Promoting Federal Student Aid to Homeless College Students

Photograph of a young person waiting for a subway train

Homeless young people hoping to attend college (or already attending) may not know that federal law enables those who lack a "fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence" to claim independent student status on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Youth workers can advertise this fact using a free poster (PDF, 445.52) from the National Center for Homeless Education and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. The poster helps youth determine if they're eligible for federal support and explains who to contact for help. (The federal deadline for filling out the FAFSA is June 30, but some states have deadlines as early as April 15 this year.)

NCHE offers other resources for those working to help runaway and homeless youth go to college, such as links to

  • information about verifying students' homelessness status
  • information about model programs that enable young people to get into college--and to graduate
  • organizations that fund the college educations of homeless and low-income young people
  • information about getting standardized test fees waived

Download the FAFSA poster (PDF, 445.52)

Learn more about access to higher education for students experiencing homelessness

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