The Maryland Tuition Waiver for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth is available to unaccompanied homeless youth who are enrolled as a candidate for an associate, bachelor’s degree or vocational certificate at a Maryland Public institution of higher education. The purpose of the Tuition Waiver for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth is to provide financial assistance to unaccompanied homeless youth.
To be eligible for the Maryland Tuition Waiver for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth, a youth must:
- Be declared as an unaccompanied homeless youth who is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian and
- Be a homeless child or youth as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Act defines homeless children as “individuals who lack fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.”
Examples of children who fall under this definition are as follows:
- Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
- Children and youth living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
- Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters
- Children and youth abandoned in hospitals
- Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc)
- Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
- Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations
The financial aid administrator must verify that the youth qualifies as an independent student under the Federal College Cost and Reduction & Access Act.
The youth must:
- Complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA or the Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA) each year.
- Be enrolled on or before he or she reaches the age of 25.
- The youth continues to be exempt from paying tuition and fees until 10 years after first enrolling as a candidate for an associate, bachelors, or a vocational certificate at a Maryland public institution of higher education.
- Be enrolled full time or part time for an associate, bachelors, or a vocational certificate at a Maryland public institution of higher education. *Non-credit courses taken to earn a vocational certificate also qualify for tuition waiver.
- Students are eligible to receive the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Tuition Waiver for the following semesters:
You are exempt from paying tuition and mandatory fees at a public college in Maryland. The tuition waiver only applies to tuition and fees. This also includes all fees for credit bearing and noncredit courses required as a condition of enrollment.
If an unaccompanied homeless youth receives a scholarship or grant, the scholarship or grant may not be applied to the tuition for the homeless youth.
Tuition is determined by the individual public institution of higher education and includes cost for tuition, registration fees as well as all fees that are required as a condition of enrollment. Tuition does not include room, board, books, and transportation.
RENEWING AN AWARD
You must file the FAFSA each year to receive the waiver for up to an additional four years or until your Bachelor’s degree is awarded, whichever occurs first. You must remain enrolled in an eligible program.
Return to Program Description Page