#RealCollege 2021: Basic Needs Insecurity Among Los Angeles Community College Students During the Ongoing Pandemic

#RealCollege 2021: Basic Needs Insecurity Among Los Angeles Community College Students During the Ongoing Pandemic

Entering fall 2020, the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) was grappling with the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The district struggled with how to reopen, if at all; enrollment dropped; and COVID-19 infection rates surged throughout the state, with Los Angeles County registering the highest total cases and deaths in the country. At the same time, LACCD received an unprecedented federal investment in student emergency aid via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

This report examines the pandemic’s impact on LACCD students who were able to continue their education in this trying environment. Using our sixth-annual #RealCollege Survey, we assessed LACCD students’ basic needs security and their well-being, as indicated by employment status, academic engagement, and mental health. Across LACCD’s nine colleges, the survey was distributed to more than 96,900 students and taken by 7,259 of them, yielding an estimated response rate of 7%. The survey was fielded from September to November 2020.

Topics covered include:

  • Impacts of the pandemic on:
    • Students’ health, employment, and well-being
    • Parenting students’ childcare demands
    • Institutions’ budgets
  • Students’ basic needs security
  • Utilization of public and campus supports, including SNAP and emergency aid
  • Disparities in students’ needs and access to supports
  • Recommendations for policymakers, practitioners, and college leaders

This report is part of The Hope Center’s #RealCollegeCalifornia coalition efforts.