New Federal Data Confirm That College Students Face Significant—and Unacceptable—Basic Needs Insecurity

For the first time in its 36-year history, the federal government released data on students experiencing food insecurity and homelessness as part of the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS). As a result, the 2019-20 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:20) contains the first nationally representative data on food insecurity and homelessness among undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in postsecondary education in the United States. The newly released statistics confirm that colleges and universities of all types serve undergraduate and graduate students experiencing food insecurity and homelessness. Overall, 23% of undergraduates, and 12% of graduate students, are experiencing food insecurity. This means more than 4 million students are food insecure. And eight percent of undergraduate and 5% of graduate students are experiencing homelessness, translating to more than 1.5 million students. 

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