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Homeless Higher Education

Higher education offers students experiencing homelessness the best hope for escaping poverty and homelessness as adults. The programs of the Higher Education Act (HEA) have the potential to assist these youth to graduate from high school, apply for and access postsecondary education, and complete their degrees.

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) of 2007 made significant changes to the Free Student Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) that makes it easier for unaccompanied homeless youth to obtain the financial support they need to pursue their education. This Act allows unaccompanied homeless youth to qualify as independent students for purposes of federal financial aid because they do not need to report their parents’ information, or have their parents sign the FAFSA.

How to Cut College Dropout Rates by David L. Kirp

  • Attention to personal needs like mentoring, flexible scheduling, and public transportation vouchers can help students in public colleges graduate on time.


Talk with your counselor if you are currently a high school student, or McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Liaison.  List of McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaisons.

Each public two and four-year college and private four-year college in Colorado has a designated staff member called the McKinney-Vento Single Point of Contact to assist you with all your questions about that particular college. List of college contacts. Call or email your questions to the person listed at the college you plan to attend.

2018-19 Unaccompanied Youth Verification form

Word form

2019-20 Unaccompanied Youth Verification form

Word form

Higher Education Contacts for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

NAEHCY Higher Education Helpline at 1-855-446-2673 (toll-free) or