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- A significant number of college students are going hungry or homeless, reported Pacific Standard, citing a new study by the non-profit Hope Center.
- Of the four-year college student respondents, 30% said they didn’t eat when they were hungry because they couldn’t afford it. Another 14% said they don’t have a stable place to live.
- It’s a product of the growing expense of college, which has propelled student loan debt to record levels.
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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.
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.