Homeless Determination

The FAFSA provides an opportunity for students to indicate special circumstances when completing the application.  If indicating special circumstances of homelessness or risk of homelessness the FAFSA is not fully processed and requests the student reach out to their financial aid office for additional information.

UMBC’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will reach out to students with an unprocessed FAFSA indicating this designation, but students may also proactively reach out to our office’s point of contact, Colleen Lindbeck, Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid, for a personal appointment to discuss individual circumstances and next steps for the FAFSA.  Similarly, students who are experiencing homelessness or risk of homelessness after completing the FAFSA should also request an appointment to discuss individual circumstances.

Based on circumstances, it will be determined if a student meets the definition of an unaccompanied homeless youth, or unaccompanied youth at risk of homelessness and self supporting.  These are defined as:

  • Unaccompanied: not living in the physical custody of a parent or guardian
  • Homeless: lacking fixed regular and adequate housing. This may include substandard housing, emergency or transitional shelters (such as those provided after a disaster), motels, campgrounds, cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations, or any public or private place not designated for humans to live, or temporarily with other people due to nowhere else to go.