The Hope Center


An Open Letter to #RealCollege™ Students

We know that you’re doing everything you can to get a college education. You know it can help you secure a decent job and have a more stable life. It will help your family and your community too.

But times are tough. Even as you work hard every day and do all the right things, filing for financial aid, keeping up with homework, taking care of your own kids, many people are falling short.  One unexpected bill, one too-expensive textbook, or one pay cut—it can be too much.  Falling short on food, or unable to pay the rent, our research finds that millions of students are leaving college without degrees.

That’s unacceptable. When you suffer, we all suffer.  That’s why at the Hope Center, we feel that it’s time to stop being polite and start getting real about what’s happening in college. We created the #RealCollege™ movement to help re-define what it means to support today’s students so they can finish their degrees.  Step #1:  We want your colleges to treat you like humans. 

You deserve better—from your teachers and advisors, from the policymakers who decide what college costs and how much you’ll pay, and from those in your community which control how much rent and food cost. We are fighting for real change for real people like yourself.

On our website, we equip you with resources to join the #RealCollege™ movement. We’ve got the hard data that proves that you aren’t alone in your financial struggles. We have tips and tools that you can use, and share with your colleges, to change how things work on your campus.  We want to help you advocate and learn how to create policy change, and so we have a partnership with Rise.  We also host an annual national conference where we will welcome you to come to learn, share, and get inspired to act.

Help is a tool and hope is a strategy. We support you in feeling hopeful about your future, and all that it can bring. We urge you to seek help anywhere and everywhere you can—it’s how students make their way through this badly broken system of higher education. We’ve got your back. You are not alone. You’re a #RealCollege™ student and you are worth it.

The Hope Center team