Additional Financial Aid Resources

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Homeless and Foster Youth Services

Homeless Youth Services

Homeless Youth, what does it mean?

According to National Center for Homeless Education, you may be considered a homeless youth if you:

  • Are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian
  • Meet the McKinney-Vento Act: living in emergency or transitional housing shelters, housing with others due to loss of housing
  • Are living in hotel or motel.
  • Are staying in a place not meant for habitation (car, park, bus stations, etc.)

Did you know that you may qualify for FREE Grants, a Tuition waiver, Loans, and get paid to work on campus?

How to see if you qualify:

Step 1: Apply for Financial Aid online at OR

Step 2: On the questions about Homeless Youth, please check YES to any of the 3 apply to your situation:

FAFSA Question 55: Is Student an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth as Determined by High School/Homeless Liaison? (At any time on or after July 1, 2021, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?)

FAFSA Question 56: Is Student an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth as Determined by HUD? (At any time on or after July 1, 2021, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?)

FAFSA Question 57: Is Student an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth as Determined by Director of Homeless Youth Center? (At any time on or after July 1, 2021, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?)

“Homeless” means lacking fixed, regular and adequate housing. You may be homeless if you are living in shelters, parks, motels, hotels, public spaces, camping grounds, cars, abandoned buildings, or temporarily living with other people because you have nowhere else to go. Also, if you are living in any of these situations and fleeing an abusive parent you may be considered homeless even if your parent would otherwise provide a place to live.

“Unaccompanied” means you are not living in the physical custody of your parent or guardian.

• Select Yes if you received a determination at any time on or after July 1, 2021 that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless. Note: The financial aid administrator at your college may require you to provide a copy of the determination.

• Select No if you are not homeless or you do not have a determination.

If you need assistance, you can visit our office CCCPLX (Building 6), 1st Floor, Room 120. You can also give us a call at (714) 484-7114. Please ask for Nai if you are unclear on Homeless Youth Determination. You can email your questions or concerns as well:

It may be uncomfortable telling people at school about your homelessness and asking for help, but our campus is a SAFE ZONE. We only want to help you and ensure you access to the help and support you need.

Please visit these other offices on campus that may offer additional support.

  • Cypress College Food Pantry located in Student Life & Leadership
  • Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) located in CCCPLX-201

Foster Youth Services

Cypress College is pleased to offer a variety of resources to assist emancipated students exiting the foster care system. Our Student Support Services programs can assist you with the transition to college.  If you are a former foster youth, you are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office (located on the 1st Floor of the Cypress College Complex) and our Extended Opportunity Program & Services Office (located on the 2nd Floor of the Cypress College Complex) for assistance.

Our Student Services programs at Cypress College offer the following benefits for emancipated foster youth:

  • Assistance with completing college entrance forms
  • Financial Aid application assistance
  • Academic advising
  • Personalize staff assistance to help direct you to the appropriate resources
  • Priority assistance finding on-campus jobs (for those who qualify)
  • Assistance finding housing
  • Workshops for career and academic success
  • Friendship and support by Cypress College faculty/staff

Guardian Scholars Program

The Cypress College Guardian Scholars Program is available for all current and former foster youth attending the college to ensure their academic, career, and personal success. Program benefits include: academic advising, assistance to access financial aid/grants/scholarships, and referrals for on and off campus resources. Guardian Scholars in located in the EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs office on the second floor of the Cypress College Complex in room 201. If you would like to know more about the Guardian Scholars Program, please contact Ashley Berry, EOPS Student Services Specialist, at (714) 484-7238.

Extended Opportunity Program & Services

California foster youth from all counties may be eligible for admission to our EOPS program regardless of application date (some restrictions may apply). Please contact Ashley Berry, EOPS Student Services Specialist, at (714) 484-7238 for information about how foster youth can apply for and receive admission to the Cypress College EOPS program.

Homeless Youth and Foster Youth Resources & Links

California College Pathways

Highly recommended for foster youth by the Cypress College Guardian Scholars Advisory team. This resource helps students prepare for college and connects them with adults who can help provide tips, tools, and resources.

“BuildFutures” Providing the key to Youth Success

Supports and enables homeless youth 18-24 years old to become independent, contributing members of our community while providing them with wrap around services.

Cal Fresh Program

Formerly known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program “SNAP”.
Provides qualified households & individuals with healthy and nutritional food.

California Community College Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI)

Services offered through the California Community College System to serve Emancipated Foster Youth. Look under “Student Support/Student Services”.

California State University, Fullerton’s Guardian Scholars Program

The CSUF Guardian Scholars program is committed to supporting ambitious college-bound emancipated foster youth succeed in higher education.

Chafee Grant for Emancipated Foster Youth

A financial assistance grant set up to support specifically emancipated foster youth that want to attend college.

County of Orange Social Services, including Foster Youth Services

County of Orange Social Services Referrals.

Housing Is Key

Resources for rental assistance and eviction protections.

Independent Living Program through Social Services Agency

Program and services provided to serve Orange County Emancipated Foster Youth.

Los Angeles County Independent Living Home Page

Website for transitioning current or former foster youth.

Los Angeles County Low-cost Health Care Resources

Guide to L. A. County free and low cost health care services.

Orange County 2-1-1 Get Connected/Get Answers

Resource site for services available for foster youth.

Orange County Food Banks

Food banks offering support to Emancipated Foster Youth.

Orange County Public Health Services

List of health clinics in Orange County.

Orange County Social Service Agency

Resource for Orange County social services.

Orangewood Foundation

Orangewood Foundation is services for foster youth.

Recovery Education Institute

Program designed to help promote personal growth and recovery for people who experience psychiatric symptoms.

Renaissance Scholars Program

A university scholarship program available at Cal Poly Pomona for emancipated foster youth.

Riverside County Office of Education

Services offered for Emancipated Foster Youth.

Second Harvest Food Bank

Distributes food throughout Orange County.

Some One Cares

Meals for individuals who are in need.

StandUP For Kids

Referrals for Emancipated Foster Youth up to age 26 for many services in Orange County, including homelessness and hunger issues.

THP Plus

Housing for homeless.

Transportation through Orange County Social Services

Free bus passes for Independent Living Program “ILP” eligible former foster youth (ages 16 – 21).

Western Center on Law & Poverty

Western Center fights for justice and system-wide change to secure housing, healthcare and a strong safety net for low income Californians.

Undocumented Student Information and Resources

Cypress College, the North Orange Community College District, and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office are working together to ensure that our students have a safe and supportive learning environment so they can build better futures for themselves and their families.  Furthermore, we are committed to ensuring that students’ confidential information will remain private and inaccessible to everyone, including law enforcement, except through judicial orders.

DACA Resources

Legal Support

  • For legal advice, visit Getting Legal Help
  • Know Your Rights (English & Spanish) (National Immigrant Law Center)
  • Know Your Rights Card (Immigrant Legal Resource Center). The ILRC’s Red Cards help people assert their rights and defend themselves in many situations, such as when ICE agents go to a home.

Financial Support