The Hope Center


We conduct scientifically rigorous and practice-informed action research that explores poorly understood problems affecting #RealCollege students and examine the efficacy of interventions to support #RealCollege students. With all our publications we seek to inform, educate, stimulate and guide people who want to shift the structural conditions and mindsets holding back #RealCollege students.

Our current focus is on research studies that identify areas for improvement and/or evaluating existing practices aimed at addressing #RealCollege issues such as college affordability, improvements to the current financial aid system, and students’ basic needs. In order to do this, we establish and maintain strategic partnerships that emphasize credible findings and survey methods, pursue action-oriented, stakeholder-engaged research, and advance the field(s) of inquiry. 

The work gathered here encompasses the full range of Hope Center research work. You will find policy briefs, white papers and academic articles. We endeavor to make this a useful and easy to access library so that researchers, practitioners, policy makers and journalists can easily review the latest work we are producing.


Reports of our research published by The Hope Center

Entering the fall 2020 term, higher education was reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. Enrollment was down—particularly among students most at
December 2020 The coronavirus pandemic continues to challenge American higher education, adversely affecting both students and educators and compromising institutions’
The pandemic is laying bare one of the most difficult challenges facing higher education: many of today’s undergraduates are pursuing
In the fall of 2019, nearly 550 instructional staff members from four community colleges and one university responded to a
Students in masks
#RealCollege During the Pandemic: Initial Institutional Responses To Address Basic Needs Insecurity The novel coronavirus pandemic is testing institutions of
Now in its fifth year, the #RealCollege survey is the nation’s largest, the longest-running annual assessment of basic needs security
Black woman with short hair wearing and mask
The COVID19 pandemic struck American higher education in March 2020. Campuses closed, students lost jobs, and emergency resources fell far
CUNY provides tens of thousands of New Yorkers with the lifelong benefits of a college degree. For too many students,
Parent points out something on computer screen to child
At least one in five of today’s college students is parenting a child while enrolled in classes. If these parenting...
Philadelphia Skyline
Securing the basic needs of Philadelphia undergraduates is crucial to the city’s efforts to boost college attainment, promote economic well-being,
mostly empty stadium
Student-athletes compete in school and on the field. They are often full-time students and full-time athletes, making it challenging...
Graduation cap with feather and cow skull design
This report describes the results of the #RealCollege survey administered in the fall of 2019 at seven tribal colleges and
AACRAO partnered with The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University on the March 2020 survey. The
Meal voucher initiatives seek to provide students facing food insecurity with access to free meals from their college cafeteria. Some
This report describes the results of the #RealCollege survey administered in the fall of 2018and 2019 at 28 of the
This report describes the results of the #RealCollege survey administered in the fall of 2019 at 28 out of the

National Reports

Journal Articles

Academic articles written by or collaborated on with staff and affiliates at The Hope Center

Lack of secure affordable housing is a substantial concern for many of today’s college students. Over the past two decades,
Most students who begin at community colleges do not finish with a degree. The net price of college commonly shifts
This essay reviews the causes and consequences of food insecurity on campus, explores reasons for the low SNAP participation rate,
Public universities are intent on increasing degree completion for many reasons. A stronger policy focus on completion and interest in
The rising price of higher education and its implications for equity and accessibility have been extensively documented, but the material
There is growing awareness that a substantial share of undergraduates are food insecure, potentially undermining investments in higher education and
Discussions of college costs often focus on tuition and fees, but living cost allowances for room, board, and other expenses
One way in which financial aid is thought to promote college success is by minimizing the time students spend working.


Books authored by staff at The Hope Center

Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream.
University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. 2016
Goldrick-Rab, S.

 Reinventing Student Aid for the 21st Century.
Harvard Education Press, Cambridge, MA. 2014
Kelly, A. & Goldrick-Rab, S. (Editors).

Book Chapters

Chapters and sections we’ve written or collaborated on

American Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century. Social, Political, and Economic Challenges, fourth edition Sara Goldrick-Rab and M. Cook This
Reinventing Student Aid for the 21st Century. Harvard Education Press, Cambridge, MA. (2014) Andrew P. Kelly and Sara Goldrick-Rab In an effort
Handbook of the Sociology of Education in the 21st Century. (2018) David Monaghan, Tammy Kolbe, and Sara Goldrick-Rab America’s community
The papers included in this volume represent the most current research and knowledge available about student loans and repayment.
In this chapter we present evidence from a mixed-methods study of federal Pell Grant recipients which directly challenges this assumption
The Future of Affirmative Action. Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, Washington DC. (2014) Sara Goldrick-Rab Despite decades of spending
The task force recommends ways to reduce the racial and economic stratification and create new outcomes-based funding in higher education,

Explore more at The Hope Center