Students who are pursuing higher education can receive scholarships for academic achievements, sports, or community engagement, but there are also specific scholarships for adopted students. Adoptees who are starting school and beginning the process of applying for scholarships often have a lot of questions about college scholarships for adopted youth. Here are the answers to a few of those questions, plus a guide to some of the scholarships for adoptees that you might be able to apply for:
Do Adopted Children Get Free College?
“If you are adopted, is college free?” “If you’re adopted, is college paid for?”
Generally, no — true full-ride scholarships in the United States are rare, and even then, they’re usually reserved for those who are very athletically and/or academically gifted. So, while you’re not likely to find any full-ride scholarships for adoptees, you might have your tuition paid for based on your abilities as a student or athlete. You may also have your tuition significantly waived if you’re aging out of foster care and have greater financial need, depending on whether or not your state has any such programs for foster care alumni.
Are There College Scholarships for Adopted Children?
“What scholarships for adopted children could I be eligible for?”
Yes, there are college scholarships for adoptees that you can apply for. However, being an adoptee is usually just one requirement of these scholarships. You’ll usually need to maintain a minimum grade point average, specified by the provider of the scholarship. Adopted child tuition grants are typically only for full-time students. There may be additional requirements that you need to meet, depending on the individual scholarship.
Some college scholarships for adoptees include:
- The Adoption Network Law Center Scholarship Program
- Calvin College Richard and Janice Van Deelen Scholarship
- Adoption STAR Academic Scholarship Program
- Holt Adoptee Scholarship Contest
Are There Specific Scholarships for Youth Adopted from Foster Care?
“What kinds of scholarships for students who are adopted from foster care are available?”
There are many different types of college scholarships for adopted youth who were in foster care or who are aging out of foster care, as well as different kinds of financial aid, grants and benefits. These programs are often state- or federally-funded government programs, but there are also many individual school-run, community-funded or individually-funded college scholarships. Adopted children who have their eye on a particular school should check with their financial assistance office to see if there have any scholarships like these:
- Foster Care Alumni of America Scholarship Program for Alumni 25 and Over
- Foster Care to Success America’s College Fund for Foster Youth
- Family Fellowship Program
- National Foster Parent Association Youth Scholarship
- International Student Foundation
- Texas Foster Care Association Scholarship
- Post-Secondary Scholarship from the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation
- Cleveland State University Fostering Success and Leadership Programs
- Texas State University Foster Care Alumni benefits
- New Mexico Youth in Foster Care Scholarship Program
- Wisconsin Scholarship through the Department of Children and Families
- New Yorkers for Children Nicholas Scoppetta Scholarship Program
- The Florida College System
- Santiago Canyon College Guardian Scholars
- Tennessee HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant
- University of Alaska Foster Youth Presidential Tuition Waiver Scholarship
- Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Foster Child Grant
- UC San Diego George Parker Memorial Scholarship
- Vermont Scholarships for Foster Care Youth
- The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation’s Kansas Foster and Adoptive Children Scholarship Fund
- Sam Houston State University’s FORWARD Program
- UMPS Care Charities All-Star Scholarship
- Maine Foster Care Tuition Waiver Program
Are There Scholarships for Internationally Adopted Children?
“Are there specific college scholarships for Russian adopted children?” “Are there scholarships for adopted Asian students?”
Some of these college grants for adopted children are specific to students who were adopted internationally, while others are specific to students of color with academic or community achievements. Of course, not all international adoptees are also transracial adoptees or adoptees of color and vice versa, but there are fewer internationally adopted children scholarships than there are scholarships for students of color, so if you meet both requirements, you may be eligible for a wider range of applications.
Some scholarships for international adoptees and college grants for adopted students of color include:
- Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption Dina Brown Scholarship for a Graduating Senior
- Scholarships for Asian Women
- Summer Scholarship Opportunity for Korean Adoptees
- Korean American Scholarship Foundation
- The Goizueta Foundation
- The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF)
- Ukrainian National Foundation Scholarship Programs
- Leon Bradley Scholarship
- Fellowships for Doctoral Students of African Descent
- Blacks at Microsoft Scholarships
- American Indian College Fund Scholarship Programs
- Asian Pacific Fund Scholarship Programs
For more information about what kinds of college grants for adopted students that you might be eligible for, reach out to the agency or professional that completed your adoption. They may be able to help you connect with scholarships that are more specific to your situation.