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Christina Dukes, NCHE Jennifer Martin, NASFAA P AVING THE W AY TO C OLLEGE FOR S TUDENTS E XPERIENCING H OMELESSNESS.

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Presentation on theme: "Christina Dukes, NCHE Jennifer Martin, NASFAA P AVING THE W AY TO C OLLEGE FOR S TUDENTS E XPERIENCING H OMELESSNESS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Christina Dukes, NCHE Jennifer Martin, NASFAA P AVING THE W AY TO C OLLEGE FOR S TUDENTS E XPERIENCING H OMELESSNESS

2 M EET NCHE AND NASFAA  The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is the U.S. Department of Education’s technical assistance and information center in the area of homeless education;  The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) supports the training, diversity, and professional development of financial aid administrators; advocates for public policies and programs that increase student access to and success in postsecondary education; and serves as a forum for communication and collaboration on student financial aid issues;

3 What do you consider your current knowledge level to be regarding college access for homeless students? 1.Expert 2.Average 3.Beginner 4.Ummm, what’s college access? RAISE OF HANDS

4  Dealing with application expenses  Advanced Placement exam fees  College entrance exam fees (SAT and ACT)  College application fees  Seeking financial aid and scholarships  The FAFSA for “accompanied” and unaccompanied homeless students  Private scholarships  State-specific opportunities  Options for undocumented homeless students S ESSION O UTLINE

5  The McKinney-Vento Act; available at  The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), available at  The Application and Verification Guide (AVG) (Chapter 5, Special Cases), available at F OUNDATIONAL D OCUMENTS

6 College Access and Success for Students Experiencing Homelessness: A Toolkit for Educators and Service Providers resources/he-toolkit  Chapter 1: Introduction and Context  Chapter 2: Choosing a College  Chapter 3: Fee Waivers  Chapter 4: Federal Aid  Chapter 5: Beyond Federal Aid  Chapter 6: Supporting Student Success in College  Appendices with practical tools and resources NAEHCY H IGHER E DUCATION T OOLKIT

7 1 (855) (TOLL-FREE) NAEHCY H IGHER E DUCATION H ELPLINE

8  Take Advanced Placement (AP) tests, if applicable  Take college entrance exam(s) (SAT and/or ACT)  Complete and submit college applications  Complete and submit the FAFSA  Complete and submit applications for private scholarships  More information is available from the College Board:  “Applying 101”: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get- in/applyinghttps://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get- in/applying  “Financial Aid 101”: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for- college/financial-aidhttps://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for- college/financial-aid C OLLEGE A DMISSIONS C HECKLIST

9 F EE W AIVERS

10 A DVANCED P LACEMENT (AP) E XAMS :  Most four-year colleges in the United States and colleges in more than 60 other countries give students credit, advanced placement, or both on the basis of AP Exam scores; however  Each college or university may set its own policy as to which tests they will accept for credit, how much credit they will give, and what score is required to get credit.

11 A DVANCED P LACEMENT (AP) E XAMS :  AP exam fee waivers are available for eligible students with no limit on the number of waivers per student  To qualify for an AP exam fee waiver:  The student receives or is eligible to receive free or reduced price lunch;  The student's family receives TANF assistance; or  The student is eligible to receive medical assistance under the Medicaid program

12 A DVANCED P LACEMENT (AP) E XAMS :  Waivers are administered at the school; speak with your school’s AP Coordinator  Additional information is available at ap ap

13 C OLLEGE E NTRANCE E XAM : T HE ACT  To qualify for an ACT fee waiver, the student:  Must be enrolled in high school in the 11 th or 12 th grade  Must be a U.S. citizen (if testing abroad) or be testing in the U.S., Puerto Rico, or a U.S. territory  Must meet one or more of the following indicators of economic need:  Student is receiving free/reduced lunch  Family income is below the USDA reduced-price lunch level  Student is enrolled in TRIO or a similar program  Family lives in subsidized housing or receives public assistance  Student is experiencing homelessness  Student is living in a foster home  Student is a ward of the state or is an orphan

