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Freshman & Sophomore Success Scholarship

Freshman and Sophomore Success Scholarship

The Freshman and Sophomore Success Scholarship is for young adults formerly in DFPS foster care attending a Texas state-funded institution of higher education. This includes community colleges, colleges, universities, and Texas State Technical College. Application due dates are August 1 and November 1, prior to each semester.

Only students awarded the scholarship both semesters as a freshman may apply for the scholarship as a sophomore or as a 2nd year student at a Texas state-funded institution of higher education.

Scholarships are $1000 per semester or academic term or $2000 for two semesters or academic terms. For more information, download the Freshmen and Sophomore Success Scholarship application.

C. Ed Davis PAL Scholarship

The C. Ed Davis PAL scholarship is for for youth formerly in foster care with DFPS. This scholarship was named in honor of C. Ed Davis who, in April 2004, retired as Deputy Director, Legal Services. DFPS is offering scholarships of $1,000 per academic year, awarded in increments of $500 per semester. These scholarships are for basic non-tuition needs for students interested in the field of law and majoring in government, political science, history, or other pre-law fields. For more information, download the C. Ed Davis PAL Scholarship Letter & Application

Foster Love Family Fellowship Scholarship

Generously supported by Hope D. Smith and Robert F. Smith, the Family Fellowship Scholarship Program is designed to provide foster youth with the necessary resources to pursue higher education. This program aims to advance the educational aspirations of foster youth by offering financial assistance and family-like emotional support.

The vision of the Family Fellowship is to transform the way foster youth are supported through their college journey. Our program emphasizes the need to innovate, explore, and discover new ways to elevate our young individuals for a modern workforce.

Foster Love is dedicated to providing scholarships for higher education to current and former foster youth, with the aim of addressing the national graduation success rates of this population which range from 3-11%. Our scholarship program offers each recipient up to $12,000 annually for a maximum of five years to ease the financial burden associated with pursuing a college degree.

Eligibility for the scholarships

  • The applicant must be 18-23 years of age during the application year.

  • Applicants aged seventeen (17) years old can apply with a guardian's signature.

  • Applicants turning twenty-four (24) years before June 1st of the application year can apply.

  • The applicant has been accepted to or expects acceptance to an accredited, Pell-eligible college or other post-secondary institution, and is attempting to complete an undergraduate degree.

  • The applicant graduated with a high school diploma or GED, or is currently a high school senior, with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.5 or higher. If currently attending college, a 2.5 CGPA is also required.

  • The applicant is a citizen of the United States of America.

  • The applicant has lived in foster care while living in the United States.

  • The applicant had either (a) lived in public or private foster care for the twelve (12) consecutive months leading up to and including the applicant's eighteenth (18th) birthday; OR (b) was adopted or placed into legal guardianship from foster care after the applicants thirteenth (13th) birthday, OR (c) was orphaned for at least one (1) year at the time of Recipient's eighteenth (18th) birthday.

For more information please visit the Foster Love website

Housing Assistance Between Academic Terms

Texas institutions of higher education are required to assist full-time students formerly in DFPS conservatorship or who have been legally emancipated in locating temporary housing between academic terms (winter and summer holiday breaks).

In order for the young adult to receive assistance with temporary housing from a higher education institution where the young adult is enrolled, they must:

  • Be a full-time student in the semester preceding the housing need;

  • Be registered or have started the required enrollment actions as a full-time student for the immediate next semester period following the housing accommodation;

  • Lack other reasonable temporary housing alternatives; and

  • Request the housing assistance. 

How Higher Education Institutions Can Help With Summer and Winter Breaks

  • Assist students with making housing arrangements by providing a list of available housing resources within the community or by referring students to other resources or community partners that offer housing assistance;  or

  • If the student demonstrates a financial need the institution may open up student housing such as dormitories, university-owned apartments or other campus housing or provide a stipend to cover reasonable costs for temporary housing.  Since the bill does not require institutions to provide these options the receipt of these benefits will vary depending on the specific institution's practice.

Note: If a student receives a stipend for housing assistance this does not prohibit the student from receiving additional stipends in one or more subsequent academic periods.  Also the receipt of a stipend for housing assistance will not affect a student's ability to apply for or receive funds from the Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program for the cost of attendance for the future semester or to receive other similar academic assistance.

Students must request the housing assistance and are encouraged to inquire:

  • financial aid offices,

  • student affairs offices,

  • admissions offices,

  • housing/residence life/residential living offices, or

  • A student Ombudsperson

Young adults are also encouraged to research each college or university website to locate the appropriate campus office for housing.

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