H.R.1724: Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act
H.R. 1724 would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to revise provisions related to financial aid and higher education programs for children and youths who are homeless or in foster care. Provisions in this bill would include:
1) Clarifying that youth under age 24 who are determined under the statute to be unaccompanied and homeless are considered independent students.
2) Streamlining the homeless verification process by adding TRIO programs, GEAR-UP programs, and more public and privately funded homeless shelters to the list of organizations that can verify a youth’s status as homeless and unaccompanied.
3) Simplifying the FAFSA completion process by requiring that financial aid administrators make a determination of an unaccompanied homeless youth status for youth who cannot get determinations from other authorities.
4) Eliminating the requirement for unaccompanied homeless youths’ status to be re-determined every year and creates a presumption that these students will continue to be independent unless the student’s circumstances have changed, or the financial aid administrator has conflicting information.
6) Establishing a student loan ombudsman to resolve disputes for unaccompanied homeless youth and youth coming from foster care who are denied independent student status.
7) Requiring that institutions of higher education disseminate public notice of FAFSA policies for unaccompanied homeless youth and youth in or coming from foster care as well as a designated point of contact for homeless and foster youth.
S. 789 is the Senate companion bill.View Full Overview