DCFS Scholarship Opportunity for Current and Former Youth in Care
The annual academic scholarship program is taking applications for the upcoming school year through March 31.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is currently accepting applications for the 2024 DCFS Scholarship Program. The program offers tuition money and academic fee waivers to current and former youth in care attending Illinois colleges after high school.
The program is available to youth:
- Who have an open DCFS case
- Whose cases were closed through adoption or guardianship
- Who aged out of care at 18 or older
Students interested in attending Illinois trade schools, community colleges, or traditional colleges or universities and who are at least 16 years old on March 31 may apply.
Scholarship recipients will receive:
- Up to five consecutive years of tuition and academic fee waivers to be used at participating Illinois state community colleges and public universities
- A monthly grant to offset other expenses
- A medical card
The program will select scholarship recipients based on:
- Their scholastic record and aptitude
- Community and extracurricular activities
- Three letters of recommendation from non-relatives
- A personal essay illustrating their purpose for higher education
This DCFS Scholarship Program tip sheet has more details about eligibility requirements, available benefits and what the scholarship does not cover.
DCFS encourages students to submit their applications before the March 31 deadline.
Last year, DCFS awarded scholarships to 259 college-bound youth, the most in the agency’s history.
For questions about the application process or for more information, contact the DCFS Office of Education and Transition Services at (217) 557-2689 or DCFS.Scholarship@illinois.gov.
See the 2024 scholarship press release for more details.