With the high prices of college tuition, a growing number of students are experiencing food and housing insecurity in both community colleges and four-year institutions.
Sara Goldrick-Rab, a higher education policy and sociology professor at Temple University, published a study, "Hungry and Homeless in College," which is the largest study about basic need insecurity to date. The electronic survey spanned 70 community colleges in 24 states, covering more than 33,000 students.
The results show the rates of food and housing insecurity in college students are many times higher than those in the average adult population. The findings show that 56 percent of the 33,000 students were food insecure at the low or very lowest levels — meaning they regularly have difficulty accessing nutritious food.
According to the study, about half of students were dealing with housing insecurity — which could be anything from living in an overcrowded apartment to couch surfing. Of these students dealing with housing insecurity, 14 percent were homeless.
Although these studies were conducted in community colleges, Goldrick-Rab said basic needs insecurity is a very serious challenge among college students in four-year institutions as well — including schools such as UNC.