What is Chafee?

If you are or were in foster care for at least one day, between the ages of 16 and 18 as a dependent or ward of the court and have financial need, you may qualify for up to $5,000 a year for career and technical training or college. You don’t have to pay this money back. You may also be able to use your grant to help pay for child care, transportation and rent while you’re in school. You can use your Chafee Grant at any eligible California college or university or career or technical school, as well as schools in other states.

How Do I Apply?

To be considered for a California Chafee Grant, you must complete the following:

What Happens After I Apply?


  • The Commission will review your FAFSA or CADAA and Chafee Grant Application.
  • The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) may verify your foster status. If CDSS is not able to verify your status, please complete the Foster Care Eligibility Certification Form and mail it.
  • Once all of the above is completed, the Commission will send you an email message if you are selected for an award.
  • The school will verify payment eligibility and disburse the check to you.
  • If you applied for a Chafee Grant, go to WebGrants for Students to check the status of your application.

In order to receive Chafee funds you must:

  • Enroll in an eligible public or private college or university or technical school in California or out of state.
  • Be enrolled at least half time.
  • Enroll in a program at least one academic year long.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • Demonstrate Financial Need.

Do I have to reapply?

If you receive a Chafee Grant, it may be renewed through your 26th birthday as of July 1st of the award year. You do not need to reapply for a Chafee Grant each year; however, you must submit a FAFSA or CADAA.

The Commission may contact you for updated information. Be sure to respond to e-mails, letters or forms that you may receive.

Guardian Scholars Program 

Additional Resources