Homeless Youth and the McKinney-Vento Act

What is the definition of a "homeless youth?"

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Act describes homelessness as: "Children and unaccompanied youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence."

Examples of homelessness

Homelessness, postsecondary education, and the FAFSA

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) include a definition of homelessness that matches McKinney-Vento. Questions are listed on the FAFSA to identify students meeting the criteria and to help those students receive help in escaping poverty and homelessness. If a student is able to answer "yes" to any of these questions, that student may be able to complete the FAFSA and obtain financial aid without providing parental information.

After completing the FAFSA, a homeless student should be able to document his or her situation with one of the following:

Exam fee waivers

Many students experiencing homelessness are eligible of fee waivers for some of the exams necessary to be admitted into a postsecondary school and enroll in classes. In most cases, the student should work with his or her high school guidance counselor to apply for these waivers.

Additional resources