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The Chafee program is designed for students who are current or former foster youth. Students may qualify for up to $5,000 a year for college or career and technical training. Chafee can be used at any California postsecondary institution or out-of-state institution that participates in the federal Pell Grant program.
To apply, current or former foster youth must not reach their 26th birthday as of July 1 of the award year. The court must have established the state dependency between the ages of 16 and 18. KinGap youth, adopted youth, guardian placements, and voluntary placements are not eligible for Chafee, unless court dependence was established, at any time, between the ages of 16 and 18. Students who have received a Chafee payment can be renewed through their 26th birthday as of July 1 of the award year.
The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) will verify the student’s foster youth eligibility status. As long as foster youth eligibility is met, students are not required to have a valid Social Security number to apply for Chafee.
Chafee is federal and state funded with a current maximum award of $5,000 per academic year, not to exceed the cost of attendance. The final award amount will be determined by the postsecondary institution (institution) based on the cost of attendance and enrollment status. The majority of the Chafee awards are initiated during the fall term and additional awards are offered year round based on funding availability.
Once a student receives a Chafee payment, the award may be renewed through their 26th birthday as of July 1st of the award year. The student will need to submit the FAFSA or if applicable a CA Dream Act Application and the school will need to submit a NAR again; however, the Chafee application or the Foster Youth eligibility form will not need to be resubmitted. Awards will be determined based on the award selection criteria.
Students who have received a prior Chafee payment are assigned first priority during the selection process. Institutions and students may contact the Commission by phone or e-mail to request a school change. School changes can be reported to the Commission on the “Chafee Update and Change Form” at https://www.chafee.csac.ca.gov.
• Paid renewal students are students who have received a Chafee payment
• New and non-paid renewal students are students who have not received a Chafee payment
Once all the requirements are fulfilled, the Commission will offer awards based on the priority selection. Award notifications will be sent to the Chafee recipients.
For more information or questions regarding the Chafee Grant, please contact your campus financial aid office.