AFFCF’s Post-Secondary Scholarship programs provide funding for tuition and fees, as well as critical support for young people who age out of foster care in Arizona and wish to get a post-secondary eduation.
“As a foster youth with no stable place, I have found purpose, meaning and fulfillment through education.“
FOSTER CARE AND EDUCATION
When young people in foster care age out without any supports in place, they face even more barriers than their peers. They run a higher risk of dropping out of school, which can result in negative outcomes in adulthood, such as homelessness, employment challenges and low income. Consider this:
- 70% will NOT earn a high school diploma or equivalent
- 97% will NOT earn a post-secondary degree
Through our three Post-Secondary Programs, Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation not only provides financial aid to attend college, community college or a vocational program, but also helps them address and manage the curveballs that life throws at them while pursuing their education so they can continue their path forward.
AFFCF helps make college a reality. If you aged out of foster care and are under age 25, you may be eligible for the AFFCF Scholarship program. New applications are accepted every June and December and scholarships are renewable for up to a total of 10 semesters for undergraduate study.
You can get into a career field, such as medical assisting, welding or EMT, by earning a certificate. Certificate programs, or vocational training, are shorter in length than college degree programs. If you aged out of foster care and are under 27, you can apply for tuition assistance.
Adjusting to independence, working, paying bills and having transportation expenses is a lot to manage while getting a post-secondary education. The AFFCF Safety-Net Fund is here to help when things don’t go right or are expensive or when you have an emergency.
DREAM IT. LEARN IT. DO IT.
Whether you are currently in foster care, were in foster care, have aged out of foster care, or are someone who works with youth in foster care, this education guide will provide information about the resources that are available to help young adults reach their educational goals. Click on the image to the left or the button below to access our Post-Secondary Education Resource Guide!
POST-SECONDARY PROGRAM FAQs
Who Is Eligible for the AFFCF Scholarship Program?
The scholarship program is open to those who meet the following requirements:
- Have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher (or proof of having passed the GED)
- Reached (or will reach) age 18 in foster care as a ward of the state of Arizona
- Will enroll in at least six credit hours in college for the upcoming semester
- Not yet turned 25 years old.
When Should I Complete the AFFCF Scholarship Application?
AFFCF accepts new scholarship applications two times per year. Our scholarship application is open every June 1 to June 30 for applicants who will take classes in the fall semester (August – December) and every November 15 to December 15 for new applications who will take classes in the spring semester (January – May).
A student who will graduate high school in the spring and plans to start college in the fall would apply for the AFFCF scholarship between June 1 and June 30 for the fall semester.
A student who will start or continue classes in the fall would apply between June 1 and June 30 for the fall semester.
A student who will start or continue classes in the spring would apply between November 15 and December 15 for the spring semester.
What Will I Need to Complete My Application?
It will be easiest to complete the application on a computer because you will need to upload documents.
- You will need to have your class schedule for the upcoming semester (showing enrollment in at least six credit hours).
- You will need to have your most recent transcript (unofficial is fine) or proof of having passed the GED.
- You will need to have your FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR).
- You will need to write three short personal essays about your goals in pursuing post-secondary education and to provide a little more information about yourself (minimum 250 words each).
- You will need to have a letter of recommendation from a personal or academic reference. You can either upload the letter to your application or request it via email from your reference directly from the AFFCF scholarship application.
- If you would like to include a photo that you feel best represents yourself, you should have one picked out.
What if I Passed the GED, But It Doesn't Show a Cumulative GPA?
Please answer “Yes” to the question about having a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on the application and upload proof of having passed the GED.
Do I Have to Complete the Application in One Sitting?
No, you can sign in and out of your account as many times as you need to during the application period. The system automatically saves your work.
Do I Need to Have My Letters of Recommendation to Begin the Application?
No. You can start the application and add in your letters of recommendation once you receive them. You will need to attach them and submit your application prior to the application deadline.
You can also choose to email your references through the application itself. AFFCF recommends that you speak to your references about providing letters of recommendation before emailing them the request through the application. When you email your references through the application, they receive an email with instructions on how to upload their letter of recommendation directly to your application. You still need to submit your application prior to the application deadline.
If your references do not provide your letters of recommendation through the system, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
Where Do I Make My Account and Apply for the AFFCF Scholarship?
What Is the Barbara Polk Healthcare Scholarship?
The Barbara Polk Healthcare Scholarship is a scholarship available for four semesters for undergraduate and/or graduate degree-seeking students studying healthcare fields. It is structured to provide the most support (financially) to students who are studying upper-level coursework of undergraduate study or who are in graduate medical or healthcare programs, periods when students may not be able to work due to clinical rotations, demand of coursework, etc.
Am I Eligible for the Barbara Polk Healthcare Scholarship?
Eligible students for the Polk Scholarship are:
- Those who reached (or will be reaching) age 18 as wards of the state of Arizona or in tribal foster care in Arizona
- Those who are under the age of 25
- 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA required
- Full-time enrollment required
- Studying an undergraduate or graduate healthcare degree
- One letter of recommendation from a teacher or professor of a health-related or science class required
Can I Apply for the AFFCF Scholarship and the Barbara Polk Healthcare Scholarship?
If you would like to apply for the AFFCF Scholarship in addition to the Barbara Polk Scholarship, please also include the following. You can use the same letter of recommendation from a teacher or professor of a health-related or science class for both the AFFCF Scholarship and the Barbara Polk scholarship applications:
- Student’s most recent transcript
- Student’s FAFSA Summary Aid Report (SAR)
- Student’s upcoming class schedule
What Is the AFFCF Safety-Net Fund?
Am I Eligible to Get Help through the AFFCF Safety-Net Fund?
To receive assistance through the AFFCF Safety-Net Fund, youth must be:
- In foster care or aged out of foster care in Arizona, ages 18 years up until the youth’s 27th birthday
- Enrolled in college or a vocational program
Current employment is preferred when considering requests.
Are There Any Limits to Getting Assistance from the AFFCF Safety-Net Fund?
Most award categories will be made one time in a 12-month period. Several award categories are limited to one-time awards. Please see the award guidelines for details. Awards are limited to two requests per quarter.
Where Do I Get More Information about Financial Aid and Other Resources?
The AFFCF Post-Secondary Education Resource Guide is very useful and contains a lot of valuable information. An online version (with clickable links) is available here.
What if I Have a Question That's Not Listed Here?
Please contact AFFCF’s Post-Secondary program coordinator, Erika Klotz, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602.775.5786.