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Tuition Grant Program

Tuition grants are available for foster youth, former foster youth, and special needs adoptees who have a high school diploma or GED.

What is the program?
The Tuition Grant program provides tuition and fees at any Virginia community college for high school graduates or general education development (GED) completers in foster care, in the custody of a social services agency, or considered a special needs adoption.

Who is eligible?
Anyone certified to be in foster care, in the custody of a social service agency, a special needs adoption at the time they received their high school diploma or GED, or was formerly in foster care when turning 18 and subsequently earned a high school diploma or GED, is eligible as long as he or she:

  • Enrolls in and maintains at least half-time enrollment (with a minimum of six credits) in an eligible academic program of at least one academic year in length
  • Is a bona-fide domiciliary resident of Virginia as promulgated under Section 23-7.4 of the Code of Virginia
  • Meets satisfactory academic standards of the college for federal student financial aid programs
  • Has not been previously enrolled full-time in a post-secondary institution for more than five years and does not have a bachelor's degree, and
  • demonstrates financial need.

How do students apply?
Potential students who fall in one of the categories listed above must:

  • Complete and submit to the U.S. Department of Education the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA).
  • Complete and submit an application for admission to the community college of your choice.
  • Submit documentation from the Department of Social Services regarding dates in foster care, or assistance received for a special needs adoption to the college's financial aid office.

How much is the award?
Awards will be provided to eligible applicants who are not already receiving sufficient grant funds to pay for their tuition and fees. The awards may not exceed tuition and required fees. Students who are already receiving grant funds that cover tuition and fees are not eligible for these awards.

Does the grant have to be repaid?
If a student's enrollment level drops below six credits, eligibility for the grant is lost and, therefore, needs to be repaid. If a student withdraws from all courses, a portion of the grant is lost and needs to be repaid.

For more information
Contact your local Department of Social Services office or the financial aid office of your local community college. Visit these websites for more information:

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