Wayne State University Gets Funds To Help Homeless College Students


Wayne State University has received a $200,000 grant last June from the Detroit-based McGregor Fund. The money is intended to help homeless college students with short- and long-term solutions to the problem.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Wayne State University researchers completed an in-depth study of college students who are homeless or "precariously housed," meaning they are bouncing from one bed to another. The study was finished last May.

The researchers posted queries on campus websites and offered $20 or extra college credit as incentives for an hour or two of interview. They were able to connect with 25 students who are homeless and 25 others who were "precariously housed" at some time in the last year.

"We found one guy who lived all year in a homeless shelter," Paul Toro, a WSU professor of psychology, said. "Many of them are couch-surfing - going from one home to another, staying with a family member, getting kicked out, maybe staying with a friend, getting kicked out of there."

Despite the challenges that these college students are facing, the participants of the study were doing well in school. They were "stressed out, and they didn't feel good about their school performance" but their grade point average was just as good as those students who have stable residences.

According to USA Today, an estimated $50,000 of the grant will be used to support a three-year-old program named HIGH (Helping Individuals Go Higher). This is a program of WSU President Roy Wilson's wife, Jacqueline Wilson, to help students from this demographic.

"Our overall goal is that no student has to give up their chance of getting a higher education because of the cost of housing or other expenses of college," she said. Wayne State University has also decided to use part of its future dormitory rooms for students who can't afford to live inside the campus.

WSU is planning to create an 800-unit student housing complex in 2017. 10 of its units would be allocated to the institution's HIGH program students.

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