Paying for College

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: and

In addition, if you complete the registration form at, 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.