible for participation in the Cal Grant Program.

2. An institution that is not located in California with a three-year cohort default rate that is less than 15.5 percent and a graduation rate greater than 30 percent.


1. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)Opens in new window or California Dream Act Application (CADAA)Opens in new window ; Dream Act applicants: Dream Act ID required to submit a Chafee Grant application

2. Submit the California Chafee Grant ApplicationOpens in new window

Electronic submission of all required documents is preferred, but if you are unable to do so, you may print and submit the paper versions below:

Important Note for Paper Applicants

Forms are year-specific. Be sure to complete the applications that corresponds with the academic year you will be attending school. 

Renewing My Chafee Grant

If you received a Chafee Grant, it may be renewed through your 23rd birthday as of July 1st of the award year. You do not need to reapply for the Chafee Grant each year; however, you must submit a FAFSA or CADAA.

The Commission may contact you for updated information. Be sure to respond to emails, letters or forms that you may receive. 


What Happens After I Apply?

The Commission will review your FAFSA or CADAA and Chafee Application.

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) may verify your foster status. If CDSS is not able to verify your status, please complete the Foster Care Eligibility Certification FormPDF File  and mail it.

Once all of the above is completed, the Commission will send you an email message if you are selected for an award.

The school will verify payment eligibility and disburse the check to you.

If you applied for a Chafee Grant, go to WebGrants for Students to check the status of your application. 

Awarding Process

Student's completed applications are sorted by application date, and awards are offered based on the following priority selection criteria:

  • **Paid renewal students who have not reached their 23rd birthday as of July 1st of the award year.
  • New and ***non-paid renewal students who will be 22 years old as of July 1st of the award year.
  • New and non-paid renewal students who have dependents.
  • New and non-paid renewal students who have an unmet need of $5,000 or more.
  • New and non-paid renewal students who have an unmet need of less than $5,000.

** Students who have received a Chafee payment.

*** Students who have not received a Chafee payment.

Upon selection for an award, students are sent payment notifications for each term.

The majority of Chafee Grant awards are initiated during the fall term and additional awards are offered year round based on available federal and state funding each year.


The Guardian Scholars Program provides on-campus support services for Foster Youth. The Guardian Scholars Program is one of six scholar programs in the Center for Scholars at CSUF. There are several avenues for former foster youth to gain resources and support at CSUF. Please review the information below to learn more. You can also find more info on our website at


Support Services Program

The Guardian Scholars Support Services are provided by the Center for Scholars in collaboration with on-campus partners and include the following:

  • Access to Year-Round On-Campus Housing
  • Priority Registration
  • Educational and Community Enrichment Activities
  • Individual Counseling / Life Coaching
  • Student Study Spaces
  • Computer Lab & Free Printing
  • Visit our website to apply -


Scholarship Program

  • Services from the Support Services Program, and
  • Scholarship support that enhances individual financial aid award offers
  • Application deadlines are one our website -


Contact Information:

Center for Scholars

Guardian Scholars Program 

Location: Pollak Library (PLS) 170  

Website:   Guardian Scholars


Phone: 657.278.5494

Office Hours: 8 AM - 5 PM | Monday - Friday 

California Student Aid Commission

Specialized Programs Operations Brach - Chafee
P.O. Box 419029
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741

Phone:   888.224.7268

Fax:   916.464.7977