Students experiencing homelessness qualifying as independent on the FAFSA

07/31/2015

NAECHY Legislative Alert

US Dept. of Education Releases New Guidance on Homeless Youth Determinations

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague letter clarifying determinations for unaccompanied homeless youth for financial aid. It revises USED policy so that all applicants under age 24, including those who are 22 or 23 years old, and who are unaccompanied and homeless, or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless, qualify for a homeless youth determination and will be considered independent students.

Importantly, the clarifies that youth who are between the ages of 21 and 24 and who are unaccompanied and homeless, or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless, qualify for a homeless youth determination, and will be considered independent students. This is a change from previous guidance that defined “youth” as 21 and under.

The July 29 ED Dear Colleague letter may be downloaded here: http://naehcy.org/educational-resources/higher-ed

NAEHCY’s higher education page contains many additional resources for youth, school district homeless liaisons, homeless service providers, financial aid administrators, and other higher education professionals, including:

  • A Higher Education Hotline, (855) 446-2673 (toll-free) or highered@naehcy.org
  • Podcasts
  • FAFSA Tip Sheets
  • Determination Templates
  • Toolkits on financial aid, college access, and college success

For more information, and for assistance related to higher education, please contact NAEHCY’s Director of Higher Education Initiatives, Cyekeia Lee, at:

Toll-free helpline: (855)-446-2673

Phone: (313)-436-5949

Email: clee@naehcy.org

The J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development
– a public service and outreach unit of the University of Georgia – is dedicated to strengthening communities, organizations, and individuals through leadership development, training, and education.


Embark Georgia is located at the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development.
David Meyers and Lori Tiller are the network directors. Our offices are located at 

1240 S. Lumpkin St.
Athens, GA 30605

You may contact us by calling 706-542-1108 or emailing  EMBARK@fanning.uga.edu
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