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

The State of Food Security at CUNY in 2020: An Assessment and Recommendations
CUNY provides tens of thousands of New Yorkers with the lifelong benefits of a college degree. For too many students,
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Parent points out something on computer screen to child
Parenting While In College: Basic Needs Insecurity Among Students With Children
At least one in five of today’s college students is parenting a child while enrolled in classes. If these parenting...
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Philadelphia Skyline
Food and Housing Insecurity Among Philadelphia College Students: A #RealCollegePHL Report
Securing the basic needs of Philadelphia undergraduates is crucial to the city’s efforts to boost college attainment, promote economic well-being,
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mostly empty stadium
Hungry to Win: A First Look at Food and Housing Insecurity Among Student-Athletes
Student-athletes compete in school and on the field. They are often full-time students and full-time athletes, making it challenging...
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Graduation cap with feather and cow skull design
Tribal Colleges and Universities #RealCollege Survey Report
This report describes the results of the #RealCollege survey administered in the fall of 2019 at seven tribal colleges and
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AACRAO March 2020 Student Basic Needs Report
AACRAO partnered with The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University on the March 2020 survey. The
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Fueling success: An experimental evaluation of a community college meal voucher program
Meal voucher initiatives seek to provide students facing food insecurity with access to free meals from their college cafeteria. Some
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Minnesota State Colleges and Universities #RealCollege Survey Report
This report describes the results of the #RealCollege survey administered in the fall of 2018and 2019 at 28 of the
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Washington State Community and Technical Colleges #RealCollege Survey
This report describes the results of the #RealCollege survey administered in the fall of 2019 at 28 out of the
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New Jersey Community Colleges #RealCollege Survey Report
Now in its fifth year, the #RealCollege survey is the nation’s largest, longest-running annual assessment of basic needs security among
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#RealCollege 2020: Five Years of Evidence on Basic Needs Insecurity
5 years after it began, the #RealCollege survey has now reached more than 330,000 students at more than 400 colleges
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Oregon Community Colleges #RealCollege Survey Report
Now in its fifth year, the #RealCollege survey is the nation’s largest, longest-running annual assessment of basic needs security among
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Houston Food Scholarship Program Report
Houston Community College (HCC) is one of the nation’s largest community college districts, educating more than 100,000 students each year. 
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photo of the finish line of 100 meter sprint track
Completion Grants: A College Affordability Innovation Worthy of Public Investment?
Completion grants are an increasingly popular practice in higher education, but there is not yet any rigorous evidence that they
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Denver Colorado Skyline and Mountains
2018 #RealCollege Survey Report: Denver
The #RealCollege survey is the nation’s largest annual assessment of basic needs security among college students.  This report describes the results of the #RealCollege
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New National Evidence on the Efficacy of Nudging College Students
With support from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the Hope Center has released a new national
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Journal Articles

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

A review of estimates of housing insecurity and homelessness among students in U.S. higher education
Lack of secure affordable housing is a substantial concern for many of today’s college students. Over the past two decades,
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Aid after enrollment: Impacts of a statewide grant program at public two-year colleges
Most students who begin at community colleges do not finish with a degree. The net price of college commonly shifts
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College Students and SNAP: The New Face of Food Insecurity in the United States
This essay reviews the causes and consequences of food insecurity on campus, explores reasons for the low SNAP participation rate,
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Going Without: An Exploration of Food and Housing Insecurity Among Undergraduates
The rising price of higher education and its implications for equity and accessibility have been extensively documented, but the material
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Hunger in Higher Education: Experiences and Correlates of Food Insecurity among Wisconsin Undergraduates from Low-Income Families
There is growing awareness that a substantial share of undergraduates are food insecure, potentially undermining investments in higher education and
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The Costs of College Attendance: Examining Variation and Consistency in Institutional Living Cost Allowances
Discussions of college costs often focus on tuition and fees, but living cost allowances for room, board, and other expenses
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Working for College: The Causal Impacts of Financial Grants on Undergraduate Employment
One way in which financial aid is thought to promote college success is by minimizing the time students spend working.
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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

College Students in Changing Contexts
American Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century. Social, Political, and Economic Challenges, fourth edition Sara Goldrick-Rab and M. Cook This
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Creating Cultures of Affordability: Can Institutional Incentives Improve the Effectiveness of Financial Aid?
Reinventing Student Aid for the 21st Century. Harvard Education Press, Cambridge, MA. (2014) Andrew P. Kelly and Sara Goldrick-Rab In an effort
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Experimental Evidence on Interventions to Improve Educational Attainment at Community Colleges
Handbook of the Sociology of Education in the 21st Century. (2018) David Monaghan, Tammy Kolbe, and Sara Goldrick-Rab America’s community
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Making Sense of Loan Aversion: Evidence from Wisconsin
The papers included in this volume represent the most current research and knowledge available about student loans and repayment.
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Making the Grade: The Academic Side of College Life among Financial Aid Recipients.
In this chapter we present evidence from a mixed-methods study of federal Pell Grant recipients which directly challenges this assumption
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Promoting Economic Diversity for College Affordability
The Future of Affirmative Action. Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, Washington DC. (2014) Sara Goldrick-Rab Despite decades of spending
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School Integration and the Open Door Philosophy: Rethinking the Economic and Racial Composition of Community Colleges
The task force recommends ways to reduce the racial and economic stratification and create new outcomes-based funding in higher education,
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Explore more at The Hope Center