Paving the Way to College for Students Experiencing Homelessness

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PAVING THE WAY TO
C OLLEGE FOR S TUDENTS
E XPERIENCING
H OMELESSNESS
Christina Dukes, NCHE
[email protected]
Jennifer Martin, NASFAA
[email protected]
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;
www.serve.org /nche
 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; www.nasfaa.org
RAISE OF HANDS
What do you consider your
current knowledge level to be regarding
college access for homeless students?
1.
2.
3.
4.
Expert
Average
Beginner
Ummm, what’s college access?
S ESSION O UTLINE
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
F OUNDATIONAL D OCUMENTS
The McKinney-Vento Act; available at
www.serve.org/nche/legis/mv.php
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student
Aid), available at www.fafsa.ed.gov
The Application and Verification Guide (AVG)
(Chapter 5, Special Cases), available at
www.serve.org/nche/ibt/higher_ed.php
NAEHCY H IGHER E DUCATION T OOLKIT
College Access and Success for Students
Experiencing Homelessness: A Toolkit for
Educators and Service Providers
www.naehcy.org/educationalresources/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 H ELPLINE
1 (855) 446-2673 (TOLL-FREE)
[email protected]
C OLLEGE A DMISSIONS C HECKLIST
 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/getin/applying
 “Financial Aid 101”: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-forcollege/financial-aid
F EE WAIVERS
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 .
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
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
http://professionals.collegeboard
.com/testing/waivers/guidelines/
ap
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
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
www.actstudent.org/faq/feewaiver.html
 A sample fee waiver is available at
http://media.act.org/documents/feewaiver.pdf
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)
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
http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/sat -fee-waivers
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
http://professionals.collegeboard.com/
guidance/applications/fee-waivers
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
www.nacacnet.org/studentinfo/feewaiver/Pages
/default.aspx
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
Q UESTIONS ?
T HE FAFSA
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?
FAFSA B ASICS
FAFSA = Free Application for Federal Student Aid
The official FAFSA web address is
www.fafsa.ed.gov
Students applying for federal aid must complete
a FAFSA for each school year for which they are
seeking federal aid
FAFSA B ASICS
A new FAFSA is released each January for the
upcoming school year
Example: 2013-2014 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
C ALCULATION
OF
F EDERAL A ID
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
W HO
IS
I NDEPENDENT ?
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
“A CCOMPANIED ” H OMELESS Y OUTH
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
 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, 2013-2014 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
http://ifap.ed.gov/efcformulaguide/attachments/
091312EFCFormulaGuide1314.pdf
U NACCOMPANIED H OMELESS Y OUTH
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
A T R ISK
OF
H OMELESSNESS
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
I NDEPENDENT H OMELESS Y OUTH
 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
D ETERMINERS
OF
I NDEPENDENT S TATUS
 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
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
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
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.
2013-2014 O NLINE FAFSA
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
2013-2014 PDF/PAPER FAFSA
 PDF FAFSA includes only 3 UHY-related questions
2013-2014 PDF/PAPER FAFSA
A student without
a determination
of independent
status must
respond “no” to
UHY questions
and follow up
with the FAA
T OP FAFSA E RRORS FOR
H OMELESS Y OUTH
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 OOLS
 NAEHCY Template (Unaccompanied
Homeless Youth Documentation of
Independent Student Status for the FAFSA)
available at www.naehcy.org/educationalresources/higher-ed
 NCHE/NAEHCY FAA Tool (Making Student
Status Determinations for Unaccompanied
Homeless Youth: Eligibility Tool for
Financial Aid Administrators) available at
www.serve.org/nche/pr/faa_tool.php
Q UESTIONS ?
S CHOLARSHIPS ,
S TATE R ESOURCES ,
U NDOCUMENTED
S TUDENTS
P RIVATE S CHOLARSHIPS
Check with the high school’s guidance counselor
for a list of private scholarships available to area
students
The LeTendre Education Fund Scholarship:
www.naehcy.org/letendre-scholarshipfund/about-the-fund
Give Us Your Poor/Horatio Alger Scholarship:
www.horatioalger.org/scholarships/
P RIVATE S CHOLARSHIPS
Free scholarship search engines:
Fastweb!: www.fastweb.com/
College Board:
https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/scholarshipsearch
U.S. Department of Education:
http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grantsscholarships/finding-scholarships (includes
scholarship search tips and guidelines)
S TATE R ESOURCES
 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)
www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title21/ar14/ch8.html
 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. 1009.25); restrictions apply
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Di
splay_Statute&Search_String=&URL=10001099/1009/Sections/1009.25.html
O THER C ONSIDERATIONS
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
RAISE OF HANDS
In your experience, how accessible is
higher education for undocumented students
in your state?
1.
2.
3.
4.
Very accessible
Somewhat accessible
Not accessible at all
Ummm, what’s an undocumented student?
U NDOCUMENTED S TUDENTS
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
C OLLEGE A DMISSION
 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 T UITION
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
F INANCIAL A ID FOR
U NDOCUMENTED S TUDENTS
 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
A G LANCE
AT THE
S TATES
 From Reconciling Federal, State, and
Institutional Policies Determining
Educational Access for
Undocumented Students:
Implications for Professional
Practice, available at
www.nasfaa.org/research/membersurveys/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…
M ORE I NFORMATION
Visit
http://professionals.collegeboard.com/guidance
/financial-aid/undocumented-students and
http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/
pdf/diversity/Repository-ResourcesUndocumented-Students_2012.pdf for more
information, including:
 Information on state laws regarding college access for
undocumented students
 A list of scholarships available to all students, regardless
of immigration status
F INAL Q UESTIONS ?
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.
A DDITIONAL R ESOURCES
Learn more about TRIO at
http://www2.ed.gov/about/office
s/list/ope/trio/index.html
Learn more about GEAR UP at
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/
gearup/index.html
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