Report: 19% of California Community College Students Experience Homelessness
The Hope Center recently released the results of a comprehensive survey on food and housing insecurity in California Community Colleges. The survey included responses from more than 40,000 students across 57 community college campuses in California. The results of the survey demonstrate a situation which is a symptom of greater housing issues in the state. According to the survey 60% of students were housing insecure over the past year, and 17% experienced homelessness.
The number of homeless students was even greater for some “vulnerable or disadvantaged groups,” including 31% of black students, 34% of transgender students and 27% of gay and lesbian students lacking stable housing.
One surprising factor which contributes to the number of homeless and housing insecure community college students is that the out of pocket expenses for community college is actually greater than many CSU or UC institutions. For example, out-of-pocket expense for UC Davis amount to around $8,000 annually while community college in that area costs around $19,600 annually.
The LA Times reports that financial aid availability is a top contributor to the greater out-of-pocket expenses for community colleges. While “the total cost of attendance for UC students is 56% higher than for community college students, UC students receive 300% more grant aide.” In dollar terms a UC student receives on average $21,700 more in financial aid than community college students.
State officials have been introducing new policy proposals to attempt and stem this issues. Governor Newsom has proposed to pay for the second year of tuition for full-time community college students in school for the first time. Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) has introduced SB 291 which would give aide to both full and part time students based on cost of living at each campus. Newsoms plan is estimated to cost $40-million while SB 291’s price tag is estimated at $250-million in the first year, growing to $1.5-billion by 2024.
In order to address the situation in the short term Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) has introduced a bill which would allow overnight parking for students in community college parking lots.
Read more via the LA Times HERE