ACT Fee Waiver Eligibility Requirements and Procedures
Addressing Housing Insecurity and Living Costs in Higher Education
Application and Verification Guide
This guide from the U.S. Department of Education
is intended for financial aid administrators and counselors who help students begin the student aid process: filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), verifying information, and making corrections and other changes to the information reported on the FAFSA. The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007
states that unaccompanied homeless youth are to be considered independent students when applying for federal financial aid for higher education. See Chapter 5 - Special Cases
for specific references to unaccompanied homeless youth.
Barriers to Success: Housing Insecurity for U.S. College Students
Better Make Room: Tools for College Selection
This webpage from Better Make Room
, an organization that seeks to inspire students and provide them with the needed resources to continue their education past high school, provides practical tools to help higher education-bound students navigate the college transition process and choose the post-secondary institution that is right for them. Tools include a financial aid shopping sheet, college calculator, college finder, and college scoreboard. Better Make Room supports former First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher Initiative
Visit the Better Make Room: Tools for College Selection webpage
California Community Colleges #RealCollege Survey
The #RealCollege Survey is the nation's largest annual assessment of basic needs security among college students. The survey, which specifically evaluates access to affordable food and housing, began in 2015 under the Wisconsin HOPE Lab.
Find the 2020 California Community Colleges #RealCollege Survey
California State University Basic Needs Initiative
College Access and Success for Students Experiencing Homelessness: A Toolkit for Educators and Service Providers
College Board: Information on Access to Higher Education for Undocumented Students
Equity Made Real: Promising Strategies for Addressing College Student Basic Needs
This report, from the California-based organization, John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY), includes information on setting up a campus-based basic needs program for students experiencing housing and food insecurity, including in partnership with K12 and the community.
Download Equity Made Real: Promising Strategies for Addressing College Student Basic Needs.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Website
The FAFSA is the form required by the federal government for application to any federal education aid program. The FAFSA is used to determine the expected family contribution based on family financial information. A FAFSA is used to determine the specific Federal Student Aid programs that can contribute to a student's total financial aid package and in what proportions. Fill out the FAFSA online (recommended over filling out the PDF or paper FAFSA).Search federal school codes (used to identify colleges/universities on the FAFSA).
Call 1-800-4-FED-AID or 1-800-394-7084 to request that a hard copy of the FAFSA be mailed to you.
Food Insecurity: Better Information Could Help Eligible College Students Access Federal Food Assistance Benefits
This December 2018 report is from the U.S. Government Accountability Office
. Increasing evidence indicates that some college students are experiencing food insecurity, which can negatively impact their academic success. However, college students are only eligible for SNAP in certain cases. Given the substantial federal investment in higher education and the risk posed if students do not complete their degrees, GAO was asked to review food insecurity among college students. In the report, GAO examines what is known about the extent of food insecurity among college students and their use of SNAP, how selected colleges are addressing student food insecurity, and the extent to which federal programs assist students experiencing food insecurity and also gives recommendations for additional actions.
Higher Education: Actions Needed to Improve Access to Federal Financial Assistance for Homeless and Foster Youth
Hungry and Homeless in College: Results from a National Study of Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education
This March 2017 report from the Wisconsin HOPE Lab
and the Association of Community College Trustees
surveys more than 33,000 students at 70 community colleges in 24 states to assess the incidence of food and housing insecurity, including homelessness, among these students. The report concludes that an estimated average of 13 percent of community college students may be homeless.
I Want To Go To College: Now What?
A guide from the U.S. Department of Education
for youths who are or were homeless, or are at risk of experiencing homelessness. It intends to help make the process of applying to, paying for, and succeeding in college more clear by providing information and resources.
Income Tax and the FAFSA for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
This two-page brief from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
(NAEHCY) answers various questions about the relationship between the filing of tax returns and a youth's completion of the FAFSA. Questions answered include: How does a youth's decision to file a tax return affect the FAFSA?; Are youth required to file tax returns?, and; What should an unaccompanied youth do if his/her parents claim him/her as a dependent on their tax returns?.
NAEHCY Single Point of Contact (SPOC) Model Toolkit
This toolkit from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)
is a must-have for campuses that choose to enhance and facilitate student success for those experiencing housing instability and homelessness. This toolkit draws upon not just research and practice but also the perspectives of students moving through housing insecurity. It provides recommendations on building both campus and state-wide initiatives for ensuring the success of young adults experiencing collegiate homelessness.
Providing Effective Financial Aid Assistance to Students from Foster Care and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
This December 2009 guide from Casey Family Programs
provides information on helping youth from foster care and unaccompanied homeless youth to secure financial aid for postsecondary education or training programs. It describes how to respond to new FAFSA questions that will determine federal financial aid status for these students. The guide will be most useful for financial aid professionals, independent living coordinators, guidance counselors, financial aid counselors, social workers, and advocates helping youth to secure the maximum allowable financial aid.
Download Providing Effective Financial Aid Assistance to Students from Foster Care and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth.
Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Students
This U.S. Department of Education
guide seeks to help educators support the academic success of undocumented youth, debunk misconceptions by clarifying the legal rights of undocumented students, share helpful information about financial aid options open to undocumented students, and support youth in applying for DACA consideration or renewal. It includes an overview of the rights of undocumented students, tips for educators on how to support undocumented youth in high school and college, key information on non-citizen access to federal financial aid, a list of private scholarships for which undocumented youth might be eligible, information on federally-funded adult education programs at the local level, and guidance for migrant students in accessing their education records for DACA (Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals).
Download Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Students
Download Financial Aid and Undocumented Students
SAT Program Fee-Waiver Service
This webpage from the College Board
explains how a high school junior or senior can receive a fee-waiver in order to take the SAT college entrance exam or SAT subject tests, if paying the fee would pose a barrier to the student's college entrance. It also discusses how a college-bound student can receive waivers for college application fees.
Visit the SAT Program Fee-Waiver Service webpage
Texas Higher Education Foster Care Liaisons: Information and Reference Guide
Texas state law requires higher education foster care liaisons at all public post-secondary institutions in the state. This guide from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
includes in-depth information for liaisons who have advocated for and with foster care alumni for many years and for new liaisons who are interested in developing a stronger support network at their institution. While the guide is specific to foster youth in Texas, much of the information included is applicable to unaccompanied homeless youth.
TRIO (Federal TRIO Programs)
The Federal TRIO Programs are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes six outreach and support programs targeted to serve and assist low-income, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs.
Tuition Assistance Programs for Foster Youth Pursuing Postsecondary Education: 50-State Review
Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Tip Sheet for Colorado McKinney-Vento Single Points of Contact