Scholarships for Adopted Students

Scholarships help millions of students pay for college, including adopted students and foster youth. Financial aid for adopted students and foster youth includes scholarships, grants, work-study programs, and loans.

Students should always exhaust scholarships and grants before taking out federal or private loans. These forms of financial aid do not require repayment. Adopted students can also apply for federal and state tuition waivers.

This guide introduces multiple scholarships for adopted students. Learners can review application requirements, deadlines, and award amounts. Students can use this list to find financial aid opportunities that fit their unique circumstances.

Scholarship Applications



Scholarship committees use applications to award funds. Most scholarships for adopted students ask for similar documents, including academic transcripts, an essay or statement of purpose, and recommendation letters. Some may also require FAFSA information or proof of adoption.

Applicants can help their materials stand out by clearly stating their background and educational goals. When writing scholarship essays, always leave time for revisions and proofreading. And pay close attention to deadlines. Missing one can mean missing out on financial aid.

Scholarships



Scholarships for adopted students and foster youth distribute tens of thousands of dollars in educational support annually. Adopted student financial aid opportunities include multiple grants, scholarships, and other forms of funding. For example, state programs often support former foster youth pursuing higher education.

The list below includes multiple scholarships for adopted students. Keep in mind that scholarships may be closed, passed their deadlines for the current year, or pending further information for the next application cycle. Learners can also research other directories to expand their funding opportunities.


  • Also-Known-As Adoptee Excellence Scholarship

    The scholarship supports international adoptees attending an accredited U.S. college. Applicants submit a resume, essays, academic transcripts, and a recommendation letter.

    Award: $1,500
    Deadline: April

    Apply

  • Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship

    This Massachusetts program funds students who demonstrate difficult personal circumstances, high financial need, and strong academic promise. Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA.

    Award: Varies
    Deadline: Varies

    Apply

  • Daniel A. Terry Scholarship

    The scholarship funds the children of California firefighters who died in the line of duty. Applicants must be under age 27 and hold a high school diploma.

    Award: $2,000
    Deadline: May

    Apply

  • DREAM Former Foster Youth Scholarship

    Available to former foster youth in Oregon, the scholarship supports students in degree-granting programs. Recipients must complete the FAFSA and can reapply for up to four years.

    Award: Varies
    Deadline: March

    Apply

  • Foster Care to Success Scholarships

    Since 2000, the program has distributed over $15 million in scholarship funds. Foster youth receive funding for books, community college tuition, and university tuition.

    Award: Up to $5,000
    Deadline: March

    Apply

  • Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption Scholarships

    The annual scholarship supports students adopted from Russia or Ukraine. Recipients use the scholarship funds to pay for educational expenses.

    Award: Varies
    Deadline: March

    Apply

  • Great Aspirations Scholarship Program's College Success Program

    The scholarship supports students and current scholarship recipients by helping refile their financial aid and scholarship forms. GRASP acts as a liaison between students and their college financial aid office.

    Award: Varies
    Deadline: July

    Apply

  • Kreager Family Scholarship

    The scholarship supports college-bound seniors who have lost a parent or parents after infancy. Applicants must attend a Kalamazoo County high school and demonstrate financial need.

    Award: Up to $2,500
    Deadline: March

    Apply

  • Legacy League Adoption Scholarship

    The Legacy League offers an adoption scholarship to support adopted children and those who received foster care. The award covers educational expenses for recipients.

    Award: Varies
    Deadline: Varies

    Apply

  • National Foster Parent Association Youth Scholarship

    High school students connected with the National Foster Parent Association through their foster parents or adoptive parents may apply. Applicants submit two recommendation letters and an essay on their foster care experience.

    Award: $500
    Deadline: April

    Apply

  • Nebraska Foster and Adoptive Parent Association Scholarship

    Nebraska students who received foster care, adoption, or guardianship services qualify for the scholarship. The award funds education beyond the high school level.

    Award: $250
    Deadline: April

    Apply

  • Greater Kansas City Community Foundation's Kansas Foster and Adoptive Children Scholarship Fund

    Current and former foster children in Kansas, including foster children who have been adopted, qualify for the award. The scholarship pays for college, technical school, vocational school, or trade school.

    Award: Varies
    Deadline: Varies

    Apply

  • The Pinnacol Foundation College Scholarship Program

    Applicants must be the child or dependent of a worker injured or killed in a work-related accident while working for a Colorado-based employer. The scholarship requires a minimum 2.0 GPA.

    Award: $4,700
    Deadline: February

    Apply

  • UMPS CARE Charities All-Star College Scholarship

    The scholarship supports children adopted later in life, including those adopted after age 12 and those who have exited foster care to permanent guardianship. Recipients use the award for tuition, books, and other expenses.

    Award: Up to $10,000
    Deadline: Varies

    Apply


Portrait of Genevieve Carlton

Genevieve Carlton

Genevieve Carlton holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University and earned tenure as a history professor at the University of Louisville. An award-winning historian and writer, Genevieve has published multiple scholarly articles and a book with the University of Chicago Press. She currently works as a freelance writer and consultant.

See articles by Genevieve

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