The Maryland Tuition Waiver for Homeless Youth provides financial assistance to homeless youth who are enrolled as a candidate for an associate degree, bachelor’s degree or vocational certificate at a Maryland Public institution of higher education.
To be eligible for the Maryland Tuition Waiver for Homeless Youth, a youth must:
- have had a consistent presence in the state for at least one year before enrollment in a public institution of higher education that is documented by school, employment, or other records; and
have been verified as a homeless child or youth, as defined by the federal McKinney-Vento
Homeless Assistance Act, at any time during the 24 months immediately preceding the studen's
enrollment in a public institution of higher education or while the student is enrolled in a public
institution of higher education.
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 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;
continue to remain exempt from paying tuition and fees until:
a. ten years after first enrolling as a candidate for an associate's, bachelors, or a vocational certificate at a Maryland public institution of higher education; or
b. the date that the homeless youth is awarded a bachelor's degree, whichever occurs first.
- be enrolled full time or part time while earning 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 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 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 or MSFAA 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.
The Tuition Waiver for Homeless Youth regulations have been published online under the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR).
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