Were you aware that 2/3 of adults experiencing homelessness have not received a high school diploma or completed a GED?

Increase Access to Higher Education for Homeless and Foster Youth

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


More than 1.3 million homeless children and youth are currently enrolled in U.S. public schools, and 415,000 children are in foster care. These students face unique and significant barriers in higher education. They contend with histories of abuse, neglect, trauma, and frequent educational disruption caused by mobility. They struggle without parental care or other adult support, and frequently lack the basics that most of us take for granted, like shelter and food. They often lack the support network to help them navigate a complicated higher education and financial aid system; as a result, too few homeless and foster youth are able to enroll in or afford college, let alone graduate with their degree.

The Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act of 2015, S. 2267/H.R. 4043, would help remove some of these barriers and help ensure more homeless and foster youth have strong and clear pathways into and through higher education. The bill was re-introduced in the United States Senate by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-5th/WA), in November 2015.

S.2267/H.R. 4043 ensures that homeless and foster youth benefit from college access programs, have access to financial aid without burdensome and prohibitive documentation, and receive the support they need to stay in school and graduate. It would require colleges and universities to improve outreach, resources, and policies for homeless and foster youth, including:

  • Easing the verification and determination process for financial aid
  • Developing a plan to access housing options during academic breaks
  • Designating a single point of contact to assist homeless and foster youth to access and complete higher education


To read more about the legislation, download this fact sheet.

To read more about how this legislation responds to the barriers described in a recent Government Accountability Office report, download this fact sheet.


Please act today to support the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act:

1. Contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and urge them to sign on as a co-sponsor of the  Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act (S. 2267 and H.R. 4043).

  • A sample letter for U.S. Senators may be downloaded here. Contact information for U.S. Senators may be found here.
  • A sample letter for U.S. Representatives may be downloaded here. Contact information for U.S. Representatives may be found here.

Please be sure to edit the sample letter on the page to explain why YOU support this bill, including any local, or state information – especially examples of youth who would benefit from this legislation. If you are writing on behalf of an agency, please describe what your program or agency does. The more you personalize the letter, the better!

2. Spread the word! Please share this information with your networks.


For more information, please contact us: or (866) 862-2562

NAEHCY 2018 Conference
Anaheim, CA
October 27-30, 2018
The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015
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