Help for Homeless College Students

As the number of homeless college students grows, schools, aid organizations and advocates from…

Georgia (Jan 9, 2014) — Getting into college itself can be a major challenge for homeless teens. And even if they're determined, resourceful or lucky enough to receive the financial aid or scholarship money that makes attending college possible, new struggles often arise.


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As the number of homeless college students grows, schools, aid organizations and advocates from across the country are taking steps to help.

While they may live in dorms for the majority of the school year, some students have nowhere to go during breaks and are forced to pay fees to stay on campus -- which can be difficult or impossible to afford. Some of these students are too embarrassed to ask for help, while others are turned down when they ask to remain on campus, leading them to sleep outside, on friends' sofas or in shelters.

The issue has come into the spotlight recently: New legislation seeking to assist homeless college students was introduced last month, and a petition started by a student urging her college to allow homeless students to stay on campus during breaks has garnered more than 100,000 signatures.

After our recent article ran about this issue, CNNMoney received more than 60 emails from readers sharing their own stories of being homeless at college or asking how they can help.

Here are some of the efforts being made.

Colleges and students step up: Kennesaw State in Georgia created a CARE Center this May, which helps students with needs like jobs, shelter and food. The school also hosts Homelessness Awareness Week, where students sleep outside for a night and can attend a full-day conference to learn more about the issue.

"Homelessness is affecting college students across the nation; yet it remains an underserved and/or unrecognized population," Kennesaw said in a statement. "KSU aspires to be a leader for social justice and change by eradicating homelessness on its campus."


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit