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Accessing College for Students in Temporary Housing

Resources | Financial Aid Information | Scholarships

Higher education is the key to helping students experiencing homeless escape poverty. There are several programs available through the federal Higher Education Act, such as the TRIO programs, that help students graduate from high school, apply and enroll in college, and complete their degrees. Also, homeless unaccompanied youth qualify as independent students on the Free Student Application for Financial Act (FAFSA), which makes it easier for them to get the financial aid they need to pursue post-secondary education. Below are links that more fully explain these resources as well as information about other sources of financial aid and scholarships.


NAEHCY Higher Education Helpline

For assistance with issues related to students experiencing homelessness accessing higher education, contact the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) Higher Education Helpline at 1 (855) 446-2673 (toll-free) or

College Access and Success for Students Experiencing Homelessness: A Toolkit for Educators and Service Providers

The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) put together this comprehensive resource on the issue of higher education access and success for students experiencing homelessness, including information on:

  • Understanding students who are homeless;
  • Assisting students who are homeless in choosing a school;
  • Helping students who are homeless pay for application-related expenses;
  • Assisting students who are homeless in finding financial aid and scholarships for school;
  • Helping students who are homeless succeed in college.

The toolkit is designed for McKinney-Vento liaisons in school districts, school counselors, college admission counselors, college financial aid administrators, and youth shelters and other service providers with the resources they need to understand the options and supports available for college-bound youth who are homeless and assist these youth in accessing them.

National Center for Homeless Education: Access to Higher Education for Students Experiencing Homelessness

This webpage has a variety of information and links for students experiencing homelessness who wish to pursue post-secondary education.

Increasing Access to Higher Education for Unaccompanied Youth: Information for Colleges and Universities [PDF]

Many unaccompanied homeless youth have higher education aspirations, but find the barriers to enrollment and attendance to be overwhelming. This NCHE brief provides a better understanding of unaccompanied homeless youth and the educational and other challenges they face, a summary of federal education legislation that gives unaccompanied homeless youth access to important educational supports, and samples of promising practices implemented by high schools, colleges, and universities to assist unaccompanied homeless youth in succeeding in college.

Financial Aid Information

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Verification Form For the Purposes of Federal Financial Aid

This template, from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, provides local homeless education liaisons, HUD-funded shelter representatives, and RHYA-funded shelter representatives with a sample form for verifying a student's status as an unaccompanied homeless youth for the purpose of applying for federal financial aid for higher education using the FAFSA.

Applying for TAP as an Independent Student

The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is a grant program for New York State residents who are full-time undergraduate students enrolled in an eligible program at an institution within the state. Currently, TAP provides annual awards ranging from $500 to $5,000.

Application and Verification Guide to the FAFSA

The U.S. Department of Education's "Application and Verification Guide" (AVG) provides instructions and guidance to financial aid administrators and counselors who help students fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The 2010-2011 edition of the AVG contains important new information regarding unaccompanied homeless youth (pp. 28-30).

ACT Fee Waiver Eligiblity Requirements and Procedures

This two-page brochure ACT describes the procedures that economically disadvantaged high school juniors or seniors should follow to receive a fee waiver for taking the ACT college entrance exam.

SAT Program Fee-Waiver Service

This webpage from the College Board explains how a high school junior and senior can receive a fee-waiver in order to take the SAT college entrance exam or SAT subject test, if paying the fee would posea barrier to the student's college entrance. It also discusses how a college-bound student can recive waivers for college application fees.


Scholarship Opportunities

A list of resources for College Scholarships, Fellowships, and other funding opportunities.

LeTendre Education Fund Scholarship Announcement and Application

This webpage describes the LeTendre Education Fund Scholarship that provides financial assistance to students pursuing a college education who are homeless or who have experienced homelessness.

Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.

The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., is a national educational organization that offers, among other things, scholarships to students who are in financial need and who are in their senior year of high school and graduating in the Spring of 2011. The Horatio Alger New York Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to students in the State of New York who have exhibited integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity, including homelessness, and who aspire to pursue higher education. Applications are due by October 30th!


Upcoming Workshops and Trainings

McKinney-Vento 101 @ HSU
Fri, Sept 19, 2014
New York, NY

Long Island
Thurs, Nov 6, 2014
Melville, NY

Fri, Nov 14, 2014
Rochester, NY

New York City
3 Dates
Nov 18, Dec 2, & Dec 9, 2014


Upcoming Webinars

McKinney-Vento 101 (NYC)
Fri, Sept 19, 2014
10 - 11 am

Navigating McKinney-Vento: Forms and Procedures (NYS)
Tue, Sept 30, 2014
10 - 11 am

Recorded Webinars and Materials

Workshops and Training Materials

Training and Workshop Materials