Report: Hungry and Homeless in College

Posted by University of Wisconsin on April 3, 2017

Study: Half or more of community college students struggle to afford food, housing

Two-thirds of students at American community colleges struggle to pay for food and half to find a stable place to live, according to a new survey billed as the biggest ever on the subject.

About 14 percent of community college students are homeless, the survey shows. The figures reinforce earlier findings of smaller, regional studies, including one by the same research group. But with 33,000 students at 70 community colleges in 24 states, it’s the broadest look at the topic to date.

While attention is focused on the price of tuition, said coauthor Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University, much of the cost of attending college goes to food, housing, and other expenses. And many students said they can’t afford those.

Half said they have no permanent places to live and move frequently because they can’t pay for rent or utilities. Those who are homeless said they live in shelters, cars, abandoned buildings or outdoors.

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