Financial Aid for Foster Youth in Illinois:

DCFS Programs


None of these programs is accessed through filling out the FAFSA (although they all require you to do that first!). Each program below has its own separate application and most of them will require a caseworker to fill a portion out.


The Education and Training Voucher (ETV): $5,000

The ETV is a national program available to only youth in foster care or youth who have aged out. You can receive up to $5,000 per year for education expenses. See all the details as well as the application here: EDUCATION AND TRAINING VOUCHER APPLICATION

DCFS Youth in Scholarship

The application becomes available on January 1 each year and is due by March 31. It is a full-tuition waiver for Illinois public colleges, plus some additional benefits, such as a $511 monthly stipend and medical insurance until age 26. This scholarship is available for any youth in foster care, or for anyone who has been adopted or in a guardianship from Illinois. Check out more information here: YOUTH IN SCHOLARSHIP TIP SHEET and apply here: DCFS YOUTH IN SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION 2019

DCFS Youth In College Placement

If you’re going to college full time and not living with a foster parent, you can be a part of the Youth in College program and receive the $511 a month stipend. See more information here: YOUTH IN COLLEGE TIP SHEET And fill out the application here: YOUTH IN COLLEGE APPLICATION

DCFS Community College Payment Program

Usually students do not need this program because the MAP Grant and the Pell Grant cover all their needs for financial aid, but if you find yourself with costs after financial aid is applied, the Community College Payment Program is there for you. Here is more information: COMMUNITY COLLEGE PAYMENT PROGRAM TIP SHEET