Homelessness brings unique challenges to completing the FAFSA and more attention is being given to students who are challenged by circumstances beyond their control. Remember that the financial aid office at your college is on your side. It will do whatever it can within the laws that govern financial aid and within school policies to remove obstacles that may stand in your way.
Here are some questions and answers that will help you as you start your FAFSA application.
Can I receive federal student aid if I am homeless or at risk of becoming homeless?
Yes. When you complete the FAFSA form, you will be asked whether you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and “unaccompanied” (meaning not with your parents).
Do I need to provide my parents’ income information on the FAFSA form?
No, you will not be required to provide this information. If you answer “yes” to the homelessness question on the FAFSA form, you can submit it without providing parent information because you’re stating that you’re not with your parents.
Will I have to provide a home address on the FAFSA form?
No, but you will need to provide a mailing address where you can receive mail. Your mailing address can be the address of a relative or friend who has given you permission to use it, or it can be your college’s address. If you want to use your college’s address, make sure to contact the school for permission and instructions to make sure that your mail reaches you. If you find more permanent housing, you should update your address on the FAFSA form.
Will I be required to submit documentation to prove that I am “unaccompanied” and homeless or at risk of becoming homeless?
Maybe. Once you answer “yes” to the general homelessness question on the FAFSA form, you will be asked whether you have received a homeless youth determination. If you indicate that you have, the financial aid administrator at the college you plan to attend may request the determination to prove that you are “unaccompanied” and homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
We wish you the best as you begin your journey to a brighter future!