DCFS youth eligible to apply for annual scholarship program

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is accepting applications for its annual scholarship program.

There are 53 academic scholarships available for young people who are currently or were formerly under DCFS care. Four are reserved for children of veterans.

Recipients receive up to five consecutive years of tuition and academic fee waivers to use at Illinois community colleges and universities that participate. Each receives a monthly grant of $537 to offset expenses and a medical card.

Applicants must be at least 16 and not yet 21 on March 31. Those with open DCFS cases, whose cases were closed through adoption or guardianship, or those who aged out of the care system at 18 are eligible.

Awards are based on scholastic aptitude and record, community and extracurricular activities, three letters of recommendation and a written statement outlining purpose and goals.

Nearly 1,400 students have used the scholarships since the program began in 1971.