Basic Needs Insecurity: A Barrier to Success
In recent years community and technical colleges students have spoken up and shared their struggles with basic needs insecurity and the impact it is having on their ability to succeed in college. It is clear that a variety of basic needs insecurity are having a negative impact on students, and Covid-19 has only exacerbated the barriers that basic needs insecurity creates. Basic needs insecurity encompasses many facets like hunger, housing, transportation, childcare, and technology access, but all can have an equally negative impact on a students ability to succeed in college.
Connecting Students To Resources
Accessing existing resources and support to address basic needs can be a major challenge for students. The Hope Center #RealCollege During the Pandemic survey found that 19% of students didn’t know about or how to apply for unemployment assistance, 25% did not know about or how to apply for SNAP, and 52% did not know about or how to apply for campus emergency aid. By improving access to information and support for students to apply for these resources at colleges, basic needs insecurity can be reduced as a barrier to students success.
In 2021, LeadMN worked to pass the Basic Needs Barrier Reduction Act, which requires each Minnesota State college and university to create and maintain a basic needs resource webpage and directed Minnesota State to pursue creation of a centralized basic needs online resource web page that will raise awareness of campus, local, state, and national resources available to students. It also requires colleges and universities to use students FAFSA data to identify students potentially eligible for SNAP and share SNAP information with them and provided $1 million in funding to support these provisions.
Minnesota State's supplemental budget request for state funding to create a statewide basic needs resource hub which provides local, state, and national basic needs resource support that students can connect with by phone, text, or internet chat.
College Basic Needs Insecurity News
NH: WMCC Launches Free Meals Program For Students (07/27/2021)
U.S.: Hunger-Free Campus Bills Have New Urgency (03/05/2021)