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Special Populations Mary Anne Hunter College Access Team CO Dept. of Higher Education
College Access Team • The College Access Team helps families break down the financial barriers to college. • Colorado Department of Higher Education • Funded by a Federal College Access Challenge Grant • 700+ financial aid, scholarship, FAFSA and financial education workshops • FREE
What we’ll cover in this presentation • Orphan or Foster Youth • Ward of the Court • Emancipated Minors • Legal Guardianship • Unaccompanied Homeless Youth • Non-U.S. Citizens (undocumented) • Special Circumstances - No Parent info • Incarcerated Students
Foster Care Youth FAFSA Dependency Question: At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care …? • Removed from home due to abuse, neglect, abandonment • Might have been placed in home of relative, foster or group home • Typically ‘age-out’ between ages of 18 and 21 • Foster parents are not considered ‘parents’ for FAFSA purposes • Documentation – from State’s Child Welfare/Child Protective Services Agency Yes= independent student – not parents info.
Colorado Education and Training Voucher • Federally-funded, state-administered program • Help foster care youth pay for college expenses • Students may receive up to $5000 a year • Funding is limited - first-come, first-served basis • Must complete the ETV application which includes: • Documentation each semester sent from college to ETV confirming • Enrollment • cost of attendance (COA) • unmet need • https://www.statevoucher.org/state.shtml?state=CO
Dependent or Ward of the Court FAFSA Dependency Question: At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court? • Ward = dependent/under the protection of the court - Court has assumed custody of • Reasons: • court determines that the child will be subjected to abuse or neglect if they remain with the parent = parents rights terminated • or if both of the student's biological or adoptive parents are deceased • Might have a legal guardian appointed by court – usually ends at age 18 • Court ordered documents that designate Yes= independent student – not parents info.
Emancipated Minor FAFSA Dependency Question: As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated Minor? • Granted status of legal adulthood by a court order before reaching age of majority (Colorado = 15 – 17 year olds) • Freed from control by their parents or guardians ↔ parents/guardians freed from any and all responsibility toward child (no objections to petition) • Situations: • Demonstrate financial independence – protect own assets • Legal marriage – state’s minimal age of consent • Enlist in U.S. Armed Forces • Legal documentation from court Yes= independent student – no parent info.
Legal Guardianship FAFSA Dependency Question: As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you in legal guardianship? • Must be legal/court appointed (not sames as adoption) • Legal authority and corresponding duty to care for personal and property interests of another person • Legal guardian does not count as parent for FAFSA (dependency, income, assets, signatures) • Any support the student receives from his or her legal guardians gets reported on Worksheet B of FAFSA • Court ordered documents that designates Yes= independent student – not parents info.
Unaccompanied Homeless or At-Risk of being Homeless Youth FAFSA Dependency Questions: • On or after July 1, 2010, were you homeless or were you at risk of beinghomeless? • At any time on or after July1, 2010, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless? • At any time on or after July 1, 2010, did the director of an emergencyshleter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless? • At an time on or after July 1, 2010, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
McKinney-Vento Act Originally authorized 1987 - reauthorized by No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 First/only major federal legislative response to homelessness Unaccompanied - not in the physical custody of parents Homeless - children/youth who lack a nighttime residence that is: • Fixed - stationary, permanent, and not subject to change • Regular - used on predictable, routine, or consistent basis • Adequate - sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in the home Youth - under 24 years of age
Authorized Verification Entities McKinney-Vento Act school district liaison HUD homeless assistance program director or their designee Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program director or their designee
How many youth experience homelessness? (National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth – July 2010) 1.6 to 1.7 million youth 60% of those who age-out of Foster Care System become unaccompanied homeless youth Public schools 956,914 homeless children/youth in 2008-2009 41% increase over past two years 69% increase for unaccompanied youth
Students with Dependent(s) FAFSA Dependency Question: Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012? • Must be born before end of award year • 50% of support can come from: • TANF - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families • SNAP- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program • WIC - Women, Infants and Children Program Yes= independent student – not parents info.
