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Tales from the Field: Post-Secondary Preparations and the FAFSA

As we approach the end second half of the school year, the next couple of months may feel sped up as program planning for next year and senior exit surveys begin. On the NYSTEACHS helpline, we received a call from a first-year school counselor who is also the McKinney Vento Liaison. This is their first year in the role and they were wondering if they should be completing anything specific with their seniors who are McKinney-Vento designated. They were also wondering if they are required to write a determination letter for the seniors who applied to college. They are aware of the delay in this year’s FAFSA and want to prepare to help any students who may be McKinney-Vento eligible through the application process. Additionally, they were wondering what resources could be shared to help aid the discussion on post-secondary planning for students who are McKinney-Vento and did not apply or have shared any plans after high school.


Resources:


Questions to consider:

  1. With current delays, how can McKinney Vento liaisons prepare to assist students when completing the FAFSA application?

  2. What is a determination letter, and do McKinney Vento liaisons need to write one for seniors?

  3. How can liaisons and other staff such as school counselors and social workers approach the conversation about post-secondary education plans?


Answers:

  1. With current delays, how can McKinney Vento liaisons prepare to assist students when completing the FAFSA application?

With the new FAFSA changes, it is important to be proactive and prepared to help students who are experiencing homelessness with the application. An important step in assisting students is identification. Identification is key in ensuring that students receive the proper services, resources, and information. Sharing information on the McKinney-Vento Act through outreach materials and overall student check-ins is important. Following up with students who may be in their current senior year and were previously McKinney-Vento is also important to see if they need assistance during this process. Liaisons and counselors may also prepare by continuing to follow information released on new changes. Additionally, beginning to write and prepare determination letters for students is also a way to be proactive. Lastly, helping students or parents create an FSA ID is a way to prepare so that when the application opens students can complete it as soon as possible.

For more information: 2024-2025 FAFSA Delayed: What You Need to Know

2. What is a determination letter, and do McKinney Vento liaisons need to write one for seniors?

3. How can liaisons and other staff such as school counselors and social workers approach the conversation about post-secondary education plans?



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