Answer: No, that is not correct. The Application and Verification Guide (AVG) from the US Department of Education is clear on this point. On pages 121-122, the guide contains the following information:
- About the definition of homeless: “It also includes living in the school dormitory if the student would otherwise be homeless.
- About accepting letters from liaisons: “local liaisons may write subsequent year letters of verification for unaccompanied homeless youth through age 23 for whom they have the necessary information to write such letters. This documentation is acceptable for verifying unaccompanied homelessness.” and “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.
Unless the student has reunified with her parents and has stable, regular and safe housing outside of the dorm, for school breaks and summer, and also is no longer at risk of homelessness, the student continues to be an unaccompanied homeless youth. She is automatically independent as an unaccompanied homeless youth, as verified by the liaison.