Do you have guidance on how colleges/universities can acquire a verification for unaccompanied homeless youth for the FAFSA, especially for students who do not directly come from high school?

Here is the latest letter from the US Department of Education on this: https://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/attachments/GEN1516Attach.pdf There is some new information on page 116 of the latest AVG that specifically allows liaisons to provide verifications for students...

We have statewide virtual schools that do not have students meet at a local school site, ever. McKinney-Vento students are not asked to prove residency, of course, but sometimes, the resident liaison checks on the family or youth to see that they actually live in state. Now we have a case in which the parent is refusing to meet with a local liaison. Advice?

Answer: The liaison should follow the same process as any McKinney-Vento scenario where there is a concern about eligibility. The virtual school liaison could provide the parent with written notice that they are making a determination of ineligibility unless the...

When state law requires a health plan prior to enrolling a student, how do we reconcile that with the McKinney-Vento Act’s requirement for immediate enrollment?

Answer: You follow the McKinney-Vento Act and enroll immediately. When two statutes conflict with each other, Article VI, Clause 2 of the US Constitution (commonly known as the Supremacy Clause) requires that federal law be followed.  That constitutional language is:...

Who can make special education decisions for an unaccompanied youth?

Answer: This is fairly complicated, but a step-by-step answer is available in this publication: https://www.nasdse.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=Kck6yunXeEQ%3D&tabid=36. Read more Q&A from Our...

I’m helping an unaccompanied homeless youth with the FAFSA. I’m wondering how to advise him if someone is still claiming him as a dependent on their taxes, even though they are not supporting him.

Answer: The issue of tax claims is completely separate from the FAFSA independent student status. The FAFSA status is based on the student’s living situation. As long as the student is determined to be unaccompanied and homeless in the year in which he is submitting...

Early Childhood

Infants are at greater risk of living in homeless shelters than any other age group in the United States. Early childhood programs prevent the harmful life-long effects of homelessness on education, health and well-being.

PreK - 12

In the 2014-15 school year, public schools identified more than 1.2 million homeless students. Schools provide basic needs, caring adults, stability, normalcy, and the skills to avoid homelessness as adults.

Higher Education

The majority of well-paying jobs created today require at least a Bachelor’s degree. A college degree is increasingly necessary to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, and live a healthy, productive life.


Robust community partnerships, including housing, health care, nutrition, transportation, and other services, provide essential supports for children and youth to grow and thrive.

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