Giving Compass' Take:

• A report from the Hope Center at Temple University revealed that many students attending colleges in Chicago experienced housing or food insecurity. 

•  How are colleges addressing the issues of housing and hunger for students who can't afford those amenities? 

• Read about how some colleges are shifting policies around this issue to curb stigma. 


Alexandria Carey graduated with good grades from Chicago Military Academy at Bronzeville and earned scholarships toward her tuition at City Colleges of Chicago.

Carey doesn’t always know where her next meal will come from now that she’s in college. When money is tight, she’ll have chips for breakfast. (Many graduates of Chicago Public schools had relied on free or reduced price breakfasts and lunches while in K–12, something that’s no longer available to them after high school.)

“It’s hard for a lot of us,” said Carey, a freshman at Harry S Truman College. “These are students that are creative, open-minded, and strive as much as I do. To watch them struggle, it’s hard.”

A new study, released Thursday from the Hope Center at Temple University, backs up her assertion. Almost two-thirds of respondents enrolled at Chicago city colleges had experienced housing insecurity, food insecurity or homelessness in the last 30 days. Students who identify as Pell Grant recipients, veterans, LGBTQ, first-generation college students or student parents have higher rates of basic needs insecurities, the report showed.

Such hardships around food and housing may help explain why so many graduates of Chicago Public Schools still struggle with getting through college. This past school year, Chicago had its highest-ever graduation and college enrollment rates — 78% and 65%, respectively, but college persistence rates still lag. A 2017 report from the UChicago Consortium on School Research found that just 19% of the Chicago ninth graders it followed had earned a bachelor’s degree 10 years later. (The report did not track two-year degree attainment.)

Read the full article about housing insecurity in college by Catherine Henderson at Chalkbeat.