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Community Resources: Housing Insecurity/Homelessness & More: Homeless Fee Exemption

Social Work and Social Services Resources in Palm Beach County and Florida (Under Construction)

Palm Beach State College

"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:

 

https://www.floridacollegesystem.com/students/faqs.aspx

 

"Homeless Fee Exemption


 

1. What is the Homeless Fee Exemption?

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.” 
 

2. How can I find out if I am eligible for the exemption?

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. 
 

3. What paperwork is needed to determine if I’m eligible?

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. 
 

4. What does the exemption cover?

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. 
 

5. What are other options to help pay for college?

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. "

Student Fee Waiver

from http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/independent-living/tuition--fee-exemptions

 

"Tuition and Fee Exemption

college campusFlorida provides tuition and fee exemptions to eligible young adults. The waiver is authorized at State (public) Universities, Colleges (public) in the Florida College System, and School District Workforce Education Programs.

Fee exemptions are offered to students if:

  • He or she is or was at the time he or she reached age 18 in the custody of the Department of Children and Families;
  • He or she was adopted from the Department of Children and Families after May 5, 1997;
  • He or she is or was at the time of reaching age 18 in the custody of a relative under s. 39.5085, F.S.;
  • He or she is or was at the time of reaching age 18 in the custody of a non-relative under s. 39.5085, F.S.; or,
  • He or she was placed in a guardianship by the court after spending at least 6 months in the custody of the department after reaching 16 years of age.

**The exemption remains valid until the student reaches 28 years of age. See § 1009.25(1)(c), (d), Fla. Stat.

For questions regarding eligibility or how to obtain a Tuition and Fee Exemption form, CF-FSP 5220, contact your local Community Based Care Lead Agency or call Florida’s Independent Living Resource Center.

Florida’s Independent Living Resource Center serves as an information clearinghouse to address all areas of Independent Living Services.

CALL: 1-844-ILYOUTH (1-844-459-6884)"

Homeless Fee Exemption

The information and guidance on the Homeless Fee Exemption can be found on the Florida College System website at
https://www.floridacollegesystem.com/students/faqs.aspx#homelessfee

According to Florida law:
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View%20Statutes&SubMenu+1&App_mode=Dispaly_Statute&Search_
String=1009.25&URL=1----1099/1009/Sections/1009.25.html

A student who is homeless may be exempted from paying tuition and fees at a Florida College System Institution.

  1. To qualify, students may need documentation from a homeless shelter, school district homeless liaison, transitional living program, runaway shelter of other documentation requested by the college.
  2. Each college has its own process, so you need to ask the college you're interested in attending about what is required.
  3. 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.
  4. Note: Based upon what I read, it does not seem to limit the fee exemption to cover credit or vocational course but I may be missing something.
     

Florida Department of Education website:

http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/2/urlt/completionfeb2014.pdf

"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+
Residency+for+Tuition+Purposes.pdf/1375dcd4-a273-4319-a833-d54a51f48bbc

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:

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional/florida-defends-its-denial-of-tuition-waivers-for-nL2mN/
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.