The Hope Center



The #RealCollegeTexas initiative is a partnership between The Hope Center and Texas institutions and students to identify solutions that better meet the needs of students. This includes ensuring they can afford groceries and housing and reduces barriers they face accessing transportation, child care, medical and mental health care.  

Each fall, more than 1.5 million students flock to Texas’s colleges and universities to seek the degrees that will unlock their future. But many will have a hard time concentrating on their studies. Basic needs insecurity is prevalent among Texas college students, worsened by the combined impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying recession.

A survey by The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice of 13,000 college students at 14 Texas colleges and universities found that almost two-thirds of Texas students experienced basic needs insecurity in the fall 2020 semester. The survey found widespread lack of access to food, housing, medical care, and other basic needs.

Getting students the basic needs security that ensures they can focus on their studies is a massive challenge.  But Texans have taken on tough challenges before – and achieved them. The #RealCollegeTexas project will strive for systemic reforms across the Lone Star State, advancing policies that reduce basic needs insecurity, close equity gaps, and promote economic mobility.

For more information please contact Senior Policy Analyst Thomas Hilliard at

#RealCollegeTexas Webinar

Watch The Hope Center’s May 18 webinar recording to preview the survey results, learn more about how the pandemic impacted students’ basic needs, and hear from college leaders about their own work to support students’ basic needs and to achieve Texas’s college attainment and equity goals.

2021-2022 #RealCollegeTexas Technical Assistance Coalition Members

The Hope Center has partnered with the Texas Success Center and 17 institutions to scale best practices in addressing student basic needs insecurity. Over the next year, the colleges will work collaboratively to build capacity in the areas of advising, emergency aid, institutional research, institutional policy, and state policy to advance an ecosystem of support for students’ basic needs. Learn more about #RealCollege technical assistance initiatives at the Hope Center here.

Alamo Colleges District
Amarillo College
Austin Community College
Brazosport College
Dallas College
El Paso Community College
Grayson College
Houston Community College System
McLennan Community College
Midland College
North Central Texas College
Paris Junior College
San Jacinto College
South Texas College
Southwest Texas Junior College
Tarrant County College
Temple College


This work has been supported by the Prentice & Alline Brown Foundation.