Foster Youth Services

Welcome, current and former foster youth students!

If you were in foster care, one of your first stops at Columbia College should be the Foster Youth Liaison Office where the Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI) Liaison can help make your transition to college easier. You will be provided with a Foster Youth Folder filled with information to guide you toward college success. Your FYSI Liaison is available by phone, email, and in person to assist you with processes or answer any questions.

Financial Assistance Available


Remember, as long as you pass your classes, grants are not required to be paid back.

Chafee Grant (up to $5,000/year)
For current or former foster youth only. Must have been in foster care between ages of 16-18. Student must apply for this grant before the age of 26.
Pell Grant (up to $6,195/year)
Submit the FAFSA as early as possible (available October 1st for the upcoming Fall but you can continue to apply throughout the school year) Follow up with your Financial Aid Technician for next steps. 
Cal Grant  ($1,672/year at community colleges)
Submit the FAFSA & your GPA by March 2nd of each year in order to apply.
FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant)  ($1,000/year)
Awarded to those with the highest financial need on a first-come, first-served basis, so submit your FAFSA in January.
Federal Work-Study (Minimum Wage currently: $12hr per hour.)
Work on campus up to 20 hours per week, scheduled around your classes while you're already on campus, potentially in an area related to your educational goals. Submit your FAFSA in October, say "Yes" when asked on the FAFSA if you're interested in federal work-study, and let your Financial Aid Technician know you're interested.

Those who apply early could potentially receive all of the above awards combined.

Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) now at  then check your student email for your next step.

Financial Aid Processing Steps

CCPG Fee Waiver

Students are charged $46 per unit for their classes, unless they have the CCPG Fee Waiver! Apply by submitting the FAFSA or completing the CCPG Application separately. Students who were in foster care at any point after turning 13 years old do not need to provide any parental information.

For more information on available financial aid, click the "What's Available Through Financial Aid" link.

Additional Resources Available:

Priority registration (getting to enroll in your classes before they're opened to others) is available to all current or former foster youth! All you need to do is provide documentation of your having been in foster care or a ward of the court to the Columbia College Financial Aid Office, and you will automatically receive priority registration. Do this early (before March for the upcoming Fall) so that you can take advantage of your early registration date. Call Admissions & Records at 209-588-5231 with any registration questions.

EOPS (Extended Opportunity Programs and Services) provides book vouchers and free rentals, transportation assistance, additional grant money, and much more to those in the program. Make sure to apply during the semester before you plan to attend!                      Call 209-588-5130 with questions.

DSPS (Disabled Students Programs and Services) does not just assist students with physical difficulties but those with documented learning difficulties such as test anxiety or trouble focusing. Contact the DSPS office at 209-588-5130 to ask if they have any services for you.

The Food Bank  is located in the Student Center (Ponderosa Building). Hours: Monday - Thursdays, 8:00 - 4:00 pm and Fridays 8:00 - 2:00 pm or by appointment. Call 588-5270 or 588-1111.

General Resources

As of January 1, 2014, youth who were in foster care at age 18 or older are now eligible to receive no cost, full-scope Medi-Cal coverage until age 26, regardless of their income. Right now, the quickest and easiest way for FFY to sign up for Medi-Cal is directly through a county social services office using a one-page form called the MC 250A.

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Myths about Financial Aid for Foster Youth

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