14 C OLLEGE E NTRANCE E XAM : T HE ACT Student can use the waiver to take the ACT up to two times The waiver is sent to high schools each summer; students must access the waiver from the school counselor, not from ACT  The waiver covers the basic test fees, including sending the test score(s) to up to four colleges; does not cover late registration fees or change fees  Additional information is available at  A sample fee waiver is available at

15 C OLLEGE E NTRANCE E XAM : T HE SAT  To qualify for an SAT fee waiver, the student must:  Be enrolled in high school in the 11 th or 12 th grade (SAT) or in grades 9-12 (SAT Subject Tests)  Be a U.S. citizen (if testing abroad) or be testing in the U.S., Puerto Rico, or a U.S. territory  Meet one or more indicator(s) of economic need (same as for the ACT fee waiver)

16 C OLLEGE E NTRANCE E XAM : T HE SAT  The waiver must be obtained from the student’s high school counselor or an authorized agency, not from the College Board  The student can receive up to four waiver cards: Up to two waivers for the SAT and two waivers for SAT Subject Tests  The waiver covers the basic test fees, including sending the test score(s) to up to four colleges; does not cover late registration fees or change fees  Additional information is available at

17 C OLLEGE A PPLICATION F EES  College Board program  Students who qualify for the College Board’s SAT fee waiver also qualify to receive up to four Request for Waiver of College Application Fee forms  Forms should be included with the students’ college applications and sent to colleges included in the Directory of Colleges Cooperating with the SAT Program Fee-Waiver Service  Additional information is available at guidance/applications/fee-waivers guidance/applications/fee-waivers

18 C OLLEGE A PPLICATION F EES  National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) form  To be completed with the help of the high school counselor  For graduating high school seniors entering college in the fall  Same eligibility criteria as the ACT and SAT waiver programs  Can be based on income and/or the counselor’s knowledge of the family’s circumstances  Additional information is available at /default.aspx /default.aspx

19 C OLLEGE A PPLICATION F EES  Most colleges accept the College Board or NACAC waiver forms; however, individual institutions may have their own fee waiver policies that vary  Some colleges do not charge application fees for students that apply online  NCHE does not recommend using McKinney-Vento subgrant funds or Title IA set-aside funds to pay for AP exam, college entrance exam, or college application fees

20 Q UESTIONS ?

21 T HE FAFSA

22 RAISE OF HANDS Describe your experience working with unaccompanied homeless youth (UHY) to access federal financial aid? 1.I have worked with UHY; our efforts were successful 2.I have worked with UHY; our efforts were met with resistance 3.I have not yet worked with UHY on financial aid issues 4.Ummm, what’s an UHY?

23  FAFSA = Free Application for Federal Student Aid  The official FAFSA web address is  Students applying for federal aid must complete a FAFSA for each school year for which they are seeking federal aid FAFSA B ASICS

24  A new FAFSA is released each January for the upcoming school year  Example: FAFSA  Released in January 2013  Valid for students attending school for Fall 2013 and Spring 2014  Treatment of the Summer term depends on the school FAFSA B ASICS

25  EFC = Expected Family Contribution  Based on the information submitted on the FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education calculates the EFC  Dependent Student  Must report parent information on FAFSA  EFC is based on parents’ and student’s income and assets  Independent Student  Does NOT report parent information on FAFSA  EFC is based on student’s income and assets C ALCULATION OF F EDERAL A ID

26  Independent if ANY of these are true:  Married  24 years old  Veteran or on active duty  Graduate student  Has a legal dependent (child/other)  Orphan/Ward of the court/In a legal guardianship  Legally emancipated minor  In foster care at age 13 or older  Unaccompanied homeless youth  Independent by “dependency override” as determined by the Financial Aid Administrator W HO IS I NDEPENDENT ?

