Youth Homelessness and Higher Education: An Analysis of FAFSA Data

Examines a critical component of the basic needs of unaccompanied homeless youth in higher education: financial aid. The analysis of four years of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data for unaccompanied homeless youth finds that the number of FAFSA applicants determined to be unaccompanied homeless youth increased by 10% over the past four years; the number of unaccompanied homeless youth determinations made by financial aid administrators has increased in each of the last four reporting cycles; determinations made by financial aid administrators continue to lag well behind determinations made by other authorized entities; and homeless service providers’ determinations have declined significantly.

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