The Hope Center

The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice is driving the #RealCollege movement to assist students’ basic needs for food and housing. Donate to support #RealCollege students.

How are students faring during the ongoing pandemic?

Nearly 200,000 students at 130 community colleges and 72 four-year colleges and universities told us about their food and housing needs in our fall 2020 #RealCollege Survey.

Our report examines the pandemic’s impact on the #RealCollege students who were able to continue their education in this challenging environment. We assessed students’ basic needs security and their well-being as indicated by their employment status, academic engagement, and mental health.

The #RealCollege Virtual Journey

The Hope Center is offering the #RealCollege Virtual Journey, a free nine-month series of programs focused on information, policy, and practices affecting Basic Needs Insecurity in higher education. Our opening webinar will focus on #RealCollege 2021: Basic Needs Insecurity During the Ongoing Pandemic and details of our new survey. Click here for more details and to sign up for this series.

Apply for the #RealCollege Research Collaborative!

The #RealCollege Research Collaborative builds the #RealCollege Movement by providing a cohort of new scholars with exclusive access to the #RealCollege Database. Members of the Collaborative will have the unique opportunity to examine basic needs insecurity more deeply from the vantage points of their fields and disciplines. As they conduct research, they will receive technical assistance from The Hope Center and learn with other members of the Collaborative. They will receive access to The Hope Center’s dissemination channels to share the findings of their work.

Introducing the #RealCollege Institutional Capacity–Building Cohort

The Hope Center is pleased to offer the inaugural #RealCollege Institutional Capacity–Building Cohort (ICBC) in fall 2021! Members of the ICBC will work collaboratively with The Hope Center to assess, analyze, and address students’ experiences with basic needs insecurity at their institution. Participating in the cohort will empower leaders to impact organizational change and to build connections with other colleges.

The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice & Believe in Students are collaborating on the #RealCollege Blog.

Students are humans first.

The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice is redefining what it means to be a student-ready college, with a national movement centering #RealCollege students’ basic needs. Reliable and consistent access to affordable food, housing, transportation, technology, familial care, and health care is a central condition for learning. Without those needs met, far too many students leave college in debt and without degrees.

We are conducting action research and fighting for the resources and supports to help #RealCollege students succeed.

This week, President Biden introduced the American Families Plan (AFP). This proposal clearly demonstrates the Biden Administration’s commitment to invest
This statement should be attributed to Sara Goldrick-Rab and Carrie R. Welton. Download the pdf April 21, 2021 President Biden’s
Entering the fall 2020 term, higher education was reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. Enrollment was down—particularly among students most at
President Biden recently signed into law the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act  an economic relief package that provides much-needed support
The evidence is clear- enrollment and retention are falling, financial precarity is a key cause, and emergency aid can help
As higher education confronts a global pandemic and widespread declines in college attendance, The Hope Center for College, Community, and
The launch comes as the #RealCollege Movement turns 5! December 4, 2020 PHILADELPHIA - The Hope Center for College, Community

Join the #RealCollege Movement

Sign up to receive actionable information to support #RealCollege students twice a month via our newsletter, along with important breaking news.

The department you work in
The city you work in
The zip code of your workplace

“Hungry to Learn” available for free on Yahoo

After years of being ignored, students experiencing food insecurity are finally taken seriously in Soledad O’Brien’s important new documentary Hungry to LearnIt’s a critical investigation into the what students need now to succeed. Everyone who cares about college, works in a college, or is committed to America’s economic recovery should view this documentary and commit to action. Given the current health and economic crisis, there’s never been a more important time.

Thanks to Yahoo, the documentary is now available to stream for free. Seize this opportunity. Show the doc to your colleagues and students. Educate policymakers, fund raise for basic needs programs, and spread the word about the realities of #RealCollege. Share what you do with us at #RealCollege and #HungryToLearn on social media.


Join the #RealCollege movement to support students’ basic needs!


Check out our many partnerships focused on changing practice, policy, and public perceptions.

Research and Resources

Read our research and find resources to support your work on campus and in your community.

Most Recent Publications