27  Students experiencing homelessness with their family fill out the FAFSA as dependent students  Living arrangement meets the M-V definition of homeless  In the physical custody of a parent or guardian “A CCOMPANIED ” H OMELESS Y OUTH

28  Need parent signature  The EFC is based on family income and assets  Homeless students from low-income families likely will qualify for a beneficial aid package  Example: The EFC Formula, explains that students who received free school meals in 2011 or 2012, and whose parents’ 2012 income is less than $24,000, quality for a $0 EFC  Additional information is available at EFCFormulaGuide1314.pdf EFCFormulaGuide1314.pdf “A CCOMPANIED ” H OMELESS Y OUTH

29  Unaccompanied homeless youth fill out the FAFSA as independent students  Homeless: Living arrangement meets the M-V definition of homeless  Unaccompanied: Not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian  Youth: 21 or younger or still enrolled in high school on the date he/she signs the FAFSA  Ages 22-23: Requires a dependency override  24 or older: Automatic independent status U NACCOMPANIED H OMELESS Y OUTH

30  Unaccompanied youth at risk of homelessness fill out the FAFSA as independent students  At risk of homelessness: When a student’s housing may cease to be fixed, regular, and adequate, for example, a student who is being evicted and has been unable to find fixed, regular, and adequate housing.  Unaccompanied: Not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian  Youth: 21 or younger or still enrolled in high school on the date he/she signs the FAFSA A T R ISK OF H OMELESSNESS

31  Do not need to provide information on parental income and assets  Do not need a parental signature  Do provide information on their own income and assets  Independent status is not equivalent to free tuition; however, the EFC is calculated proportional to what the student can provide based on his/her resources I NDEPENDENT H OMELESS Y OUTH

32  Local homeless education liaison; for students graduating from high school who were identified as an UHY while in high school  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) shelter director or designee; for students who have received services  Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) shelter director or designee; for students who have received services  Financial Aid Administrator (FAA); for any student, but particularly those who cannot get a determination from one of the other three authorized parties D ETERMINERS OF I NDEPENDENT S TATUS

33 A CCORDING TO THE AVG… T HE F INANCIAL A ID A DMINISTRATOR  If a student does not have, and cannot get, a determination from a local liaison, RHYA provider, or HUD provider, a FAA must make a determination of unaccompanied homeless youth status  If a student meets the definition of UHY, this is not a “dependency override”; this is determining the independent student status of an unaccompanied homeless youth

34 A CCORDING TO THE AVG… FAA D ETERMINATIONS  Verification of “yes” answers to the unaccompanied homeless youth questions on the FAFSA is not required unless there is conflicting information  A FAA may determine a student’s status with a documented interview

35 A CCORDING TO THE AVG… FAA D ETERMINATIONS  Encourages discretion and sensitivity when gathering information  Some information may be confidential (e.g., protected by doctor-patient privilege)  Child welfare and/or law enforcement reports are not necessary  Recommends consulting with local liaisons, State Coordinators, NCHE, school counselors, clergy, etc.

36  Online FAFSA includes four questions regarding unaccompanied homeless youth, including for youth who have no determination as of yet  Encourage UHY to complete the FAFSA online O NLINE FAFSA

37  PDF FAFSA includes only 3 UHY-related questions PDF/P APER FAFSA

38  A student without a determination of independent status must respond “no” to UHY questions and follow up with the FAA PDF/P APER FAFSA

39  Student doesn’t sign the application  Name reported on the FAFSA does not match name in Social Security Administration records  Report adjusted gross income equal to taxes paid T OP FAFSA E RRORS FOR H OMELESS Y OUTH

40  NAEHCY Template (Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Documentation of Independent Student Status for the FAFSA) available at resources/higher-edwww.naehcy.org/educational- resources/higher-ed  NCHE/NAEHCY FAA Tool (Making Student Status Determinations for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth: Eligibility Tool for Financial Aid Administrators) available at T OOLS

41 Q UESTIONS ?

42 S CHOLARSHIPS, S TATE R ESOURCES, U NDOCUMENTED S TUDENTS

43  Check with the high school’s guidance counselor for a list of private scholarships available to area students  The LeTendre Education Fund Scholarship: fund/about-the-fund fund/about-the-fund  Give Us Your Poor/Horatio Alger Scholarship: P RIVATE S CHOLARSHIPS

