The Hope Center


The #RealCollege™ guides, tools, and webinars on this page are intended to help colleges and universities, as well as their partners, support students. Most of these are part of our Beyond the Food Pantry series, and they aim to spur change that goes beyond charity.

If you are new to this work, we recommend beginning with “Getting Started Addressing Basic Needs on Campus.” If you are looking for ways to engage faculty, check out “Spreading the Word- Supporting Students’ Basic Needs with a Syllabus Statement” and “Faculty-Run Emergency Aid for Students.” There are also guides to the COVID-19 crisis and those focused on specific efforts including housing partnerships and emergency aid.

If you have an idea for a new guide or tool we could offer, please drop us a note at Of course, we would also love to hear how these resources affected your practice and helped your work in the #RealCollege™ movement.

All of our resources are meant to be shared widely. Please use and share them widely.

Beyond the Food Pantry Series

In the fall 2020 semester, nearly three in five college students experienced basic needs insecurity. Despite the significant need for...
A basic needs resource webpage is a powerful tool that can help raise awareness of, and connect students with, existing
The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying rush to depopulate college campuses in 2020 brought the housing insecurity and homelessness experienced by
Students around the nation face one of the most challenging times in their pursuit of a post-secondary degree. Alarming food
The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 will provide $22 billion of aid to institutions. This builds on the funds distributed under
While enrollment, retention, and persistence numbers are plummeting across the nation, the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic creates
When the pandemic struck in March 2020 and the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) had to close, students lost
Basic needs security is a key factor in determining a student’s likelihood of finishing college, but there is more to
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new focus to the need to support college students’ basic needs to improve their success
We have a more recent brief on this issue. Go here for the latest guidance. Updated April 24, 2020 Through
Emergency aid is a critical college retention tool for supporting students who face economic shortfalls that might disrupt their college
Dear college students, We know this is a time of tremendous stress and uncertainty. Please know that you are not
To help you effectively support students, our team at The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice offer considerations and
Many students who have experienced homelessness or foster care do not have a strong support system to which they can
Our primary guide provides support for colleges and universities across the United States and around the world as they scramble
Trauma is a significant mental health phenomenon that should not be confused with the stress of a failed exam or
Given demonstrably high rates of housing insecurity and homelessness among the nation’s community college students, innovative public housing authorities have
March 2019 Hope Center and MAZON The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates that 57% of students who are likely food
May 2019 Clare Cady, Edward Conroy, Sara Goldrick-Rab, Michael Rosen Today’s students need more support than they receive. Thanks to
December 2020 Sharing information about supports for students’ basic needs on course syllabi is an inexpensive, efficient, and effective way
November 2019 For the nearly 85% of college students who live off campus, rent and utilities are major costs that
December 2019 High school graduates are heading to college in smaller numbers and the completion rates of those who do

Other Guides and Tools

May 2019 Clare Cady, Cara Crowley, Sara Goldrick-Rab Through data-supported intentional actions, Amarillo College (AC) is dedicating itself to addressing
December 2018 From experiences to interviews with students enduring food insecurity to survey results, this document is a #RealCollege collection
Fall 2019 Christine Baker-Smith, Vanessa Coca, Elizabeth Looker, Sara Goldrick-Rab Basic needs security is a critical component of collegiate success,


In this webinar, Sara Goldrick-Rab, president and founder of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice, and Clyde Wilson Pickett,
The "teach-ins" are a weekly forum at Temple University highlighting the historical background to contemporary political, social, and cultural issues.
This webinar provides an overview of the challenges institutions face around scaling emergency aid. We did a deep dive into
The evidence is clear- enrollment and retention are falling, financial precarity is a key cause, and emergency aid can help
Join us for a virtual town hall on Thursday, August 20th at 2:30 pm EDT to discuss the CARES Act
On June 11, Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, leader of the #RealCollege movement and best known for her innovative research on food and housing
The COVID19 pandemic struck American higher education in March 2020. Campuses closed, students lost jobs, and emergency resources fell far
The Hope Center is embarking on a new project to advance understanding and evidence for effective and equitable distribution of
Join Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, Dr. Frank Harris III, and Dr. Suzanna Martinez for a special webinar discussing this new report
Join the OACC Success Center for a one-hour webinar facilitated by national expert, Sara Goldrick-Rab, founder of the Hope Center
The Hope Center and Generation Hope joined forces for a special webinar on parenting students. Learn from new #RealCollege findings
Revisit the live conversation between Soledad and Sara Goldrick-Rab about Hungry to Learn
Many college students across the nation experience food and housing insecurity. This webinar is part of a series providing technical
Emergency aid is a critical support for #RealCollege students, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal CARES money is a
SwiftStudent is the only free, digital resource that helps students write college financial aid appeal letters. The tool launched on
Students at Philadelphia colleges and universities need our support during the COVID-19 pandemic. As experts on the daily crises that
This webinar, created for a national audience, provides an overview of the support students will need to remain enrolled and

Additional Resources

Colleges can do more to boost success among students from low-income households. The Beyond Financial Aid toolkit includes advice to
After years of being ignored, students experiencing food insecurity are finally taken seriously in Soledad O'Brien's important new documentary Hungry to


The Hope Center is proud to be leading the way for the #RealCollege™ movement. This selection of our commentary pieces featured in major publications showcases our commitment to helping real college students and to continue our action oriented approach until all students can complete a college degree.

laws to New York. Student surveys show widespread food insecurity in higher education, both nationally and in New York. Hunger-Free
May 22, 2020. The Atlantic. Community colleges are our second-chance #RealCollege institutions to recover from the pandemic! Read this piece
Concerns among policy makers and the public are mounting over reductions in state spending on public higher education
A look at the struggles of homeless and food insecure students, and the bigger implications on dropout rates to the
Why it’s time to expand the National School Lunch Program to college.
Supporters of ready access to loans say lenders shouldn’t get to pick who gets an education. Critics say we end
The growth of community colleges in the U.S. has improved access to higher education tremendously, especially for students from low-income
Last fall, we set out to investigate the mental health conditions of students at America’s community colleges. We conducted an
Every year about three in 10 college students leave college without a degree.
This is not just an issue of unaffordable debt and no degree. The nation’s economy is at risk as well.
These days most attention is being paid to how much college costs, but there are other broken parts of the
In an effort to better understand why some students from low-income families, for whom the grants are intended, finish college
Appears in: The New York Times Sara Goldrick-RabJanuary 14, 2018 This opinion piece from Sara Goldrick-Rab examines measures being taken
Appears in: The Wall Street Journal Sara Goldrick-RabJanuary 14, 2018 Rising tuition prices at colleges and universities and the relentless
Appears in WBUR Pam Eddinger and Sara Goldrick-RabMay 17, 2018 Thousands of undergraduates, some low-income and others from middle-class families
Appears in: NJ Spotlight Sara Goldrick-Rab May 22, 2018 When they were growing up and entering the job market, many
Appears in: The New York Times Sara Goldrick-RabJune 5, 2018 A collection of commentaries from various thought leaders, including our
Appears in: The Biden Forum Sara Goldrick-Rab November 14, 2019 “Unfortunately, while the new economics of college affects nearly everyone, the
Appears in: Chronicle of Higher Education Sara Goldrick-Rab and Jesse Stommel December 10, 2018 “College has become the place America
Appears in: The Philadelphia Inquirer Sara Goldrick-Rab and Abigail Seldin, for the Inquirer March 14, 2019 “The new admissions scandal

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