Since adopted children often have faced tremendous hardships in their lives, such as neglect and abuse, many organizations have created scholarships for adopted students to help them overcome their tough past for a brighter future. A recent study at the University of Chicago found that only one-half of all adopted and foster students actually graduate from high school, and only six percent of those who graduated went on to earn a college degree. Although there are many reasons why these students may not attend post-secondary education, financial support is usually one of the major contributing factors. Therefore, read on to learn more about 25 excellent scholarship opportunities specifically for children who have been adopted from foster care.
1. Adoptive Families Today Commemorative Scholarships
Deadline: December 31st
Each year, Adoptive Families Today Commemorative Scholarships are granted for former foster care youth from Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry, and DuPage counties of Illinois who were adopted out of the foster care system after their 16th birthday. In order to qualify for up to $1,500 in financial assistance, students must be current year high school graduates or GED recipients who plan to pursue post-secondary education at a technical school, junior college, or four-year accredited university in Illinois.
Adoptive Families Today Commemorative Scholarships
P.O. Box 1726
Barrington, IL 60011
2. Carlos Lara and Don Hazel Scholarship Fund
Deadline: May 31st
Administered by the Texas Foster Family Association (TFFA), the Carlos Lara and Don Hazel Scholarship Fund provides $1,000 annually to member foster parent’s biological, adoptive, or foster children who are graduating from high school and enrolling full-time in any U.S. institution of higher learning. For consideration, applicants must submit a two-paragraph essay, copy of high school transcript, copy of a college acceptance letter, and two letters of recommendation.
Carlos Lara and Don Hazel Scholarship Fund
41 Shady Oak Lane
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
3. Casey Family Scholars Program
Deadline: March 31st
As the nation’s largest scholarship provider for individuals who have received foster care, the Casey Family Scholars Program provides from $1,500 to $6,000 per academic year to students who have been in public or private foster care for 12 consecutive months, have been adopted from foster care after their 16th birthday, or have been orphaned before their 18th birthday. Eligible candidates must be under the age of 25, have been in foster care while living in the United States, and be accepted into an accredited Pell-eligible college.
Casey Family Scholars Program
21351 Gentry Drive Suite 130
Sterling, VA 20166
4. Dorothy and Robert Debolt Scholarship
Deadline: May 31st
Sponsored by Adopt a Special Kid (AASK), the Dorothy and Robert Debolt Scholarship is presented annually for up to $3,000 to promising youth adopted from foster care in California who are planning to continue their education by attending a college, university, or vocational training school in the United States upon high school graduation. Recipients will be chosen based on community service involvement, participation in extra-curricular activities, potential for success in college, financial need, and academic achievement.
Dorothy and Robert Debolt Scholarship
8201 Edgewater Drive Suite 103
Oakland, CA 94621
(510) 553-1748 ext. 10
5. DREAM Former Foster Children Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Funded by the Oregon Foster Youth Connection, the DREAM Former Foster Children Scholarship provides up to $2,500 to any students who were adopted from the child welfare system in Oregon between the ages of 14 and 16. Qualified candidates must be under the age of 25 years old, have spent at least 180 days in foster care, and be accepted for enrollment at any public university or community college in Oregon on at least a part-time basis.
DREAM Former Foster Children Scholarship
500 Summer St. NE Suite E76
Salem, OR 97301
6. Emily Lester Vermont Opportunity Scholarship
Deadline: March 5th
Sponsored from a trust fund established through the State of Vermont, the Emily Lester Vermont Opportunity Scholarship is granted annually for $1,000 to $3,000 for individuals who were adopted from the custody of the Vermont Commissioner of the Department for Children and Families (DCF) between the ages of 16 and 18. Eligible applicants must be enrolling in an undergraduate associates or bachelor’s degree program at an accredited Vermont school and demonstrate financial need for assistance.
Emily Lester Vermont Opportunity Scholarship
10 East Allen St.
P.O. Box 2000
Winooski, VT 05404
7. Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption Scholarships
Deadline: March 23rd
Annually, the Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption (FRUA) awards two scholarships for $1,000 apiece for member’s dependent children who were adopted from Eastern Europe and are graduating high school or are currently enrolled in an accredited undergraduate program. Along with the application, candidates are required to attach one letter of referenced with a 500-word essay describing their career goals, involvement in adoption community services, and how adoption has affected their life.
Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption Scholarships
P.O. Box 2944
Merrifield, VA 22116
8. Fory Charitable Trust Scholarship for Orphans
Deadline: April 15th
With the goal of improving the quality of life for orphans and children at risk, the Fory Charitable Trust Scholarship for Orphans is awarded annually for up to $2,000 to students who were adopted from Russia to become part of a nuclear American family. Qualified applicants must have proof of adoption from Russia and U.S. citizenship, maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, and work towards an associate’s or bachelor’s degree at any continental U.S. institution.