44  Free scholarship search engines:  Fastweb!:  College Board: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/scholarship- search https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/scholarship- search  U.S. Department of Education: scholarships/finding-scholarships (includes scholarship search tips and guidelines) scholarships/finding-scholarships P RIVATE S CHOLARSHIPS

45  Some states have special provisions available for low-income and/or homeless students:  Indiana: Students receiving free lunch receive a tuition waiver when participating in Indiana’s Double Up Program (dual enrollment in college courses for students in 11 th and 12 th grade)  Florida: Homeless students are exempt from the payment of tuition and fees at a school district that provides postsecondary career programs, community college, or state university (2011 F.S ); restrictions apply splay_Statute&Search_String=&URL= /1009/Sections/ html splay_Statute&Search_String=&URL= /1009/Sections/ html S TATE R ESOURCES

46  Encourage the student to consider a variety of institutions with different “price points”  A student may not be able to afford a particular institution, but other good college options may be available  A student may start at a community college and transfer to a four-year college at a later time, but needs to have a solid and informed transition plan  Consider housing options if looking into a school without dorms O THER C ONSIDERATIONS

47 RAISE OF HANDS In your experience, how accessible is higher education for undocumented students in your state? 1.Very accessible 2.Somewhat accessible 3.Not accessible at all 4.Ummm, what’s an undocumented student?

48  Undocumented student  Not a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident  Does not possess a green card, visa, or other legal documentation  Undocumented students may face obstacles in three areas:  College admission  Tuition  Financial aid U NDOCUMENTED S TUDENTS

49  Access to higher education for undocumented students is highly state-specific and institution-specific  No federal law prohibiting the admission of undocumented students into U.S. colleges and universities  Some states permit the admission of undocumented students into state institutions  Some private institutions permit the admission of undocumented students  Some states or institutions admit undocumented students but treat them as out-of-state or foreign students, making them ineligible for state aid and in-state tuition C OLLEGE A DMISSION

50  Some states charge undocumented students out- of-state tuition fees  Some states permit undocumented students to pay in-state tuition under certain circumstances  Example: California permits undocumented students to pay in-state tuition if the student has attended a state high school for three or more years, has graduated from a state high school, and signs an affidavit promising to file an application to legalize his/her immigration status C OLLEGE T UITION

51  Undocumented students are not eligible to receive federally funded financial aid  Undocumented students are not eligible for state aid in most states; a handful of states grant eligibility for state aid to undocumented students who qualify for in-state tuition  Private colleges and universities set their own financial aid policies; some grant scholarships and other aid to undocumented students  Many, but not all, private scholarships require applicants to be U.S. citizens or legal residents F INANCIAL A ID FOR U NDOCUMENTED S TUDENTS

52  From Reconciling Federal, State, and Institutional Policies Determining Educational Access for Undocumented Students: Implications for Professional Practice, available at surveys/Reconciling_Federal,_State, _and_Institutional_Policies_Determi ning_Educational_Access_for_Undo cumented_Students__Implications_f or_Professional_Practice.aspx surveys/Reconciling_Federal,_State, _and_Institutional_Policies_Determi ning_Educational_Access_for_Undo cumented_Students__Implications_f or_Professional_Practice.aspx  Let’s take a quick glance… A G LANCE AT THE S TATES

53  Visit /financial-aid/undocumented-students and pdf/diversity/Repository-Resources- Undocumented-Students_2012.pdf for more information, including: /financial-aid/undocumented-students pdf/diversity/Repository-Resources- Undocumented-Students_2012.pdf  Information on state laws regarding college access for undocumented students  A list of scholarships available to all students, regardless of immigration status M ORE I NFORMATION

54 F INAL Q UESTIONS ?

55 RAISE OF HANDS What is your most valuable “take-home” point from today’s session? 1.Information on fee waivers 2.Information on the FAFSA 3.Information on private scholarships and state opportunities 4.Information on undocumented students 5.All of the above 6.Ummm, what? Sorry, I was napping.

56  Learn more about TRIO at s/list/ope/trio/index.html s/list/ope/trio/index.html  Learn more about GEAR UP at gearup/index.html gearup/index.html A DDITIONAL R ESOURCES


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