Q: I heard that the age eligibility for the Chafee grant has been increased so that older youth in college can receive a Chafee grant. When is this going to become available?
A: You are correct. Eligibility for the Chafee grant in California has been expanded so that youth can apply for Chafee if they have not reached their 26th birthday as of July 1st of the award year, and are otherwise Chafee-eligible.*
Funding for the eligibility expansion was included in the 2018-19 State Budget. While the changes to eligibility were included in a budget trailer bill (AB 1811), taking immediate effect on July 1, 2018, students meeting the expanded eligibility requirements were not able to apply for Chafee until October 2018. The updated application is now available at: https://www.chafee.csac.ca.gov/StudentApplication.aspx.
*To qualify for a Chafee grant, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a current or former foster youth who was a ward of the court, living in foster care, for at least one day between the ages of 16 and 18.
- If you are/were in Kin-GAP, a non-related legal guardianship, or were adopted, you are eligible only if you were a dependent or ward of the court, living in foster care, for at least one day between the ages of 16 and 18.
- Have not reached your 26th birthday as of July 1st of the award year.
- Have not participated in the program for more than 5 years (whether or not consecutive).
Pursuant to Assembly Bill 2506, starting with the 2017-18 award year, you can only receive your Chafee Grant if you attend a school that is either of the following:
- A qualifying institution that is eligible for participation in the Cal Grant Program.
- An institution that is not located in California with a three-year cohort default rate that is less than 15.5 percent and a graduation rate greater than 30 percent.
- California Student Aid Commission. https://www.chafee.csac.ca.gov/
- Assembly Bill 1811 (Committee on Budget, Human Services Omnibus, 2018) http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB1811&search_keywords=chafee