For students who have experienced homelessness, applying for financial aid can be confusing and overwhelming. These resources for both students and professionals take the mystery out of applying for and maintaining financial aid. Included on this page is a comprehensive Financial Aid Guide, step-by-step visual guide to the FAFSA/CADAA, and an “After the FAFSA/CADAA” checklist.
Below are supplemental resources to aid unaccompanied youth who are experiencing homelessness in completing the FAFSA or CADAA. For students experiencing homelessness and in the physical custody of their parents and thus do not qualify for independent student status on the FAFSA/CADAA, please visit Cash4College for resources to complete financial aid applications.
Webinar – Completing the FAFSA/CADAA: A How-To for Adult Supporters of Youth Experiencing Homelessness – This webinar provides a “how-to” on completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act Application (CADAA) to assist those working with unaccompanied homeless youth.
Visual Step by Step FAFSA Guide for CA Youth who have Experienced Homelessness – This guide includes screenshots of the actual FAFSA application with detailed instructions tailored specifically for unaccompanied youth who have experienced homelessness and qualify for independent student status on the FAFSA.
Visual Step by Step CADAA Guide for CA Youth who have Experienced Homelessness – This is intended to complement the Financial Aid Guide for California Homeless Youth with screenshots of the actual online California Dream Act Application (CADAA) form and detailed instructions, tailored specifically for unaccompanied youth who have experienced homelessness and qualify for independent student status on the CADAA.
High School Counselor FAFSA/CADAA Toolkit for Students Experiencing Homelessness – This guide is designed to support high school counselors who work with youth experiencing homelessness on FAFSA/CADAA completion. It includes tip sheets, a FAFSA/CADAA screening tool for homeless and foster youth, timeline for financial aid and college applications, sample Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Determination Letter and frequently asked questions.
After the FAFSA Checklist – This guide helps students to track the items that need to be completed after completing the FAFSA to ensure that financial aid is awarded.
IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter – This document reviews steps on obtaining a IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter for people who do not file taxes to verify their non-filing status to a college or university.
Guide to Dependency Overrides – This document from Youth Law Center provides an overview of how a student who does not otherwise qualify as independent but who has “unusual circumstances” that prevents the student from providing parental information can request to be considered independent.