Recently, the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act of 2022 (HEASHFY) was introduced in Congress by U.S. Representatives Don Young (R-AK-At Large Katherine Clark (D-MA-5), as well as Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Patty Murray (D-WA) as H.R.6666 and S.2616,
In 2020, the bipartisan FAFSA Simplification Act enacted many critical improvements to the financial aid process for homeless and foster youth that were first suggested by previous versions of this legislation.
HEASHFY of 2022 goes further to remove barriers in college for homeless and foster youth and ensure they have clear and reliable pathways into and through higher education. These identical bills would:
Require institutions to develop plans to assist and prioritize homeless and foster youth for on-campus housing during and between academic terms;
Designate liaisons at each institution to assist homeless and foster youth in accessing student support services and community resources;
Require colleges to include voluntary questions on admissions applications about students' status as homeless and foster youth to facilitate support services and provide outcome data;
Prioritize homeless and foster youth in Federal Work-Study positions; and
Provide homeless and foster youth in-state tuition rates to reduce barriers due to lack of financial support, particularly when they have not had stable residency.
For additional information on this bill and three other bills related to helping youth experiencing homelessness and foster care successfully transition to and through higher education, click here.