Skip To Main Content

Header Top

Header Utility

Header Bottom


Higher Education Act

About the Act 

The Higher Education Act (HEA) is a federal law that guides the administration of federal higher education programs. Its purpose is to strengthen the educational resources of U.S. colleges and universities and provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary education. The HEA governs student aid programs, federal aid to institutions of higher education, and oversight of teacher preparation programs. 

The HEA designates unaccompanied homeless youth, as defined by Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as independent students. This designation allows unaccompanied homeless youth to apply for federal financial aid without a parent signature or consideration of parent income and assets in the calculation of the student’s federal aid package.


Regulations and Guidance