Answer: Yes, you are correct that the financial aid administrator (FAA) has to accept a liaison’s verification letter.  The Application and Verification Guide (AVG) from the US Department of Education is very clear, on pages 121-122, that FAAs should accept verifications from authorized parties, including liaisons.  The AVG also states:

“It is not conflicting information if you disagree with an authority’s determination that a student is homeless.”

The AVG is available at https://ifap.ed.gov/fsahandbook/attachments/1819FSAHbkAVG.pdf.

You also should not share additional information about the student’s living situation with the admissions counselor, unless you have explicit permission from the student (if 18 or older) or the student’s parent.  Information about a student’s homelessness is an educational record that is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). While FERPA does allow you to share information in relation to financial aid, you should not share information that is not legally required for the student to receive the aid.  You correctly provided and shared the FAFSA verification letter. Revealing additional personal information about the student’s situation would be a FERPA violation.

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