The Hidden Crisis on College Campuses: Many Students Don’t Have Enough to Eat


studentCaleb Torres lost seven pounds his freshman year of college — and not because he didn’t like the food in the dining hall. A first-generation college student, barely covering tuition, Torres ran out of grocery money halfway through the year and began skipping meals as a result.

He’d stretch a can of SpaghettiOs over an entire day. Or he’d scout George Washington University campus for events that promised free lunch or snacks. Torres told no one what he was going through, least of all his single mom.

“She had enough things to worry about,” he said.

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A Third of College Students Face Food and Housing Insecurity


studentPaying for college tuition and the textbooks and materials needed for classes can be hard enough. Whether you attend college part time or full time or go to community college or a university, it can be difficult to scrape together money for food and housing. Add on trying to maintain a social life and it can feel downright impossible. However, there hasn’t been much comprehensive data about just how much food insecurity, housing insecurity, and homelessness affect college students nationwide.

Now, thanks to a report published this week by researchers at Temple University in conjunction with the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, there’s more information to help us understand just how dire the situation is for college students.

The report was based on approximately 43,000 students attending 66 institutions, including 31 community colleges and 35 four-year universities. The study encompassed 20 states and Washington, D.C., and participation in the survey was voluntary, according to researchers. The sample included participants who identify as male, female, and nonbinary, as well as students from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds and representing different ages. According to the report’s authors, it is “the largest national assessment of basic needs security among four-year students.”

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Debt in America: An Interactive Map

Credit can be a lifeline during emergencies and a bridge to education and homeownership. But debt, which can stem from credit or unpaid bills, often burdens families and communities and exacerbates wealth inequality. This map shows the geography of debt in America at the national, state, and county levels. How does your community compare?

Last Updated Abril 5, 2018

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