U.S. Department of Education Resources

This guide, published by the Department’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, provides information for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness who are interested in pursuing higher education.  The guide includes information and resources related applying to college, paying for college, and succeeding in college.

This technical assistance product clarifies permissions and restrictions under FERPA for LEAs disclosing aggregate data and individual student information to HUD’s Continuum of Care grantees and organizations operating Homeless Management Information Systems, including spotlights on 3 communities who have partially integrated their data systems.

Reports to Congress

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act requires the U.S. Department of Education to provide periodic reports to Congress about the implementation of the Education for Homeless Children and Youths (EHCY) grant program.

National Center for Homeless Education

The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is a technical assistance center funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  Housed at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NCHE supports the implementation of the Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) grant program by providing technical assistance to EHCY grantees and other stakeholders.  NCHE provides a toll-free helpline, a comprehensive website, virtual and in-person trainings, and informational resources.  NCHE’s website is available at

  • Topical Index of Resources: NCHE provides a comprehensive set of resources related to the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness.  Access these resources, organized by topic, at
  • State-level Data & Contact Information: NCHE maintains State-specific webpages to provide an overview of each State’s EHCY program (including performance data and contact information for EHCY State Coordinators).  Learn more about your State’s EHCY program at
  • McKinney-Vento Public Awareness Materials: NCHE offers resources (including posters, brochures, and other educational materials) to school districts, community organizations, and other stakeholders designed to educate children and families about their rights under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.  Peruse NCHE’s public awareness materials—some of which are available free of charge—at
  • Use of Funds Tip Sheet: Both NCHE and the Department frequently are asked about whether a proposed use of funds is allowable and the answer is often that “it depends” on whether it can be considered reasonable and necessary and what other services are provided to all students or available in the district or community for students experiencing homelessness. It is a fact-specific, local determination and this tip sheet discusses six decision points in making that determination.

Federal Agencies Serving Homeless Children and Youth

This independent Federal agency coordinates across 19 Federal agencies to prevent and end homelessness. Goals include ending unaccompanied youth and family homelessness through coordination across Federal agencies and their State and local grantees and stakeholders.

HHS administers programs that target runaway and homeless youth or prioritize homeless children and adults for services. Several of them use ED’s definition of homelessness and coordinate with State and local educational agencies in serving children, youth and families experiencing homelessness.

HUD administers the Federal government’s largest homeless assistance programs, including the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, with which it collaborates with ED in providing technical assistance to grantees. Searching on HUD’s resource website under both education and the Continuum of Care program should lead you to several products produced or reviewed collaboratively with ED.

National Organizations with Resources on Homeless Children, Youth and Education

  • The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth:

This membership organization was started in 1988 and now includes many State and local educational agency staff involved in homeless education.

Founded in 2016, SchoolHouse Connection has many resources for improving services and outcomes for children and youth experiencing homelessness.

This organization was started in 1989 and has been active in educational rights litigation and research. Many homeless education resources are on the link provided.