Children living in foster care dream of the day when they can receive a chance at a new life with new parents through the process of adoption. In Indiana, as of December of 2009, just over 3,200 children were waiting to be adopted, according to North American Council on Adoptable Children. For the thousands of adopted children in Indiana, currently one college scholarship, IFCAA Scholarship, offered by the Indiana Foster Care and Adoption Association, is available to help them pay for the costs of attending college.
Operating as a membership organization, the IFCAA helps Indiana foster and adoptive parents by offering educational resources, networking and support opportunities and access to foster and adoption professionals. IFCAA works to promote and create public policy and legislation that will benefit adopted and foster families. Funding for the scholarship comes directly from IFCAA funds gained by fundraising activities, like an annual silent auction, and private donations to the organization.
Any family that has adopted a child knows that the process can be stressful, fulfilling and very expensive at times. The IFCAA Scholarship helps adoptive families cover another large expense in their adopted child’s life — college tuition. Along with providing tuition assistance, the scholarship encourages adoptees to pursue a college education through financial incentive and moral support. IFCAA also uses the scholarship to promote awareness of the organization and of the adoption and foster care process in Indiana.
Interested students must be currently in foster care, an adoptee or the child of an IFCAA board member. A minimum of three scholarships are awarded each year to high school seniors with the maximum amount given away not exceeding $500 per scholarship, as of 2011. The scholarship money may be used for any college, university, vocational school or tech school in Indiana or the United States.
To apply for the IFCAA Scholarship, interested students should visit the IFCAA headquarters, located in downtown Indianapolis, for an application form and additional information. Students can also request an application form via email or over the telephone. Because the deadline changes each year, applicants should be sure to check that year’s application for the correct date. All applications must be mailed back into the IFCAA by the deadline, along with a letter of recommendation and official high school transcript.