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ERIC Number: ED574624
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Apr
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Supporting College Completion for Students Experiencing Homelessness. Best Practices in Homeless Education Brief Series
National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE
Since the College Cost Reduction and Access Act ([CCRAA], 20 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq.) was signed into law in September of 2007, the issue of college access for youth experiencing homelessness has garnered increased attention. Among other provisions, the CCRAA confers independent student status on unaccompanied homeless youth. This status allows these youths' federal financial aid packages to be calculated based on their own income and assets, and not those of their parent(s) or guardian(s), and eliminates the need for the signature of a parent or guardian on the youths' Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This CCRAA provision has helped to ensure that unaccompanied homeless youth have access to the financial support necessary to pay for college. Gaining entry to college and securing financial aid, however, are only the first steps along the path to degree completion. While college entry statistics for low-income, first-generation college students demonstrate a modest narrowing of the gap between students in the top and bottom income quartiles (The Pell Institute 2015), bachelor's degree attainment statistics are far less encouraging. In response to the continued gap in degree attainment between low-income and high-income students, post-secondary institutions around the country are building programs aimed at providing post-matriculation support for students at high risk of dropping out, including students experiencing homelessness. This brief examines how the following universities are supporting their homeless student populations with the intention of spotlighting promising practices that may be replicated at other post-secondary institutions across the country: (1) Florida State University (FSU); (2) Kennessaw State University (KSU); and (3) the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB). Chosen for their varying approaches to program development, these institutions demonstrate what can be done with no dedicated funding, a modest investment of institutional funding, and a fully-funded university center.
National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE. P.O. Box 5367, 915 Northridge Street 2nd Floor, Greensboro, NC 27435. Tel: 800-755-3277; Fax: 336-315-7457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Safe and Healthy Students (ED)
Authoring Institution: National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Georgia; Massachusetts (Boston)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A