The #RealCollege survey is the nation’s largest annual assessment of basic needs security among college students. The survey, which specifically evaluates access to affordable food and housing, began in 2015 under the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. This report describes the results of the #RealCollege survey administered at nearly half of the schools in the California Community College system in the fall of 2016 and 2018. The report includes an extensive methodological appendix, attached to it and also available as a standalone here.

Almost 40,000 students at 57 California Community Colleges participated. The results indicate:

  • 50% of respondents were food insecure in the prior 30 days,
  • 60% of respondents were housing insecure in the previous year,
  • 19% of respondents were homeless in the previous year.

In partnership with The Institute for College Access and Success, the Hope Center also released recommendations for addressing basic needs in California.  These include increasing financial aid for community college students and creating a statewide college lunch program. In addition, we launched #RealCollegeCalifornia to offer strategic advising and technical support to college leaders throughout California as they seek to secure students’ basic needs and promoting degree completion.

The report is being released at a legislative briefing in Sacramento at 12 pm PST today.