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Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families

Division of Family Services

Foster Care Tuition Waiver Program

Youth who have spent all or some of their teenage years in foster care in Delaware may be eligible to have their college tuition and fees waived at public Delaware in-state schools (University of Delaware, Delaware State University, and Delaware Technical Community College).

What does this mean?

If you are eligible for the tuition waiver and get accepted to UD, DSU, or Del Tech, you can attend, without having to worry about how to pay for college.

What is included?

ALL tuition and fees (including books)

Year-round on-campus room and board (including meal plan) for full-time students at UD or DSU

Who is eligible?

You are eligible for the tuition waiver if any of the following applies:

  • You are eligible for or are currently receiving DFS Independent Living Services
  • You aged out of foster care in Delaware at age 18
  • You were in foster care in Delaware and went to guardianship or adoption between ages 16-18
  • You spent 1 year or more in foster care in Delaware between the ages of 14-18

Eligible students must apply for any and all financial aid before being granted the tuition waiver for any leftover tuition and fees. Students are eligible until they turn 27.

How to apply

Once you are accepted to the school, or if you are a student currently enrolled at the school, please contact dscyf_highereducation@delaware.gov to obtain a letter verifying your eligibility. When you email the mailbox, please include proof that you are enrolled or accepted to one of the three schools. An example of enrollment documentation could be a screenshot of your schedule, an official email from the school verifying enrollment, or a scanned acceptance letter. Once your eligibility has been verified, DSCYF will send the eligibility verification letter directly to the school’s designated point of contact, cc’ing the student and their TIL worker, if applicable.

The people listed below are the primary points of contact for eligible students at their institution, and they assist students in accessing supportive services on and off campus. If you have questions about using a tuition waiver at one of the three schools, you may reach out to the school contact directly. If you have general questions about the tuition waiver program or eligibility, please send an email to dscyf_highereducation@delaware.gov.

Tuition Waiver Program School Contact List

Delaware Technical Community College
Brian Keister

Delaware State University
Travis Sudler

University of Delaware
Tevin Williams

Tuition Waiver FAQ

HB 123, sponsored by Representative Krista Griffith, Representative Valerie Longhurst, Senator Elizabeth S. Lockman, and Senator Nicole Poore, was signed into law on October 21, 2021 and created Delaware’s tuition waiver program.

Yes, current students can apply for the tuition waiver for the 2022 spring semester onward.

No, students do not need to go to college straight from high school. Eligible students may apply for the tuition waiver at any point until they turn 27.

Yes, students must fill out the FAFSA and apply for all available financial aid and scholarships. This includes SEED (if applying to Del Tech), Inspire (if applying to UD), Chafee Education and Training Vouchers and the Ivyane D. F. Davis Memorial Scholarship administered by the Office of the Child Advocate. Please see OCA scholarship information here.

No, there is no minimum GPA.

No, a criminal record does not impact eligibility for the tuition waiver.

Yes, the tuition waiver can be used at multiple schools.