From the Application and Verification Guide and
the July 29, 2015 U.S. Dept. of Education Dear Colleague Letter
A student is considered homeless if he lacks fixed, regular, and adequate housing. This is broader than just living “on the street.” It includes temporarily living with other people because he had nowhere else to go; living in substandard housing (if it doesn’t meet local building codes or the utilities are turned off, it is generally not adequate); living in emergency or transitional shelters, for example, trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after disasters; or living in motels, camping grounds, cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations, or any public or private place not designed for humans to live in. It also includes living in the school dormitory if the student would otherwise be homeless.A student living in any of these situations and fleeing an abusive parent may be considered homeless even if the parent would provide support and a place to live.
When a student is not living in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
Recognized third parties
Recognized third parties include: private or publicly-funded homeless shelters and service providers; financial aid administrators from another college; college access programs such as TRIO and GEAR UP; college or high school counselors; other mental health professionals; social workers; mentors; doctors; and clergy.Unlike McKinney-Vento liaisons and HUD or RHYA-funded shelters, these third parties do not have the statutory authority to make a determination of homelessness. However, they can provide “relevant information” to financial aid administrators who are making a determination of unaccompanied homeless youth status in the absence of a statutory determination.
For more information, see: SchoolHouse Connection—Higher Education