Skip to Main Content
Mobile Menu

Impact Scholars Program

Impact Scholars Program

  • “Your life has purpose. Your story is important. Your dreams count. Your voice matters. You were born to make an impact.” —Rae Smith

    The Program

    The Impact Scholars Program addresses the underrepresentation and underachievement of students with foster care experience in higher education. Research shows that young adults who have spent time in the foster care system are more likely to go to jail, be jobless or homeless than they are to earn a college degree. Impact Scholars are rewriting statistics. Impact Scholars are students who have been impacted by foster care, then go on to achieve success through higher education. Becoming an Impact Scholar means making a positive difference in your life and leaving an impact of your own on others. Through the Impact Scholars Program, you can:

    • Earn a bachelor’s degree
    • Get financial and academic support
    • Belong to a community
    • Give back to youth in foster care

    The Mission

    The mission of the Impact Scholars Program is to increase enrollment, retention and graduation rates of students with foster care experience who attend Boise State University. By engaging, supporting, and equipping students to take ownership of their college experience, Impact Scholars become authors of personal and community change.

    Program Objectives

    1. Engage Impact Scholars in academics, campus life and leadership development to help them take full advantage of college.
    2. Support Impact Scholars with financial planning, academic assistance and mentorships to promote retention and well-being.
    3. Equip Impact Scholars to achieve educational and career goals by creating opportunities for networking and civic engagement.


    Contact the Impact Scholars Program coordinator:

  • Prospective Scholars

    As a former foster youth, you may have experienced little control over your circumstances, but those circumstances don’t have to limit your future. Becoming an Impact Scholar will help you own your college experience and increase your opportunities for success in everything you do. Benefits include:

    • Impact Scholar Events
    • Leadership Development
    • Peer Support
    • Career Counseling/Post Graduation Planning
    • Giving Back to Youth in Foster Care

    • Impact Scholars Scholarships
    • Admission/Enrollment Guidance
    • Financial Aid Counseling
    • Academic Advising and Support
    • Mentoring

    Eligibility Requirements

    To enroll in the Impact Scholars Program, you must:

    1. Be a current Boise State student or qualify for admission as a freshman or transfer student, as determined by Boise State Admissions.
    2. Be an undergraduate, degree-seeking student with foster care experience.
    3. Apply for financial aid by completing the FAFSA

    Application Process

    To apply for the the Impact Scholars Program, complete the following process:

    1. Review eligibility requirements above.
    2. Complete the Impact Scholars Application here. Once an account has been created, you may log out and return to edit or complete the application before submitting.
    3. After application is received and reviewed by staff, you’ll get a decision within two weeks.

    * If you have not applied to Boise State yet, but would like to receive more information about the Impact Scholars program, please contact the coordinator: (208) 426-1527 or

    Paying for College

    College is expensive, but earning a degree can make a big difference in your future—especially your financial future. A college education gives you the skills and provides the networking you need to be successful in finding the right career for you in today’s competitive job market.Education Pays from Text alternative in table.

    Education LevelPercent UnemployedAverage Hourly Earnings
    Four-year or higher degree3.2%$29.83
    Two-year college degree4.5%$19.80
    Some college, no degree6.0%$18.53
    High school diploma6.0%$16.70
    No high school diploma9.0%$12.20

    A breakdown of how Impact Scholars pay for their education at Boise State:

    Total cost of attendance for ONE YEAR for a full-time, Idaho resident is about $22,000.

    Financial Aid


    • 9 months Work Study or part-time, minimum wage job = $4,000

    Total = $25,800

    *Loans are the ONLY amounts you have to pay back. The more scholarships and/or employment you have, the cheaper school will be!

    You don’t have to figure this out on your own. For questions about paying for college, call us at (208) 426-1527.

  • Current Scholars

    Campus Resources

    The following Boise State offices can help:

    Other Resources

    Additional off-campus resources and support:


    To help you stay on top of your finances, check out these resources:


    Local Scholarships


    Leadership Opportunities

  • Mentor an Impact Scholar

    We’re looking for Boise State University faculty, staff and alumni from a variety of fields, experiences, and interests to mentor current and new students in the Impact Scholars Program.

    What We Do…

    Impact Scholars Program serves students who were formerly in foster care. We help them enroll in higher education, stay in school, and earn a degree. The program engages, supports, and equips scholars to take ownership of their college experience and embark as authors of personal and community change. Support comes through the Office of the Dean of Students in the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

    Your Commitment as a Mentor

    • Attend mentor orientation
    • Connect with your scholar weekly
    • Be a supportive adult and role model



    Apply for mentorship and help keep former foster youth on track to academic success.

  • GIVE

    Impact Scholars have little or no financial help from family to fund their education. Through donor support of scholarships, we can ensure that great potential is not left unrealized because of an inability to bear the cost of a university education. You can provide Impact Scholars with additional scholarships to supplement their financial aid and reduce their need for student loans. Your gift will help these resilient young adults beat the odds and attain a college education.

    Make your donation to the Impact Scholars Scholarship fund online today.

    Are you a Boise State faculty, staff or alumni interested in mentoring our Impact Scholar students? Check out the commitment and apply today.