Now in its fifth year, the #RealCollege survey is the nation’s largest, longest-running annual assessment of
basic needs insecurity among college students. In the absence of any federal data on the subject, the Hope
Center for College, Community, and Justice created the survey to evaluate access to affordable food and
housing among college students.
This report describes the results of the #RealCollege survey administered in the fall of 2019 at 227 two- and
four-year institutions across the United States. It also considers the cumulative evidence on campus basic
needs insecurity amassed over five surveys from 2015 to 2019. The lessons the Hope Center has learned are
drawn from over 330,000 students attending 411 colleges and universities.
In 2019 the Hope Center expanded the exploration of basic needs to also include transportation, childcare,
stress, and mental health. Special briefs on each of those issues will be released under separate cover, along
with additional new reports on basic needs insecurity among student-athletes, faculty and staff, and students
attending Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs).

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Publication Date: February 01, 2020
Published By: The Hope Center, Christine Baker-Smith, Vanessa Coca, Sara Goldrick-Rab, Elizabeth Looker, Brianna Richardson, and Tiffani Williams