A new study looks at the hidden costs of attending community college.
Getting an education can be difficult even under optimal circumstances, so imagine how challenging it must be to be in school while also being food and housing insecure. A study from the Wisconsin HOPE lab surveyed students at 10 community colleges across the country and found that 13 percent of respondents were homeless and 20 percent reported “very low” food security.
According to the USDA, “very low food security” is indicative of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake, and “low food security” is indicative of a poor, unvaried diet. A further 19 percent of respondents indicated that they suffered from low food security.
The study found that housing and food worries went hand in hand. Among students reporting low to very low food security levels, 73 percent were housing insecure. Within the full context of the study, 52 percent of respondents said that they faced a variety of housing difficulties, ranging from homelessness, to difficulty in paying rent, and moving twice or more in the same year.