College and University Basic Needs Insecurity: A National #RealCollege Survey Report

College and University Basic Needs Insecurity: A National #RealCollege Survey Report

Seven in ten students at community college and six in ten students at four-year colleges experienced food insecurity, housing insecurity, and/or homelessness during the previous year, a report from the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice finds. Based on a 2018 survey of nearly eighty-six thousand students at a hundred and twenty-three colleges, the report, College and University Basic Needs Insecurity: A National #RealCollege Survey Report (53 pages PDF), found that 48 percent of respondents at two-year colleges and 42 percent of those at four-year institutions experienced food insecurity; 60 percent and 48 percent experienced some form of housing insecurity; and 18 percent and 14 percent experienced homelessness. Overall rates of food insecurity were higher among African Americans (58 percent) and Latinx (50 percent) than among white students (39 percent), while the rate of housing insecurity was highest among American Indians/Alaskan Natives (67 percent). Students whose parents have no high school diploma also were more likely than others to experience housing insecurity, although even among those with college-educated parents, 32 percent face food insecurity, 43 percent experienced housing insecurity, and 14 percent had experienced homelessness at some point. the report also found that LGBTQ students were significantly more likely than their straight and cis-gender peers to experience some form of basic needs insecurity. Supported by the Lumina Foundation, the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women, the City University of New York, the Chicago City Colleges, the Institute for College Access and Success, and the California Community College Chancellor's Office, the report recommends that colleges appoint a director of student wellness and basic needs; update programming to address cultural changes on campus; engage community organizations and the private sector in providing proactive support; develop or expand emergency aid programs; and advocate for enabling students to receive public assistance.