Independent Living for
Children in Out-of-Home Care

Scholarship Program

The Department of Children and Families Scholarship Program awards scholarships up to $5,000 for youth who have been in out-of-home care for and are entering a degree, license or certificate program.  To qualify for a DCF Scholarship award, the applicant must:

  • Have been in out-of-home care (OHC) placement (foster home, group home, residential care center or court ordered Kinship Care) for at least six months after the age of 15 and left OHC at age 18; or

  • Have been in OHC for at least six months after the age of 15 and adopted after the age of 16.

  • Have been in OHC placement in Wisconsin as described above, or

  • Have been in OHC placement in another state but has become a resident of Wisconsin prior to attending a Wisconsin postsecondary institution.

  • Be accepted into a postsecondary institution (i.e., college, vocational or technical program) at the time the application is submitted.

  • Be age 20 or less, unless enrolled in a post-secondary program on his / her 21st birthday, extending eligibility to age 23.

The Department of Children and Families Scholarship Program provides scholarships for post secondary education and training programs for youth presently or formerly in out-of-home care. The scholarship program is administered by the Department of Children and Families and is funded by the Federal Education and Training Vouchers (ETV) Program, a federally funded initiative under the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act.

Each applicant must complete the DCF Scholarship Application for Youth in Out-of-Home Care (CFS-2197). Eligibility for the program and instructions for completion and submission of the application are contained within the form. Also contained in the form is the name and contact information for Division staff who can help you with any questions you may have about the scholarship program.

DCF has limited funding for the scholarship program; therefore, applicants are urged to submit their applications early. If there are more applicants than funding, scholarships will be awarded in the order that completed applications are received.

School counselors, librarians and the Internet are great resources for identifying scholarships, grants and loans. We recommend utilizing web sites that offer information free-of-charge. 


Contact Information 

Last Revised: March 08, 2010

The Department of Children and Families, protecting children, strengthening families, building communities.