California Community Colleges NextUp Foster Youth Support Program Students Smiling and Standing Together on Campus

Foster Youth Support

NextUp helps current and former foster youth pay for college expenses.

Current and former foster youth under age 26 are eligible for additional aid.

NextUp, also known as CAFYES (Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support), provides community college students with resources that make a difference. Guardian Scholars is a program committed to supporting ambitious, college-bound students exiting the foster care system.

Cal Grant for Foster Youth Student in Glasses Sitting at a Desk Inside a California Community College Classroom


NextUp provides eligible community college students with support and services that could include help with books and supplies, transportation, tutoring, food, emergency housing and more. The Cal Grant B Foster Youth award allows students who are current and former foster youth to qualify for increased Cal Grant eligibility. Eligible foster youth have until their 26th birthday to apply. Students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or California Dream Act Application. If eligible, students should also submit the Chafee Grant Application.

Award Amount

Monetary awards vary, but current and former foster youth also receive perks such as priority registration, counseling services, tutoring, textbook support and career and transfer assistance. The Cal Grant B Foster Youth Award has a maximum of 8 years of lifetime grant eligibility or until you complete a bachelor’s degree. The Chafee Grant program is available to any applicant who is or was in foster care between the ages of 16 to 18. Applicants may qualify for $5,000 a year for career and technical training. Current and former foster youth no more than 25 years old by July 1 of the award year are not subject to loss of the California College Promise Grant fee waiver.

More financial aid programs are available.

Most U.S. citizens qualify for financial aid with a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Undocumented students can get assistance through the California Dream Act (CADAA).



Federal Pell Grants go to undergraduate students without college degrees who come from low-income families.



Cal Grants get awarded to California resident undergraduates based on financial need, academic performance and other factors.



Low-income students and students receiving cash assistance may automatically apply for a California College Promise Grant (CCPG).



The California Community Colleges Scholarship Endowment (CCCSE) offers over 3,000 student scholarships per year.


Part-Time Employment

Federal work-study students earn money to pay for college by working a part-time job on-campus or out in the community.



Foster youth students who were in care on or after their 16th birthday can apply for a Chafee Grant up until they turn 26.

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