Over 95 percent of the jobs created since 2010 have gone to college-educated workers, and by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require education beyond high school. Postsecondary education is increasingly necessary for youth who are experiencing homelessness to be able to obtain employment that enables them to afford housing, and never experience homelessness again.

The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) amended the McKinney-Vento Act to assist youth experiencing homelessness to transition successfully to postsecondary education. Local educational agency (LEA) homeless liaisons are required to ensure that unaccompanied homeless youth are informed of their status as independent students for college financial aid, and obtain assistance to receive verification for the FAFSA. Additionally, state McKinney-Vento plans must describe how homeless youth will receive assistance from school counselors to advise, prepare, and improve their readiness for college.

This guide is designed to help LEA homeless liaisons and homeless service providers to 1) gain a basic understanding of some important higher education programs, including those programs that have specific requirements on homelessness; and 2) create and sustain higher education partnerships. Connecting youth and young adults who experience homelessness with the appropriate resources will help pave a smoother transition to and through postsecondary education.


Pathways to Partnership: Higher Education

This guide provides basic information on six important higher education resources, including those programs that have specific requirements on homelessness. Find out what services they provide, their eligibility criteria, and the role of liaisons/service providers in helping students access them.

  1. Financial Aid
  2. Student Affairs Professionals
  3. TRIO Programs
  4. GEAR UP
  5. ACT Fee Waiver
  6. SAT Fee Waiver

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