Education and Employment
Scholarship Program DEADLINE MARCH 31
This selective award-based program provides a tuition waiver to any community college or any of the nine Illinois state universities,* a monthly stipend for up to four years, a medical card until age 23, and reimbursement for books not covered by financial aid to former or current DCFS wards age 16 to 21. The student must maintain full time status (12 or more credits), at least a “C” average each semester, as well as adhere to program deadlines and requirements to maintain their eligibility. Applications are available beginning in January each year and must be received by March 31st to be considered. Contact the Office of Education and Transition Services at 217-557-2689 for more information.
*Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Governors State University, Illinois State University, Western Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University, University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University.
Youth in College/Vocational Training Program
This program provides a monthly stipend for up to four years, a medical card until age 21, and reimbursement for books not covered by financial aid. Current DCFS youth who attend/will attend vocational school, community college or a four-year college program are eligible for the YIC/VT Program. Youth participating in the program at age 21 when their case is closed are allowed to continue in the program through the semester he/she turns 23 years old; however the medical card ends at case closure. The student must maintain full time status, at least a “C” average each semester, as well as adhere to program deadlines and requirements to maintain their eligibility. Call the Office of Education and Transitional Services at 312-814-5959 for more information.
Education and Training Vouchers
The Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program assists youth with certain post-secondary education related expenses not covered by financial aid grants. Youth for whom DCFS is legally responsible or who aged out of care at age 18 or older, or youth who went to guardianship or adoption placement at age 16 or older are eligible. Youth must attend a program listed as accredited by the U.S. Department of Education and make academic progress while in the program. If enrolled in a post-secondary program before age 21 and making satisfactory progress toward completion of the program, funding is available until age 23. Call the Office of Education and Transitional Services at 309-671-7969 or email the program coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and an application.
Community College Payment Program
DCFS provides four semesters of paid tuition, books, fees and required supplies for current DCFS wards up to age 21 at an in-district community college. Youth must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) annually, maintain a “C” average, and finish the semester to maintain eligibility. A Community College Payment Program (CFS 407-3) form must be completed each semester with the caseworker. This form includes a service agreement that must be read and signed by the youth. Call the Office of Education and Transitional Services at 309-671-7969 or email the program coordinator at email@example.com for more information and an application.
Introspect Program for DCFS Clients
Introspect is a program for DCFS clients only. The program is recommended for high school seniors and includes college, technical, and trade school tours, assistance with financial aid forms, and assistance with application packets. The caseworker must complete a DCFS Transition Services Referral Form. For information, ask your caseworker or contact the program at 773-287-2290.
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Employment Incentive Program
The Employment Incentive Program (EIP) provides a monthly stipend for a maximum of 12 months, a medical card and a one-time, need-based start-up fund for work related items for current DCFS wards ages 17 to 21. To qualify for EIP, wards must be involved in job training through a certified job skills training program (i.e. Job Corps.) or are employed for at least one month prior to applying for the program and working a minimum of 20 hours per week. In addition, youth must have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, complete the Ansell Casey Living Skills Assessment and not be participating in any other DCFS stipend program. For more information, contact the DCFS Office of Education and Transition Services at 217-557-2689.