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Articles / Applying to College / Scholarship Aid for Adopted "Drug Baby"

June 20, 2007

Scholarship Aid for Adopted "Drug Baby"

Question: Our son was adopted as a baby. He was the product of two cocaine addicts, yet he, by the grace of God, is fine ... and very intelligent. Are there any scholarships out there in this category (for an adopted drug baby)?

We are not aware of any scholarships for adopted children of addicts, though this certainly seems like a good idea. Of course, there may be some we're missing, but the only scholarships we know of for adopted children are for those who were adopted from foster care. Perhaps, given your son's situation in infancy, he was.


Some states offer tuition waivers at public institutions for adoptive children once in foster care. You'll find more information at these sites:

http://www.nacac.org/subsidyfactsheets/tuition.html and

http://library.adoption.com/Subsidies/College-Tuition-Waiver-and-Scholarship-Programs/article/5844/1.html

In addition, if you complete the registration form at www.fastweb.com, you may also turn up some opportunities for your son. (FastWeb is fun, free, and legitimate. Once your son completes an online questionnaire, he receive a list of scholarships for which he may qualify, and he can weed through them to see which ones are worth going after. FastWeb even follows up by e-mail with deadline reminders and updates on new scholarship opportunities.)

Keep in mind, too, that many colleges offer excellent need-based aid. Often the more a college costs, the more money is earmarked to give away. So don't pass up expensive colleges that you feel may be out of range. At least not at this point. Sure, you may eventually have to make a final decision based on finances, but elite colleges and other pricey private schools can sometimes turn out to be a great deal for disadvantaged and middle-class families because their need-based aid can be so generous.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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