Difficulty accessing housing and regular meals is becoming a grave problem for the average college student
Policymakers gathered in October to meet for the second yearly conference “Ral College” to discuss the difficulties college students face regarding housing insecurity and, most surprisingly, food insecurity.
A report issued earlier this year elaborated on a report initially released in December of 2015 by the sole translational research facility within the United States that actively focuses on discovering strategies to make cost-heavy colleges – and college-life – more feasibly affordable.
Sara G. Rab is the founder of the Wisconsin Hope Laboratory, and stated that as of 2006 she and her research team have come to realize that the biggest obstacle most students face when attempting to attain their degrees is not exorbitant tuition fees, but access to a proper home and regular meals.
The report studied over 30,000 students across 24 different states at over 70 colleges. It revealed shocking statistics: almost 67 percent of students did not have regular access to food, which is actually a higher rate than the U.S. population in general.
Rab criticizes society for creating an “invisible” problem by stereotyping the college life
Additionally, 13-14 percent of students were studying in a state of homelessness: students who have previously been in the foster care system and students who have children are the highest at risk.
Rab goes on to add that the issue has become hidden behind a stream of lighthearted stereotypes and funny posts on social media about the typical college student jumping from couch to couch to get a good night’s rest and surviving exclusively off pot noodles and vending machine snacks.
Rab says that it is clear there is a very serious issue in the field of higher education if students have to combat such severe problems to acquire a degree.