Program Eligibility

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Berkeley Hope Scholars (BHS) offers a welcoming community focused on building a safe and caring space with peers who have similar life experiences. We welcome students of all ages and experiences to participate in BHS. This is an inclusive program where all current and former foster youth, probation youth, and students who were orphaned before the age of 18 are invited to participate and enjoy community support. Our program includes students who enter Berkeley directly from high school, students who transfer from other colleges and universities, and graduate students. This includes students who are themselves parents and also re-entry students who are 25 years and older.

All BHS students are invited to utilize the following services:

  • Enroll in BHS transition course, or an alternate relevant transition course
  • Consultation with BHS staff regarding holistic wrap-around services
  • Referral to BHS campus and community service partners
  • Invitation to program events
  • Access to BHS community space

If you experienced living apart from your biological family and do not meet eligibility guidelines as set forth above and would like to participate in BHS, please contact BHS staff.

Current UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students may participate in BHS programs and services by providing the following documentation of their history in foster care, kinship foster care, guardianship placement, or orphan status:

  •  Verification in writing of foster care/probation youth status from:
    • County child welfare agency
    • County independent living program
    • County probation agency
    • Documentation from the California Department of Social Services Foster Care Ombudsman
  • Verification in writing of orphan status before age of 18 (Letters of Guardianship or death certificate(s).

*If you have difficulty securing documentation of foster care or orphan status, please contact BHS staff for assistance.

Please complete the online BHS registration form. If you meet eligibility as set forth above, you will be contacted for an intake interview. The BHS Opportunity Committee will assess supplemental funding for the following BHS students:

  • Current or former foster youth who were in care between the ages of 13 and 21
  • Probation youth in care between the ages of 13 and 21
  • Students in kinship guardianship or other guardianship established by the Dependency Court*
  • Students whose parent(s) died before the student turned 18 and completed high school within five years of admission to the university
  • Student qualifies for "independent student status" under financial aid guidelines