Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Scholarship

The DCFS Scholarship Program provides at least 53 scholarships each year; four of which are awarded to children of veterans. Scholarship recipients will receive a waiver of tuition and mandatory fees if they attend a local Illinois community college or state university. The application period is January through March 31 each year. For the current year’s application, email

Eligibility Requirements:
• The department must have court-ordered legal guardianship for the applicant, the applicant must
have aged out of DCFS care at age 18 or older, or the department must have had legal guardianship
for the applicant immediately prior to an adoption or guardianship being finalized.
• Successfully compete for a DCFS college scholarship. Application period is January – March each
• Maintain at least a “C” average each semester.
• Maintain full-time status (12 hours Fall & Spring, 6 hours or an approved internship in Summer).
Enrollment will be verified through the National Student Clearinghouse.
• Submit class schedule at the start of each semester and grades at the end of the semester.
• Report changes to any contact information promptly to the DCFS scholarship administrator.

• A monthly board payment in the amount of $1,577. These funds are to assist the student with campus
based room and board costs or off campus rent and utilities, and personal expenses. Direct deposit is
strongly recommended.
• Medicaid card provided to Illinois students.
• Tuition and mandatory fee waiver to an Illinois public university or in-district community college.
• Reimbursement of the cost of books not covered by financial aid
• Benefits available for up to five consecutive years.

Important Plans To Consider:
• Arranging transportation to the school location
• Planning for housing when school is closed for breaks and holidays
• Devising a backup plan for finances if your monthly board payment is lost or stolen.
• Seeking tutorial assistance through the school, and meeting with OETS staff if your grades are low,
if you are having problems in a particular course, or if you must withdraw from any classes
• Youth who withdraw from classes must notify the OETS scholarship administrator
• Apply for financial aid annually.

What the Scholarship DOES NOT Cover:
• Orientation fees
• Dorm room damages
• Computers or Internet services
• Laboratory fees
• Room/board costs
• Transportation to and from school
• Repayment of student loans
• Study enhancement programs
• Tuition to private or out-of-state schools
• Supplies
• Study abroad
• Library fines
• Phone bills