"Students must lack adequate nighttime accommodations and must provide documentation that they have been using a homeless shelter or assistance for the homeless in order to be determined eligible. Students are ineligible to qualify for a homeless exemption if they have housing provided by a transition housing program. Note: College policies and procedures vary for determining eligibility for the homeless exemption. There have been a growing number of students seeking this exemption, so it is important for each college to have a written policy regarding eligibility that includes acceptable documentation" (Palm Beach State College as cited in the Florida College System 2014).
http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/3/urlt/completionfeb2014.pdf Additional Information about Waivers available here: http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7724/urlt/0072361-fyi2012-02exemptions.pdf
Definition, more details and additional information about this below:
According to Florida law, a student who is homeless may be exempted from paying tuition and fees at a Florida College System institution. For the purpose of the fee exemption, Florida law defines homelessness as, “A student who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence or whose primary nighttime residence is a public or private shelter designed to provide temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized, or a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.”
If you think you may be eligible for the homeless exemption, you should speak with someone in the admissions and financial aid offices of the college you seek to attend.
To qualify, students may need documentation from a homeless shelter, school district homeless liaison, transitional living program, runaway shelter or other documentation requested by the college. Each college has its own process, so you need to ask the college you’re interested in attending about what is required.
This exemption covers tuition and fees only. This means that you will be required to pay other costs associated with college, such as textbooks, housing and food. Be sure to talk with the financial aid office and admissions office about additional fees.
There are many ways of keeping college affordable. Students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible. The FAFSA is used by the college to determine eligibility for federal and state aid. The exemption does not cover the cost of books, housing or food. FAFSA can help you determine other sources of aid to help with costs not covered by the exemption. View federal and state financial aid programs. "
The information and guidance on the Homeless Fee Exemption can be found on the Florida College System website at
A student who is homeless may be exempted from paying tuition and fees at a Florida College System Institution.
Florida Department of Education website:
"The publication it indicates that Palm Beach State College specifically states that students must provide documentation that they have been using a homeless shelter or assistance for the homeless in order to be determined eligible."
Florida Residency Documentation:
According to page 10 of the Guidelines on Florida Residency for Tuition Purposes, https://www.flvc.org/documents/96858/97588/Guidelines+on+Florida+
A student is considered independent for the purposes of determining residency for tuition purposes if the student is determined an unaccompanied homeless by a school district homeless liaison, emergency shelter or transitional housing program. This positively impacts homeless students who would have normally been required to provide parent documentation.
Furthermore, on page 14 you will see under, "Other Approved Processes for Documentation" that the designated groups of students (i.e. Homeless as defined by §1009.25 (1)(f) of the Florida Statutes) shall not be required to submit additional residency documentation for tuition purposes for the duration fo the exemption of waiver eligibility period. However, after the eligibility for the waiver or exemption has expired, the student must prove Florida Residency for tuition purposes to continue receiving the in-state tuition benefits.
Article discussing homeless fee exemption at Palm Beach State:
Palm Beach Post Article from 2011 highlighting the issues with the homeless fee exemption at Palm Beach State College. Dr. Barbatis and Dean McIsaac were able to share some insights from this time.