Turning Basic Needs Assessments into Action

Turning Basic Needs Assessments into Action

Many college students do their best to get a degree, but struggle to make ends meet in the process. The Hope Center’s latest national data on student basic needs insecurity during the pandemic makes the magnitude of these challenges especially clear. Three in five students don’t have a stable place to live or enough food to eat. More than one in ten have lost a loved one to COVID. Further, these impacts are not evenly felt. Significant gaps have been found between white students and their Black and Latinx peers across many of these alarming statistics.

In response to these widespread issues, many colleges and universities are looking for ways to increase their internal capacity for research, practice, and advocacy that bolsters student basic needs security. In this report, we share tools, lessons from the field, and brief case studies for developing strategies that drive change with data, including:

  • Grounding assessment plans in institutional priorities;
  • Getting the right people at the decision-making table; and
  • Differentiating between short- and long-term action.