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Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

Often unmarried students who are under the age of 24 are required to provide parental data on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They are referred to as dependent students. However, a dependent student who meets the definition of an unaccompanied youth and is homeless or is self-supporting and at risk of being homeless may be deemed an independent student (for federal student aid purposes only) by the Office of Financial Aid through the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Verification process. A student who is verified as being an unaccompanied homeless youth is exempt from providing parental data on his/her FAFSA.

Students who are older than 21 but not yet 24 and who are unaccompanied and homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless are encouraged to complete a Dependency Status Appeal process.

Unaccompanied Homeless YouthPolicy

Annually, and on a case-by-case basis, students who are (1) unaccompanied youths and (2) are homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless may be deemed an independent student by the Office of Financial Aid through the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Verification process.

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Verification Process

Students must complete and return the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Verification Form and supporting documentation to Raider Connect.  The submission of an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Verification Form does not guarantee the applicant will be deemed an independent student.   Forms will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and all information will be kept confidential.

Upon receipt of an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Verification Form, the Office of Financial Aid will review the student’s circumstance and supporting documentation.  Students who meet the definition of an unaccompanied homeless youth will be deemed an independent student for the aid year. 

Students who have been verified as unaccompanied homeless youth will also be required to complete the FAFSA verification process, and additional documentation may be requested.

Supporting Documentation

Students are required to submit supporting documentation. The supporting documentation will vary based upon the student’s circumstances. The Office of Financial Aid requests the following documentation:

  • A written statement from a third-party professional that verifies the student meets the definition of unaccompanied youth who is homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.

Examples of third-party professionals include teachers, counselors, medical authorities, members of clergy, social workers, etc.  Statements from third-party professionals should be submitted on company-issued letterhead and include appropriate contact information.  The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to contact third-party professionals who provide supporting documentation.

A student who is unable to provide the supporting documentation requested above should contact Raider Connect to discuss his/her circumstance to determine if other forms of documentation can be considered.

FAFSA Filing Instructions

Students must file their FAFSA and list Wright State University (school code 003078) as a school of choice. Students are encouraged to file online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. When filing your FAFSA online, if you indicate "No" to all of the "Dependency Determination" questions, your "Dependency Status Results" will state you are considered a dependent student.

If you have a special circumstance, you should select "I am unable to provide parental information". Under "Special Circumstances", select "I have a special circumstance and I am unable to provide parental information". Next, select "I am unable to provide parental information and acknowledge that my FAFSA will be submitted without calculating an EFC".

Definitions

  • Unaccompanied—when a student is not living in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
  • Homeless—lacking fixed, regular, and adequate housing. For example, temporarily living with other people because he/she has nowhere else to go; living in substandard housing; living in emergency or transitional shelters (FEMA trailers after disasters); living in motels, camping grounds, cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations, or any public place not designed for humans to live; or living in the school dormitory if the student would otherwise be homeless.
    • Self-supporting—when a student pays for his/her own living expenses, including, fixed, regular, and adequate housing.
    • At risk of being homeless—when a student’s housing may cease to be fixed, regular, and adequate, for example, a student who is being evicted and has been unable to find fixed, regular, and adequate housing.
    • Fixed housing—stationary, permanent, and not subject to change.
    • Regular housing—used on a predictable, routine, or consistent basis.
    • Adequate housing—sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in the home.
  • Parent—a student’s biological or adoptive parent. A student’s stepparent, foster parent or legal guardian is not considered a parent unless they have adopted the student.
  • Youth—a student who is 21 years old or younger or still enrolled in high school as of the date he/she signs the FAFSA.