national center for homeless education | nche

Higher Education Act (HEA)

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The Higher Education Act includes provisions to make undergraduate and graduate education more affordable for aspiring social-impact professionals. It also establishes that unaccompanied homeless youth qualify as independent students for purposes of federal financial aid.


Regulations | Guidance | Memoranda

Download the U.S. Department of Education's Questions and Answers: Federal Student Aid and Homeless Youth fact sheet.

Download a June 2016 letter from U.S. Department of Education Secretary John King to Senator Patty Murray regarding Department efforts to simplify and clarify the FAFSA application process for unaccompanied homeless youth. The letter specifies that local homeless education liaisons can make "subsequent year letters of verification" of independent student status for unaccompanied homeless youth for whom they have the necessary information to write these letters.

Download a July 2015 U.S. Department of Education Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) clarifying the implementation of providing independent student status for unaccompanied homeless youth on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The DCL clarifies that unaccompanied homeless students between the ages of 21 and 24 are to be considered independent students.

Download the U.S. Department of Education's Application and Verification Guide (AVG).
The AVG provides financial aid administrators (FAAs) with guidance on the processing of Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAs), including as relates to independent student status for unaccompanied homeless youth. See Chapter 5 - Special Cases for specific references to unaccompanied homeless youth.
Download the Application and Verification Guide - 2018-2019 - With References to Homeless Students Highlighted (Compiled by NCHE, April 2018)

Download the federal interagency letter entitled, Aligning Federal Supports and Program Delivery for College Access and Completion.

U.S. Department of Education FAFSA Data

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The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program. NCHE is housed at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

This website was produced with funding from the U.S. Department of Education, on contract no. ED-01-CO-0092/0001. The content of this website does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education or the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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