Q&A From the Field

Other Higher Education Issues

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McKinney-Vento liaisons can provide unaccompanied homeless youth with FAFSA verification letters for students who have graduated, if the liaison is still in touch with the student and still has knowledge of the information necessary to make the verification.However, it sounds like the college is requiring 2 support letters. That’s definitely a barrier and also against the Application and Verification Guide. (The Unaccompanied Homeless Youth section begins on page 70 or the last three pages). The Application and Verification Guide is the guidance that financial aid offices must follow. In addition, much of the AVG now has been codified in law.

SchoolHouse Connection has partnered with NASFAA, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, on a co-branded FAQ document. This might be a good resource to share with the financial aid office.

We have additional resources, as well as sample verification letters, on our higher education webpage as well. Guidance for verifying a student’s status after graduation is available here.

There is no federally-imposed deadline for this IRS form.  It seems to be a school-imposed deadline, meaning the school could waive it.  It’s unclear why the school didn’t ask for this documentation sooner, knowing the student’s circumstances.  The best approach is to advocate with the financial aid office, reminding them that the student is homeless, that they only just learned about the need for the non-filing verification a few days ago, and that the student cannot attend without financial aid. [NOTE: With some help from SHC and the homeless liaison at an area college, this problem was fixed and the student started classes on time!]

For the ACT fee waiver, the student must be currently enrolled in 11th or 12th grade. There’s good information on the waiver here.