An astounding number of American college students are going hungry or homeless

Some college students can't afford food or housing.

caption
Some college students can’t afford food or housing.
source
Michael Mann/Getty Images

The “broke college student” stereotype has reached a new level.

An astounding number of American college students are going hungry or homeless, reported James McWilliams for Pacific Standard, citing a new study by the non-profit Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. It conducted surveys with 167,000-plus students across 101 community colleges and 68 four-year colleges and universities.

Nearly half of respondents said that in the month prior to the survey, they experienced food insecurity – “the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food, or the ability to acquire such food in a socially acceptable manner,” according to the report.

Roughly 50% of two-year college students and 44% of four-year college students in the survey worried their food would run out before they could afford to buy more. Of each group, 30% didn’t eat when they were hungry because they couldn’t afford it.

Read more: College is more expensive than it’s ever been, and the 5 reasons why suggest it’s only going to get worse

Housing was also an issue among respondents – 18% of two-year college students and 14% of four-year college students said they were homeless. Some respondents reported staying with a relative or friend, or couch surfing, while others said they lived outdoors, at a shelter, or in a camper.

It’s a side effect of the growing expense of college – tuition has more than doubled since the 1980s. As a result, student loan debt is at an all-time high, according to Student Loan Hero: The national total student debt is over $1.5 trillion and the average student loan debt per graduating student in 2018 who took out loans is $29,800.