Fory Charitable Trust Scholarship for Orphans
P.O. Box 926398
Houston, TX 77292
9. Fostering A Future Scholarship Program
Deadline: April 15th
Sponsored by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the Children’s Action Network, the Foster A Future Scholarship Program is designed to provide national scholarships each year to youth who were adopted from foster care at or after the age of 13. In order to qualify for up to $2,500 in financial tuition assistance, candidates under the age of 21 must be currently pursuing a college education at any vocational training program, two-year community college, or four-year university nationwide.
Fostering A Future Scholarship Program
11849 West Olympic Blvd. Suite 101
Los Angeles, CA 90064
10. Great Aspirations Scholarship Program
Deadline: July 1st
As a non-profit charitable organization funded by school systems in Virginia, the Great Aspirations Scholarship Program (GRASP) offers annual scholarships to assist eligible foster care and adopted youth with obtaining post-secondary education. Preference is given to students attending high school in Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfield, Petersburg, New Kent, Hopewell, Powhatan, Charles City, or Richmond. Qualified students must have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA and submit a financial aid award letter to demonstrate unmet financial need.
Great Aspirations Scholarship Program
4551 Cox Rd. Suite 110
Glen Allen, VA 23060
11. Gordon Evans Scholarship
Deadline: March 31st
Created by the National Foster Parent Association (NFPA) in honor of a man who gave so much of himself to the many children he fostered, the Gordon Evans Scholarship is awarded each year to deserving birth, adoptive, and foster children of foster parents who are members of the national association in good standing. In order to qualify for one of the five $1,000 scholarships, individuals must be currently accepted or enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at an accredited post-secondary U.S. institution.
Gordon Evans Scholarship
2307 Tacoma Avenue South
Tacoma, WA 98402
12. Horatio Alger Association National Scholarship
Deadline: February 1st
As one of the nation’s largest college financial aid programs offering 106 awards for $21,000 each annually, the Horatio Alger Association National Scholarship is designed to specifically assist graduating high school students who have faced and overcome great obstacles in their young lives, including foster care or adoption. Qualified applicants must exhibit a strong commitment to completing a bachelor’s degree at an accredited non-profit U.S. institution, demonstrate critical financial need, and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 or better.
Horatio Alger Association National Scholarship
99 Canal Center Plaza Suite 320
Alexandria, VA 22314
13. Ira S. Tate Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
At Southeastern Louisiana University, the Ira S. Tate Scholarship is given annually to adopted full-time undergraduate students residing in Baton Rouge who have been abandoned by their adoptive parents after turning 18 years old. While it is not required for receiving the scholarship for up to $1,600 in value, priority will be given to bachelor’s degree students who are planning a career in teaching, nursing, counseling, social work, or other helping fields after graduation.
Ira S. Tate Scholarship
500 Western Avenue
Hammond, LA 70402
14. Jane Irene Mishica Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 21st
Established by the Humboldt Area Foundation in memory of a devoted social worker who dedicated her life to children and their families, the Jane Irene Mishica Memorial Scholarship is available for graduating high school seniors from Humboldt County in California who were adopted at the age of 10 or older. Eligible candidates must be pursuing an undergraduate degree at an accredited U.S. institution full-time, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and demonstrate significant unmet financial need.
Jane Irene Mishica Memorial Scholarship
363 Indianola Rd.
Bayside, CA 95524
15. John H. Chafee Education and Training Scholarship
As a federally-funded state-administered initiative to provide financial support for transiting from foster care to adulthood, the John H. Chafee Education and Training Scholarship provides up to $5,000 annually to students from all 50 states who were in the foster care system through their 18th birthday or were adopted after age 16 from foster care. Qualified candidates must be pursuing post-secondary education at an accredited U.S. school, be under the age of 23 years old, and demonstrate financial need.
John H. Chafee Education and Training Scholarship
21351 Gentry Drive Suite 130
Sterling, VA 20166
16. Kansas Foster and Adoptive Children Scholarship Fund
Deadline: July and November 1st
Sponsored by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, the Kansas Foster and Adoptive Children Scholarship Fund distributes numerous awards twice each year as financial assistance to students who are or have been foster children in the state of Kansas, including foster children who have been adopted after turning 16. Eligible graduating high school seniors and current undergraduate students must use the funding for tuition expenses at an accredited trade school, junior college, or four-year university.
Kansas Foster and Adoptive Children Scholarship Fund
1055 Broadway Suite 130
Kansas City, MO 64105
17. Kreager Family Scholarship
Deadline: March 31st
Annually, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation provides the Kreager Family Scholarship for up to $2,500 to college-bound graduating high school seniors from Kalamazoo County in Michigan who have suffered the loss of a parent or both parents through death of abandonment after infancy. To be eligible, students must be planning to attend an accredited two or four-year institution at least part-time, demonstrate financial need, and submit an essay on how they overcame challenges for academic and personal success.
