Announcements, Community Development, Federal News, Homelessness

FAFSA Changes Ease Access to Higher Education for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

U.S. Department of Education

In recent months there have been a number of policy changes to the Free Application for the Federal Application Student Aid (FAFSA) that address the higher education need of students experiencing homelessness.

On May 5, 2016, President Obama announced students could complete their FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016, for the 2017-2018 academic year. This new deadline will provide youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness with the opportunity to complete their FAFSA during the fall semester while they have easy access to a computer and support of their teachers and counselors, instead of the traditional January 1st release date when students are normally on winter break.

On June 27, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education released new changes to FAFSA that continue to address the needs of unstably housed youth. This includes the following:

  • A change to the text on the online FAFSA application that makes it easier for unaccompanied homeless youth to apply for financial aid. 
  • A proposal to remove the definition of “youth” to enable 22- to 23-year-old students experiencing or at risk of becoming homelessness to streamline the process for determining their independent student status.

Click here to read to the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth press release on the new change to the FAFSA application date.

Click here to read Department of Education Secretary John B. King letter to Senator Murray on the new changes to the FAFSA application. 



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