Jun 28, 2017 07:29 AM EDT
College is expensive and a person needs to have enough in order to put himself or herself through it. Thus, it is surprising to find out that there are homeless college students. What's more surprising is that their number is increasing.
There's not a lot of research regarding homelessness and education but the few that have been conducted revealed the growing rate of homeless college students.
One study from Temple University in Philadelphia conducted a national survey in 70 community colleges across 24 states and confirmed that 13 to 14 percent of students are homeless.
Sara Goldrick-Rab, the lead researcher of the Temple study, said that this number can be underestimated. She said that the response rate to the survey they gave was just 5 percent. That means the number can even be higher than 14 percent.
Rab said that aside from homelessness, at least 33,000 students revealed that they were food insecure.
Meanwhile, psychology professor Paul Toro was also conducting his own study on the issue at Wayne State University where he's teaching. His study revealed that 5 percent of Wayne students are either homeless or precariously housed.
To put that percentage in perspective, Toro said that Wayne University has 30,000 students which mean around 1,500 students are homeless.
The situation has been very serious because there are students who cannot even find a bed to sleep at night. The reason for this, according to Goldrick-Rab, all the beds are taken by others while these students are still at school.
Why is this happening?
Goldrick-Rab says that these issues are not really discussed because of the stigma that goes with being homeless. Basically, society says that a college education is a solution to poverty. Then, when a college student becomes homeless, it destroys that perception.
Jennifer Carr, one of the homeless college students, said that this stigma needs to change. She also suggested that the issue needs to be discussed more because there are a lot of students who really want to go to college so bad they would do anything.
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