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Homeless Higher Education - Single Points of Contact (SPOCs)

Who are SPOCs?

Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) are designated safe and supportive college administrators who are committed to helping unaccompanied homeless youth (UHY) successfully navigate the college-going process. SPOCs implement a streamlined process on their campuses to help with the UHY determination for financial aid purposes, and to facilitate communication and quick referral among campus departments and services to assist unaccompanied homeless college students to reach their higher education goals. List of college contacts

Why was the SPOC model developed?

The Colorado Taskforce on Higher Education for Unaccompanied Youth Experiencing Homelessness was formed to bring together K-12 McKinney-Vento public school district liaisons; higher education financial aid, admissions, and student support services staff; and other public and private partners, such as pre-collegiate agencies, scholarship organizations, and funding partners. In 2009, colleges and universities across Colorado appointed higher education homeless liaisons, or “Single Points of Contact” (SPOCs). These liaisons help youth matriculate into higher education and address academic barriers by waiving application and other fees at higher education institutions when possible; timing housing deposits so that students can pay when they receive financial aid; and connecting students with community and higher education resources such as financial literacy training, peer support groups, and food banks.

The information and resources below will help your institution comply with the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) of 2007 and support the McKinney-Vento Act’s intent of assisting unaccompanied homeless youth in their post-secondary endeavors. Thank you for your hard work and dedication in serving unaccompanied homeless youth in our state!

  1. Read the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Tip Sheet for Colorado Higher Education McKinney-Vento Single Points of Contact (SPOCs)
  2. Read about Special Cases from the Application and Verification Guide (AVG) that pertain to independent status for unaccompanied homeless youth for the purpose of financial aid. Access the full AVG 
  3. Read and become familiar with the UHY Documentation of Independent Status for the FAFSA form.

SPOC Training

Single Point of Contact 101 Training-Prepared for CAFAA Conference 2022

Handout-Trauma Informed Care

Scholarships for Homeless Youth

National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)

NAEHCY awards $2,000 scholarships, unrestricted funds awarded once proof of post-secondary education has been provided, to youth who have experienced homelessness.

Give Us Your Poor/Horatio Alger Scholarship

The Horatio Alger Colorado Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to students in the State of Colorado who have exhibited integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity and who aspire to pursue higher education.

College Access Scholarship

$2,500 scholarships are offered to help students access and complete higher education. The College Access Scholarship will be awarded to up to 300 eligible students to use toward their higher education expenses.


A free, general scholarship search engine.

College Board

A free, general scholarship search engine.

Other Resources

National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)

NAEHCY is a professional organization specifically dedicated to meeting the educational needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness. NAECHY provides professional development, resources, and training support for anyone and everyone interested in supporting the academic success of children and youth challenged by homelessness. 

National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE (NCHE) 

NCHE is the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance and information center in the area of homeless education.   

National Homelessness Law Center (NHLC)

Lawyers working to prevent and end homelessness by serving as the legal arm of the nationwide movement to end homelessness.


CDE State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth

Paula Gumina

National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE)

NCHE is the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance and information center in the area of homeless education.