The California Chafee Grant Program is for students who were in foster care and have financial need and is administered by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). Students may qualify for up to $5,000 per year for career and technical training or college.
To qualify, students must be a current or former foster youth and not have reached their 26th birthday by July 1 of the award year. The court must have established student's dependency when they were between the ages of 16 and 18. (KinGap youth, adopted youth, guardian placement, and voluntary placement may not be eligible for the Chafee Grant, unless court dependence was established, at anytime, between the ages of 16 and 18). The California Department of Social Services will verify student's foster youth eligibility status.
The Chafee Educational and Training Voucher (ETV) is federal and state funded with a current minimum amount of $5,000 per academic year; not to exceed cost of attendance. The final award amount will be determined based on the college of attendance and enrollment status.
Chafee Grant. Chafee Grant Application & Eligibility Requirements
In addition to the California Department of Social Services verification of qualifying foster status, the following must also be submitted:
- Chafee Grant Application must be completed – This can be done online on the Chafee Website.
- Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) must be completed – This can be done online on the FAFSA website.
- Chafee Need Analysis Report (NAR) – to be submitted by Santiago Canyon College upon completion of the student's financial aid file.
Additional Requirements for Chafee Grant, students must:
- be enrolled in at least half-time (6+ Units) status
- be making Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
- demonstrate financial need
AB 540 California Dream Act for Chafee Grant – Currently, students who meet the AB 540 criteria may apply on line at www.caldreamact.org
California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) Selection Criteria and Priority Order
Student completed applications are sorted by application date, and awards are offered in order of priority. Selection criteria priority order is as follows as determined by the Chafee Program at CSAC:
- Paid renewal students who have not reached their 26th birthday by July 1st of the award year
- New and non-paid renewal students who will have reached 25 years of age by July 1st of the award year
- New and non-paid renewal students who have dependents
- New and non-paid renewal students with an unmet need greater than $5,000
- New and non-paid renewal students with an unmet need less than $5,000
- The WebGrants System automatically prioritizes students
- Students are typically wait-listed for the academic year in which they apply
Santiago Canyon College's Process for Awarding Chafee Grant Awards
In order for the Santiago Canyon College Financial Aid Office (SCC FAO) to submit the Financial Aid Need Analysis (FNAR) to CSAC and include the Chafee Grant as part of the student's financial aid package, the student's current year FAFSA financial aid file must be complete.
- If the student was selected for verification by the Department of Education the student must submit all of the required documents in order for the SCC FAO to complete the verification process.
- If the student was not selected for verification by the Department of Education and the SCC FAO has determined that there are no additional documents required, the file status will be considered complete and automatically awarded.
- AB540 Cal Grant Students verification status will be determined by the California Student Aid Commission.
Students may check to see if any documents are required, check their SAP Status, and check the status of their Financial Aid File by logging on to Web Advisor and opening the Financial Aid link.
Once the student's financial aid file is complete and the FNAR has been submitted to CSAC, the SCC FAO will add the Chafee Award as “Estimated" and mail a revised award letter to the student. The award will remain estimated until we receive notification from CSAC that the student's Chafee Grant was funded. Once the Chafee Award has been funded by CSAC, we will notify the student regarding the disbursement process as long as the student has remained eligible. (Eligibility requirements are described above)
Please be advised that not all students who apply for the Chafee Grant are guaranteed to receive payment during the academic year for which the award has been “estimated." The funds will be distributed by CSAC in the priority order described above. Students are encouraged to renew their FAFSA early each academic year, in order to be considered for the award until they age out of the program. The FAFSA becomes available every October 1 of the year prior to the new academic year.