Answer: If the student asks for copies of the FAFSA homeless verification letter, or asks a liaison/counselor to include a homeless verification letter in an application for college admission or scholarship, then it is fine for the liaison/counselor to provide it. While a student’s homelessness is an educational record subject to the privacy requirements in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), two FERPA exceptions apply.  First, schools can release educational records to a postsecondary institution without consent where the student seeks or intends to enroll.  Therefore, the school can share information about homelessness to be provided as part of a college entrance application.  Second, schools can release educational records without consent for the purposes of financial aid.  The definition of financial aid in FERPA goes beyond just the FAFSA, and includes any funds that are conditioned on a student attending any educational institution.

It always is a good practice to ensure the student wants this information shared. Usually, the student will be the one to request the homelessness verification for a college or scholarship. In that case, the school can provide the verification without parental consent.

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