The Hope Center Student Basic Needs Survey


From 2015 – 2021, The Hope Center administered the #RealCollege Survey, the nation’s largest, most well-established assessment of students’ basic needs. More than 500 colleges and universities participated and over 500,000 students completed the #RealCollege survey. Starting in January 2023, The Hope Center will field the Student Basic Needs Survey to raise awareness about the types and prevalence of student basic needs on college campuses and to provide actionable data that our partners can use to advocate for students and improve services. The survey builds upon its predecessor, the #RealCollege Survey, with expanded content.

Survey topics include:

  • Basic needs insecurity (food, housing, homelessness)
  • Additional student needs and experiences (e.g., mental health, caregiving, technology and transportation)
  • Utilization of supports, barriers to utilization of supports
  • Demographics 

The Hope Center’s Hope Impact Partnerships (HIP) program is how colleges and universities can participate in the Hope Center Student Basic Needs Survey as well as collaborate with Hope Center staff and other higher education partners to not only identify students’ basic needs, but develop strategies and actions to address them. The Hope Impact Partnership’s three HIP partnership levels range from survey-only to bundled research, training, and coaching options. Information about enrolling in HIP can be found here.

To learn more about findings from prior #RealCollege surveys (2015 – 2021), see our publications page.