Clark bill aims to remove barriers to higher education for homeless and foster youth 

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Katherine Clark introduced the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act, legislation to empower homeless and foster students to obtain higher levels of education and to lift traditional barriers to entry.  Education advocates report that current higher education policies regarding students’ independence, financial aid eligibility, and recruitment programs create barriers for homeless and foster youth trying to navigate a complex higher education system.

Clark’s bill requires the federal government to help resolve questions about a student’s independence and ensure federal programs identify, recruit, and prepare homeless and foster students for college. The Higher Education Access and Success and Foster Youth Act also asks colleges and universities to streamline eligibility determinations for financial aid and encourages states to grant in-state tuition for homeless and foster students.

“Every student deserves a fair shot at their dream,” said Clark. “Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act removes barriers to higher education uniquely faced by homeless and foster youth so they can successfully continue their education.”

Organizations supporting the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act: Advocates for Children, Advocates for Youth, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, Child Welfare League of America, Children’s Home Society of America, Children's Advocacy Institute, Children's Defense Fund, Coalition for Juvenile Justice, College Success Foundation, Council for Opportunity in Education, Covenant House International, Education Law Center, Foster Family-based Treatment Association. Futures Without Violence, Girls Inc., Healthy Teen Network, Homeless Children’s Education Fund, Juvenile Law Center, Kids Voice, National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, National Association of Counsel for Children, National Association of Social Workers, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Coalition for the Homeless, National Disability Rights Network, National Foster Care Coalition, National Foster Parent Association, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Network for Youth, National Women’s Law Center, North American Council on Adoptable Children, The Mockingbird Society, Public Justice Center, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps, Robert F. Kennedy Juvenile Justice Collaborative, SparkAction, Treehouse, The Wily Network, Voices for Adoption, Youth Law Center.

Full text of the Higher Education Access and Success and Foster Youth Act can be found here.