Independent Status | Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Unaccompanied homeless youth qualify as independent students for purposes of federal financial aid. Other supports available include fee waivers for Advanced Placement exams, college entrance exams and college application fees.
A student is considered an unaccompanied homeless youth if the student is on his/her own and the living situation is one of the following:
- living with other people temporarily because there was nowhere else to go;
- living in substandard housing (if it doesn’t meet local building codes or the utilities are turned off, it is generally not adequate);
- living in emergency or transitional shelters; or
- living in motels, camping grounds, cars, street, woods, parks, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations, or any public or private place not designed for humans to live in.
To request the verification form needed to declare independent status for financial aid:
- Contact the SAP Counselor at the high school attended
- Provide the following information
- Student First and Last Name
- Date of Birth
- Current Mailing Address
*The SAP Counselor may determine independent status for a student's Senior year of high school. If the student is attending college, the SAP Counselor can only make the determination if he/she has personal knowledge of the student's living situation.
If a student is requesting the form after Senior Year*, contact the following verifiers:
- Shelter Representative
- Financial Aid Administrator Single Point of Contacts (SPOC)
*Living in the school dormitory if the student would otherwise be homeless or fleeing an abusive parent may be considered homeless even if the parent would provide support and a place to live and eligible for independent student status.
FAFSA Resources for Students in Transition (link opens in a new window)