Giving Compass’ Take:
• Sarah Belnick, writing for PhilanTopic, explains how colleges alone will not be able to meet all students’ basic needs, and that collective investment from community-based, government, and philanthropic stakeholders is necessary.
• What kind of support services are helpful for college students and should be made accessible?
As hundreds of thousands of students scramble to submit their college applications, many are thinking beyond the daunting cost of tuition and student fees to how they will pay for their everyday necessities once they’ve arrived on campus.
With nearly half of college students at two- and four-year institutions experiencing food insecurity and more than half struggling with housing insecurity, it goes without saying that gaps in basic-needs provision are a major issue impacting today’s college students — one that requires a systemic solution.
Examples of expenses that can derail a student’s progression to a degree include emergency car repairs, rent increases, or a sudden illness. Such needs and emergencies often can be addressed, however, by immediate direct supports, including emergency-aid grants, food pantries, rapid rehousing services, and campus partnerships with community and government agencies aimed at ensuring students are supported throughout their academic journey.
Colleges are well positioned to be points of entry to a coordinated suite of social services for students. Working in tandem with community and government partners, colleges can use their own resources and design more student-centered services to cover students’ basic needs and keep them on track to their degrees.
Colleges and universities alone cannot fix the problem. It will take a movement to address students’ multifaceted needs and safeguard postsecondary education as a public good. And it will require action and collective investment involving multiple sectors, including institutions of higher education, government, community-based organizations, and research and philanthropic entities.
Read the full article about helping meet students’ basic needs by Sarah Belnick at PhilanTopic.
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