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Can I Get FAFSA® if I’m Homeless?

Yes, you can still apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) if you are homeless or self-supporting and at risk of becoming homeless.

When filling out the FAFSA®, you will be asked this specific question, including whether you are “unaccompanied,” meaning you are not with your parents. You simply answer the question and continue with the FAFSA®.

FAFSA® is now open for 2020, file in less than 5 minutes!

 

Proof of Homelessness

Do I need to prove I am homeless?

As a homeless college student seeking financial aid, your school’s financial aid department might contact you to request documented proof that you are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless, or “unaccompanied” youth by a parent or guardian.

How do I prove that I’m homeless?

There are a few ways to get proof, including contacting your high school, the director of your “runaway” or homeless youth center, the director of your transitional living program, or the director of the emergency shelter you’ve been living in. You might be required to receive program support before a director will vouch for you, however, so check with your shelter for more information.

Once you have obtained the proper documentation, which may come in the form of a letter, submit it to the school per its instructions. In some cases, this might mean arranging for your high school administrator or homeless program director to submit the documents on your behalf.

What happens if I can’t provide proof?

If you cannot obtain documentation from your high school, homeless shelter, or homeless youth program, you will need to work with the financial aid department at your college to help them make a decision regarding your homeless youth determination. Every school varies, but you might be able to request proof from your high school’s personnel, such as a teacher or guidance counselor.

Other sources who can vouch for your homeless status might include mental health professionals, clergy members, physicians, mentors, social workers, staff from college access programs, the National Center for Homeless Education, state homeless education coordinators, or third-party homeless service providers.

The financial aid department will need to determine your homeless status or risk based on any information available to them, so the more proof you can provide, the better. This doesn’t necessarily mean not having proof will disqualify you from receiving aid, but this proof will make it a lot easier to qua