As higher education has grown in importance for students and families, it has become much more difficult to afford, particularly those with the fewest financial resources. Often, policy choices have exacerbated the college affordability crisis. Today, three in five college students do not have enough to eat or a safe place to live, and millions lack access to essential resources such as health care, child care, transportation, course materials, and technology.
The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice urges state, federal, tribal, and local policymakers to treat students as humans first by helping them afford the full cost of college. We call for major reforms to public benefits to focus on students’ basic needs, significant increases in funding for public higher education and institutions that serve high percentages of students of color, and more equitable design and implementation of financial aid programs.