Financial Aid for Foster Youth in Illinois

Understanding Your Financial Aid Package


Once you’ve been accepted to a college, you should get an email from them introducing you to a student portal or whatever system they use online. Typically you’ll get a username and password to log on. Find the financial aid section to see what kind of financial aid package they’re offering you. If you can’t see it, it’s usually because they’re waiting for you to turn in additional forms.


We often see colleges request proof that you are (or were) in foster care. You can request a letter from your GAL or caseworker verifying your status as a youth in care. Sometimes this is referred to as “Proof of Wardship” or “Proof of Status as Foster Youth.”

Colleges also often ask for VERIFICATION OF NON-FILING, also known as a Tax Return Transcript. That’s because when you fill out the FAFSA as an independent, you may need to prove that you’ve never filed taxes before. You’ll have to submit this form through the mail (not online), so give yourself plenty of time!

Young men also have to enroll in Selective Service before they can receive financial aid.

Whatever the college may be asking you for, get it to them as soon as possible so you can get that financial aid money! If you need any help figuring it out, our college coaches are here to help!


Make an appointment with a college coach to help you understand your unique financial situation!