High School Resources

The lack of a high school diploma or a GED is the top risk factor for youth and young adult homelessness (Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago).   Nearly 60 percent of today’s jobs will require at least some college training.  This means,  that homeless youth and young adults dreams’ must  include getting their  high school diploma or a GED. If you need assistance with graduating high school or getting a GED , check-out the resources below:

Surviving High School

Free GED Classes

The Technical College System of Georgia offers Free GED classes.  Classes are available throughout the state of Georgia.  Connect now to locate a class near you: https://tcsg.edu/adult-education/

Additional High School Support Programs

Attending college or a technical training program begins with a high school diploma or a GED.  The McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaisons, Georgia’s Dual Enrollment, GEAR UP, and the Orange Duffle Bag Initiative are resources that assist homeless and at-risk youth and young adults with graduating high school, getting a GED, college admission, and technical training.  Students without a high school diploma can received a Free GED through the Technical College System of Georgia.

Today’s knowledge-based economy makes postsecondary education more important than ever before.  Nearly 60 percent of today’s jobs require at least some college training.  If you are a high school student or a young adult that needs assistance with getting your GED, graduating high school, graduating college, or completing a  technical training program,  check-out the resources below:

Free GED classes through the Technical College System of Georgia.  Connect Now: https://tcsg.edu/adult-education/

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, Title V11-B, Section 725(B), defines homeless children and youth “as those who lack a—fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.”

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act provides Homeless Liaisons to coordinates services to ensure that homeless children and youths enroll in school and have the opportunity to succeed academically.

The McKinney-Vento’s Homeless Liaisons’ ensure that homeless children and youth gain access to free, appropriate public education; receive help with obtaining records and documents necessary for post-secondary education opportunities; transportation, not just for school, but for interviews and employment opportunities; medical, dental and mental health services to ensure that they are healthy and able to pursue their education, participate in mentoring, and establish networking relationships that can support them through the challenges of public school while homeless.

To connect to the Homeless Liaison for your school district click here: McKinney-Vento District Homeless Liaison Contacts List 

Georgia’s Dual Enrollment program allows high school students (9th – 12th grade) earn college credits, or even a certificate, diploma or associate degree, while working on their high school diploma. Dual Enrollment is designed to make it easier for students to take advantage of all the options to enroll in college courses while still in high school.

Student Eligibility

  • Any student attending a public or private high school in Georgia or an eligible home study program
  • Student’s high school or home study program has completed a Participation Agreement
  • 9th through 12th grade (eligibility ends four years after the student first enters 9th grade)
  • No residency requirement
  • Students must sign an advisement form with their high school or home study program
  • Participating students can attend more than one postsecondary institution at a time and receive awards at both
  • Admissions requirements at the chosen postsecondary institution(s) must be met
  • Students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as required by the postsecondary institution(s)
  • Students that complete high school graduation requirements prior to officially graduating may continue participation in Dual Enrollment until the date of official high school graduation

Course Options

Students must select eligible courses from the Dual Enrollment Course Directory on GAfutures.org. The Course Directory includes comparable required courses such as degree and non-degree level core courses (English, math, science, social studies, foreign language), career, technical and agricultural education courses, as well as electives. Course selections must be approved for high school credit by the student’s high school counselor.

Dual Enrollment courses are available for fall, spring and summer semesters and fall, winter, spring and summer quarters.

Tuition, Mandatory Fees, and Books

The specific Dual Enrollment award amount will vary based on the postsecondary institution and the number of credit hours in which a student is enrolled. Complete Dual Enrollment award amounts are available on GAfutures.org. In most cases, awards will cover all required standard tuition, mandatory fees and required book expenses. In some instances, students may be responsible for lost or damaged books, books that are considered optional, or specific course-related fees, such as a lab fee.

Benefits of Dual Enrollment for Students

  • Earning college credits while still in high school may enable students to graduate early and/or possibly even earn an associate degree, diploma or certificate.
  • Dual enrollment can help students adjust to certain aspects of the college experience (e.g., classes, coursework, instruction, being on a college campus) so the transition from high school to college may be easier.
  • Students who participate in a dual enrollment program are more likely to go to college and earn a degree.
  • Students may be able to take classes that are not offered at their high school, especially in subject areas they are interested in for a potential career.
  • Taking college-level classes while still in high school may build confidence and encourage those students who may not be thinking about college to reconsider.

Application Procedure

Visit the GAFutures Website to see the application process

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the GAFutures Website to view frequently asked questions

Other State Financial Aid Programs

The GAFutures Website provides information about a number of other programs for state financial aid.

In October 2016, Georgia received its first statewide GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program) Grant to increase the graduation rates and successful transition into college and vocational training for priority high school students who are homeless or in foster care. GEAR UP provides Georgia’s homeless or foster care high schoolers with supportive services to help them receive their high school diploma, prepare for post-secondary education, prepare for careers and support through their first year of college.

To determine  if there is a GEAR UP program in your county connect to the GEAR UP Program Coordinators Contact List.  After locating the GEAR UP coordinator for your county contact them for information on the program and the schools in your county that are participating in GEAR UP.

The Orange Duffel Bag Initiative is a 501c3 public charity, ODBI provides homeless or foster care students with evidence-and trauma -informed coaching programs and advocacy to improve their education outcomes. Students that successfully graduate from the high school coaching program earns a certificate of completion, an orange duffle bag, and a laptop to bridge the digital divide. College students can earn an orange duffle bag and a $200.00 scholarship check.

ODBI Programs :  

12-week After School Program that focus on critical thinking, GPA’s, academic performance, high school completion and College Retention Coaching for their College Completion Postsecondary Program.

How are students selected for ODBI programs?  

  • Students who are at-risk of not achieving their education. Students aging out of foster care, certified homeless and/or Title One experiencing high poverty.  
  • High school students are identified through random sample or referred by DHA, the county homeless liaison, group home directors, high school social worker. 
  • College students are identified through random sample in partnership with the college recognizing them as Pell Recipients 2.0-2.5 and at-risk of not progressing toward competition; college students are also referred by homeless liaisons, DHS/ILP programs. 

Is there a cost to the student to participate in an ODBI coaching programs?

  • No there is no cost to the student or their family. 

 Connect to Orange Duffle Bag:  https://theodbi.org, or call toll free: at 1-800-598-5150.

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