Student with Dependent(s) • Must be born before end of award year • 50% of support can come from: • TANF - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families • SNAP- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program • WIC - Women, Infants and Children Program
Eligibility Requirements for Federal & State Student Aid • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate or pass an ability-to-benefit (ATB) test • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen • Have a valid Social Security Number • Register with the Selective Service if required • Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant • Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
Student Citizenship Status Select U.S. citizen or (U.S. national) if you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. national. Select Eligible noncitizen if you are: • A U.S. permanent resident, with a Permanent Resident Card (I-551), or a conditional permanent resident (I-551C) • Other eligible noncitizen with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: "Refugee," "Asylum Granted," "Parolee” (I-94 confirms that you were paroled for a minimum of one year and status has not expired), T-Visa holder (T-1, T-2, T-3,etc.), or "Cuban-Haitian Entrant" • The holder of a valid certification or eligibility letter from the Department of Health and Human Services showing a designation of "Victim of human trafficking" • A resident of the Republic of Palau (PW), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (MH), or the Federated States of Micronesia (FM) • A Canadian-born Native American under terms of the Jay Treaty Select Neither citizen nor eligible noncitizen if you are in the U.S. on: • A F1 or F2 student visa, or • A J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, or • A G series visa (pertaining to international organizations), or • Other categories not included under U.S. citizen and eligible noncitizen
Student can apply w/Valid SSN even if • parent doesn’t have • Parent can’t get PIN – must wet sign signature page and mail in • Should not use Tax ID# (TIN)
Incarcerated Students Serving criminal sentence in federal, state or local: • Penitentiary • Prison • Jail • Reformatory • Work farm • Similar correctional institution (whether operated by government or a contractor) NOT:half-way house; home detention; sentenced to serve only weekends; juvinile detention Eligible for: • Federal Work Study • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) • Pell Grant (local jail only) NOT Eligible for: • Federal Student Loans • Pell Grant if subject to an involuntary civil commitment following incarceration for a sexual offense
Resources: Helping Unaccompanied Youth Access Financial Aid College Goal Sunday – www.collegegoalsundayusa.orgFinancial aid administrators around the country organize an event, College Goal Sunday, typically held a few weeks after Super Bowl Sunday, where students can get help filling out and submitting the FAFSA. The website has the list of specific locations where these events are held. FinAid: The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid - www.finaid.org A very comprehensive and reputable public service website on student financial aid information, including scholarships. KnowHow2Go.org- www.knowhow2go.index.phpKnowHow2Go is a website that helps students better understand how to prepare for college. LeTendre Education Fund – www.naehcy.org/about_letendre.html Scholarship program for students who have experienced homelessness. National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth –www.naehcy.org National grassroots organization connecting educators, service providers, and others to ensure school enrollment, attendance, and overall success of children and youth without safe, adequate, and permanent housing. National Center for Homeless Education –www.serve.org/nche Federally-funded clearinghouse of information on homeless education. A directory of state coordinators of homeless education is available on the web site.
National College Access Network (NCAN) – www.collegeaccess.org/NCANNational College Access Network (NCAN) improves access to and success in postsecondary education for first-generation, underrepresented and low-income students. NCAN supports a network of state and local college access programs that provide counseling, advice, and financial assistance. State and local college access programs can be found on the directory on the NCAN web site. National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty –www.nlchp.org NLCHP serves as the legal arm of the nationwide movement to end homelessness. National Network for Youth –www.nn4youth.org The National Network for Youth is membership organization of community-based, faith-based, and public agencies working with runaway, homeless, and other disconnected youth. National Runaway Switchboard –www.1800runaway.org Northern Virginia Community College Online FAFSA Tutorial - www.nvcc.edu/fafsahelp/ Northern Virginia Community College has created a tutorial to help their students better understand how to fill out the FAFSA, but the tutorial can be viewed by anyone. Student Aid on the Web –www.studentaid.ed.gov U.S. Department of Education web site on preparing for college and applying for financial aid.