College Assistance and Support

You've been accepted into college. Now how are you going to pay for it?

Financial aid is step one. That should cover most if not all of your expenses. If not, talk with your Independent Living Program (ILP) Transition Coordinator. We may be able to help with tuition, fees, books & supplies, transportation (plane tickets to and from school for example) and other school-related items. You’ll need to turn in paperwork such as your class schedule and financial aid award letter to ask for help so make sure to keep in contact with your coordinator.

Find Campus Support Programs for Foster Youth

Many campuses have programs specifically to support current and former foster youth, often known as Guardian Scholars or Renaissance Scholars. These programs include peer advisors and personal counselors, and can provide academic advising, housing assistance, tutoring, mentoring, financial assistance, special accommodations for students with disabilities, counseling, social activities and many other resources.

Find your local campus support program HERE.

Connect with your Community College Foster Youth Liaison

Every single community college campus has a foster youth liaison designated to assist foster youth as part of the Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI). The liaisons assist in accessing financial aid, scholarships, student services, and resources. They may also help foster youth students set goals to complete programs, transfer, and attain certificates and degrees.

Find your campus foster youth liaison HERE.

NextUp – formerly the Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Education Support (CAFYES) Program

NextUp is a new program just for foster youth located at 26 community colleges within the state of CA. 10 of them are actually in Los Angeles!

The program is housed within the existing community college programs for educationally disadvantaged students, known as Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS). These programs provide outreach and recruitment, service coordination, counseling, book and supply grants, tutoring, independent living and financial literacy skills support, frequent in-person contact, career guidance, transfer counseling, child care and transportation assistance, unmet need grants, referrals to health services, mental health services, and housing assistance, and other related services.

In order to qualify, students must be under age 26, in foster care on or after their 16th birthday and enrolled in at least 9 units at a college with a CAFYES program.

NextUp Programs in L.A. County:

  • Pasadena College
  • Los Angeles Valley College
  • Los Angeles Mission College
  • Los Angeles Pierce College
  • Los Angeles Trade Tech
  • Los Angeles City College
  • Los Angeles Southwest College
  • Los Angeles Harbor College
  • East LA College
  • West LA College

Additional Support Programs

CalWORKs Recipients

The Community College CalWORKs program provides additional funds for work study, job placement, child care, coordination, curriculum development and redesign, and under certain conditions post-employment skills training, and instructional services.

CalWORKs recipients may be eligible for two support programs at community colleges known as CARE and CalWORKs. care is a supplemental component of eops that assists eops students who are receiving calworks by offering supplementary supportive services and direct financial support. every care student is an eops student who must meet the eligibility criteria for both programs. the community college calworks program offers additional resources to calworks recipients such as work study, job placement, child care, and under certain conditions post-employment skills training, and instructional services.

Students with Disabilities

Disability management counseling; assistance with registration and enrollment; orientation programs; accessibility tours and maps; on-campus van transportation; minor wheelchair repairs and equipment loans. Academic support is available through readers, interpreters, note-takers, special test-taking arrangements and adaptive equipment. Contact your campus to get more information on the disabled students program.

At University of California campuses each campus has an office that coordinates a variety of services for students with permanent and temporary disabilities.

At Cal State Universities, support services are available to students with certifiable disabilities. students should contact the respective campus as early as possible in order to learn more about services available.

All California Community Colleges, Cal State Universities and University of California campuses have programs to specifically assist youth with disabilities. At community colleges Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) can provide personal and academic counseling, note takers, alternative test taking formats, changes to length of time necessary for completion of degree requirements and other forms of accommodation. students must provide verification of disability which can include physical disabilities, learning disabilities, psychological disabilities, or developmental disabilities.


Click here for a list of Cal State University EOP contacts.

The California State University Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) is designed to improve access and retention of historically low-income and educationally disadvantaged students. EOP students have the potential and demonstrated motivation to perform satisfactorily at a CSU, but they have not been able to realize their potential because of their economic or educational background. The program provides admission and academic assistance, and often financial help, to EOP-eligible undergraduate students. EOP accepts students who do not meet regular admission criteria, as well as those who qualify for regular admission.

Be sure to indicate on the undergraduate application for admission that you wish to apply for EOP.


The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) provides assistance through mentorship, academic programs, financial assistance, counseling/advising, and other campus support services to those who are first-generation college students, and/or from low-income and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition to assisting students through to graduation, EOP helps prepare students for admission to graduate and professional schools. EOP is open only to California residents and to Native Americans from any state.

To be considered for EOP, you should indicate your interest when you complete the online application.


The California Community Colleges Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) is offered by all California Community Colleges. The program’s primary goal is to encourage the enrollment, retention and transfer of disadvantaged students and to help them complete their goals and objectives in college. EOPS offers academic, career and personal counseling, educational planning and academic progress monitoring, peer advising and mentoring, priority registration, outreach and recruitment, orientation to college, financial aid advising and workshops, California State University and University of California transfer application fee waivers, and transfer workshops.

Find an EOPS administrator or visit the counselor’s office at your community college to get more information.

These programs have limited space so it’s important to apply as early as possible.

Click here for a list of community college eops contacts.


The U.S. Department of Education funds Upward Bound and Educational Opportunity Centers through the federal TRIO program at selected college campuses. These programs provide counseling and information on college admissions to qualified adults who want to enter or continue a program of postsecondary education. A list of programs at college campuses in California can be found here.

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