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College Access

"Higher Education: Actions Needed to Improve Access to Federal Financial Assistance for Homeless and Foster Youth"

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Programs intended to help homeless and foster youths attend college can instead create barriers, finds a U.S. Government Accountability Office report released this month.

According to federal data, only 14 percent of homeless and foster youth who enrolled in college in 2003-04 had completed a degree by 2009, compared to 49 percent of their peers.

Federal college-financing programs, such as the Pell Grant and direct loans, require foster youth to disclose their status only once to apply for aid.

However, homeless students must provide extensive documentation each year to prove they don't have a permanent residence. Delayed processing of their homeless determination has caused some students to miss work-study or even enrollment, the GAO finds.

Vol. 35, Issue 32, Page 5

Published in Print: June 1, 2016, as College Access
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