Homeless Youth and Higher Education

Over one million young people in the United States currently face homelessness, and many do not have an adult in the picture to provide guidance or assistance when it comes time to think about higher education. The federal government defines these unaccompanied homeless youth (UHY) as individuals who do not have “fixed, regular and adequate” housing and who are “not in the physical custody of a parent or adult.” Many of these youth have aspirations to attend college, yet lack the support and awareness of resources needed to move their dreams into reality.

The guide focuses on the various (and perhaps unknown) on-campus, off-campus, and online resources these students can turn to for help.

Examples of these resources include:

  • Resident life offices: to coordinate year-round housing
  • Campus dining and associated food banks: to help provide regular meals
  • Academic retention centers: to help homeless students stay on track
  • National Center for Homeless Education: to help students understand their rights
Publication Date: 
United States