Kreager Family Scholarship
151 South Rose St. Suite 332
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
18. Legacy League Adoption Scholarship
Deadline: December 15th
Designed to make life-changing post-secondary education available for students who are adopted or in foster care and could otherwise not afford this experience, the Legacy League Adoption Scholarship is granted for up to $1,000 annually to adopted or foster children who are enrolling as a full-time undergraduate student at Samford University. In order to renew the scholarship for a maximum of four years, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better on all Samford coursework.
Legacy League Adoption Scholarship
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229
19. Lifetime Adoption Foundation Educational Scholarships
Deadline: March 15th
Each year, the Lifetime Adoption Foundation proudly offers various educational scholarships for up to $3,000 to adopted children pursuing post-secondary education as well as birthmothers who have chosen adoption to fulfill college goals. For consideration, applicants must submit a completed application, proof of enrollment at an accredited U.S. institution, an official transcript showing a 2.0 GPA or better, and verification of the adoption at least three months prior to the start of classes.
Lifetime Adoption Foundation Educational Scholarships
430 North Palora Avenue Suite K
Yuba City, CA 95991
20. Massachusetts Adopted Children Tuition Waiver Program
With the mission of lessening the financial burden on adopting parents in the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Adopted Children Tuition Waiver Program provides full tuition scholarships to individuals 24 years of age or under who have been adopted by an eligible Massachusetts resident through the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Applicants must be enrolled at least part-time in an undergraduate degree program offered at a public Massachusetts college or university with good academic standing.
Massachusetts Adopted Children Tuition Waiver Program
454 Broadway Suite 200
Revere, MA 02151
21. National Foster Parent Association Youth Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 14th
Annually, the National Foster Parent Association (NFPA) presents five Youth Scholarships for $500 each to foster, adopted, and biological children of currently licensed foster parents who are seeking post-secondary education beyond high school at any accredited U.S. institution. Along with an application, candidates must attach proof of parent membership in the NFPA, two letters of recommendation, an official high school transcript, and an essay on how foster care experiences shaped their future goals.
National Foster Parent Association Youth Scholarship Program
2021 East Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55413
22. Nebraska Foster and Adoptive Association Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
With the mission of responding to the changing needs of foster and adoption by providing an array of supportive programs, the Nebraska Foster and Adoptive Association (NFAPA) offers annual scholarships for adoptive, foster, guardianship, and kinship children of Nebraska foster parents who wish to further their education beyond a high school diploma or GED. Recipients must be U.S. citizens, reside in a foster or adoptive home within Nebraska, have been a Ward of the State, and be enrolled in a two or four-year U.S. institution.
Nebraska Foster and Adoptive Association Scholarship
2431 Fairfield Suite C
Lincoln, NE 68521
23. North Carolina Child Welfare Post-Secondary Support Program
Also known as NC Reach, the North Carolina Child Welfare Post-Secondary Support Program awards scholarships of varying amounts to college students who aged out of the North Carolina public foster care system or whose adoption from foster care was finalized after their 12th birthday. Eligible applicants must be enrolled at least half-time at a public community college or university in North Carolina and make satisfactory progress toward completion of an undergraduate degree.
North Carolina Child Welfare Post-Secondary Support Program
2917 Highwoods Blvd.
P.O. Box 41966
Raleigh, NC 27629
24. Sam Houston State University Forward Program
Deadline: March 31st
For incoming freshmen, the Sam Houston State University Forward Program provides annual renewable scholarships to empower full-time enrolled undergraduate students who are former foster youth, orphans, adopted children, or wards of the state. In addition to the scholarship funding, students in the program benefit from on-campus housing waivers, mentorships, career services, internships, and other resources to transition smoothly throughout college to build successful personal and professional achievements.
Sam Houston State University Forward Program
202 Academic Building IV Suite 200
Huntsville, TX 77341
25. UMPS Care Charities All-Star Scholarship
Deadline: May 16th
Since education gives individuals a healthy lead when rounding the bases, the UMPS Care Charities All-Star Scholarship has been designed to provide up to $10,000 to children adopted from foster care who otherwise might not be able to afford a college education. Qualified candidates must have been adopted from the United States foster care system on or before their 12th birthday, be graduating high school seniors, and demonstrate critical financial need.
UMPS Care Charities All-Star Scholarship
301 Holly Rd.
Edgewater, MD 21037
As the price tag for earning a college education continues to climb steadily, it is becoming more essential than ever before for adopted students to navigate through the college financial aid process to obtain federal, institutional, and private assistance where possible. Furthermore, it is important for adopted children to realize that they have access to tons of general scholarship programs as well as these scholarships for adopted students to help cut the costs of achieving college success.