Number Increased Over Past Few Years
“While college is already a huge transition for young adults, some college students face an entirely different hardship — homelessness.”
On July 24, 2015, Aol.com reported that there are 58,000 homeless students on campuses nationwide. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) provides the only reliable source for these statistics as colleges are not technically required to keep track of their homeless students.
Barbara Duffield, a policy director at the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY), believes that the number of homeless college students has increased over the years.
“Parents tend to start focusing resources on younger kids, and sometimes that can lead to abuse and neglect,” Duffield says.
“Sometimes they just can’t take care of them anymore. But for most students, they haven’t had that support their whole lives.”
The news report included the story of a college student who knows homelessness personally.
Tina Giarla, a student at Salem State in Salem, MA,
“worked two-and-a-half jobs and went to school full-time. ‘I had to save extra money to rent a hotel in the case of an emergency so I wouldn’t have to go to a shelter,” she said. “It wasn’t a comfortable feeling.”
The recently passed Higher Education Act will students to apply for federal aid without having parental information or a signature. Hopefully, this will increase the number of homeless youth eligible for financial assistance.
“Giarla plans on using her situations and experiences to spread the word and raise awareness about the growing population of homeless college students nationwide.”
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