Foster Youth Services 

The Financial Aid Office is committed to the success of current and former foster youth. We provide a support system to help our students receive the financial aid assistance they qualify for.  

To qualify, 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. 
  • No older than 25 years of age at the beginning of the academic year. 
  • Have a current FAFSA or CADAA on file. 
  • Please contact our Foster Youth Liaison if were a ward of the court or living foster care between the ages of 13-15 or participated in the KIN-GAP program. 
  • You required to provide proof that you were in foster care or a dependent or ward of the court if you are a first time student or returning after an absence after 3 academic years.

Financial Aid Opportunities

Our general eligibility requirements include that you have financial need, are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, and are enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program at your college or career school. There are more eligibility requirements you must meet to qualify for federal student aid. 

Apply online using the FAFSA APPLICATION


  • Write down your FSA ID and Password and keep them somewhere safe. 
  • Have your Social Security Card with you. Enter your name as it appears on your Social Security Card. 
  • Have any income information and/or tax information, such as W-2s and/or 1040 Income  Tax Return.  
  • Answer all questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge.

Not a US Citizen or Permanent resident? Want to apply for financial aid, but cannot apply for federal aid due to your immigration status? Have you attended a California High School for three full years and graduated from a California High School or received your GED or passed the high school equivalency exam in California? You may be eligible for state financial aid under the California Dream Act.  

Apply online using the CALIFORNIA DREAM ACT Application 

Until the passage of the Dream Act, undocumented students were not eligible for federal, state or university funded financial aid. Under this new law, undocumented students who qualify under AB 540 criteria may now be eligible for certain types of financial aid. The California Dream Act Application is used to determine a student’s eligibility for need-based financial aid. 


  • Write down your USER ID, Password, and your SECURITY QUESTIONS and ANSWERS and keep them somewhere safe. 
  • Enter your full name as it may appear on any legal documents. 
  • Have any income and/or tax information on hand, such as W-2s and/or 1040 Income Tax Return. 
  • Answer all questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge. 

If you are or were in foster care, have financial need and are under 27 years old, you may qualify for up to $5,000 a year for career and technical training or college. You don’t have to pay this money back. You may also be able to use your grant to help pay for child care, transportation and rent while you’re in school. You can use your Chafee Grant at any eligible California college or university or career or technical school, as well as schools in other states. 

For further information about the California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth and to apply online visit Chafee Grant. 


The WebGrants 4 Students (WG4S) portal is to provide students with the resources, information and tools needed to assist with the college financial aid process. (WG4S) will allow you to manage your Cal Grant and/or Chafee account(s) online by letting you view updates, make school changes, make address changes, and post leave of absence requests. Note: your WGS account does not replace your School or FAFSA accounts. Each account must be monitored and managed independently. 


  • Write down your USER ID and Password and keep them somewhere safe. 
  • Make sure to update your information on Webgrants if you move or get a new phone number. 

Foster Youth Verification Letter 

First time Merced College students or Returning after an absence after 3 academic years must submit a Foster Youth verification or Wardship letter. If you are a current Foster Youth, you can obtain a letter from your Social Worker. Former Foster Youth can obtain a letter by contacting the California Ombudsman Office at 877-846-1602 or at 

You can email the letter to [email protected] or submit it to your Verify My FAFSA account.

Verify My FAFSA 

Financial Aid has gone mobile!  

All forms that are required for verification are located at  

If you have problems with this account, please contact Marysol Contreras at: [email protected]