Supporting the Education of Unaccompanied Students Experiencing Homelessness

Homelessness is a devastating circumstance for any child or youth; but for youth on their own, the stresses of homelessness are multiplied. The myriad of challenges faced by youth experiencing homelessness on their own puts these students at risk of dropping out or school failure. Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, reauthorized in 2015 by Title IX, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (42 U.S.C. § 11431 et seq.; hereafter the McKinney-Vento Act), guarantees educational rights and supports for students experiencing homelessness, including specific supports for unaccompanied youth.

This brief explains the Act’s provisions related to unaccompanied youth and suggests strategies for implementation.