Higher Education

Pathways to Partnership: Higher Education

This guide is designed to help LEA homeless liaisons and homeless service providers to gain a basic understanding of some important higher education programs and create and sustain higher education partnerships.

Download the Guide

Some form of education beyond high school is increasingly necessary to obtain jobs that pay a living wage and achieve housing stability. For youth experiencing homelessness, postsecondary education provides the opportunity to break cycles of poverty and exit homelessness permanently; at the same time, homelessness creates barriers to accessing and completing higher education.

In recognition of these barriers and the importance of postsecondary education, the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) amended the McKinney-Vento Act to assist youth experiencing homelessness to transition successfully to postsecondary education. School district homeless liaisons are required to ensure that unaccompanied homeless youth are informed of their status as independent students for college financial aid, and obtain assistance to receive verification for the FAFSA. Additionally, state McKinney-Vento plans must describe how homeless youth will receive assistance from school counselors to advise, prepare, and improve their readiness for college.

This guide is designed to help LEA homeless liaisons and homeless service providers to:

Download the Higher Education Contact Sheet to Keep Track of Contacts

This guide provides basic information on six important higher education resources, including those programs that have specific requirements on homelessness. Find out what services they provide, their eligibility criteria, and the role of liaisons/service providers in helping students access them.