Hunger Grows on College Campuses

Forget the campus meal plan—colleges are opening food pantries to provide for students.

In 2006, UC Berkeley became the first American college campus to offer an organic salad bar prepared by a certified organic kitchen. But as more low-income students attend colleges and universities, many look to cut costs by abandoning meal plans and instead go hungry.
National Journal
Sophie Quinton
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Sophie Quinton
April 14, 2014, 6:43 a.m.

Here’s a roundup of the edu­ca­tion art­icles that caught Next Amer­ica’s eye from April 7 to 14. All ad­dress trends that par­tic­u­larly af­fect minor­ity stu­dents.

Col­lege Stu­dents Can’t Af­ford Food. As col­leges ad­mit more low-in­come stu­dents, they’re see­ing a rise in stu­dents who struggle to af­ford liv­ing ex­penses. As of the winter of 2014, 121 col­lege cam­puses were op­er­at­ing food pan­tries to provide free food to stu­dents who would oth­er­wise go hungry, up from four in 2008. Stu­dents who are ex­per­i­en­cing food in­sec­ur­ity, ad­voc­ates say, are of­ten too em­bar­rassed to ask for help. Wash­ing­ton Post

Sen. Ru­bio Pro­poses Stu­dent Loan Al­tern­at­ive. Sen. Marco Ru­bio has in­tro­duced le­gis­la­tion that would al­low private in­vestors to fin­ance a stu­dent’s col­lege edu­ca­tion in re­turn for a per­cent­age of the stu­dent’s fu­ture earn­ings. “The same way that private in­vestors in­vest in a busi­ness idea, they could in­vest in a per­son,” the Flor­ida Re­pub­lic­an told Re­u­ters. Star­tups like Up­start and Pave already of­fer this type of fin­an­cing. Re­u­ters

Texas Con­siders Adding a Class on Mex­ic­an-Amer­ic­an Stud­ies. Ad­voc­ates say that bring­ing a Mex­ic­an-Amer­ic­an stud­ies elect­ive to high schools statewide will al­low stu­dents to gain a deep­er un­der­stand­ing of Texas’s his­tory; op­pon­ents say the class will bring pro­gress­ive polit­ics in­to the classroom. The Texas Board of Edu­ca­tion’s mem­bers — 10 Re­pub­lic­ans and five Demo­crats — will vote on the pro­pos­al this week. Lati­nos now make up the ma­jor­ity of Texas school­chil­dren. NPR

Look­ing For Anti-Af­firm­at­ive-Ac­tion Plaintiffs. Ed­ward Blum, the leg­al en­tre­pren­eur who found the plaintiffs for the Fish­er v. Uni­versity of Texas Su­preme Court case, is look­ing for more young people will­ing to ac­cuse col­leges of re­ject­ing them be­cause of their race. Blum’s or­gan­iz­a­tion, the Pro­ject on Fair Rep­res­ent­a­tion, has set up web­sites in­vit­ing teen­agers to take leg­al ac­tion against the Uni­versity of North Car­o­lina, the Uni­versity of Wis­con­sin at Madis­on, and Har­vard. New York Times

How Amer­ic­ans Are Sav­ing for Col­lege. Fam­il­ies sav­ing for col­lege have put away an av­er­age of $15,346, ac­cord­ing to the latest na­tion­al sur­vey from Sal­lie Mae and Ipsos. That fig­ure rep­res­ents an in­crease from last year’s sur­vey. Low-in­come fam­il­ies who are sav­ing for col­lege have put away an av­er­age of $3,762; two-thirds of low-in­come fam­il­ies aren’t sav­ing at all. Sal­lie Mae

Where Day Care Costs More Than Col­lege. Fin­an­cial ad­visers say that fam­il­ies should start sav­ing for col­lege when their child is first born. But when should fam­il­ies start sav­ing up for day care? The an­nu­al cost of day care for an in­fant ex­ceeds the av­er­age cost of in-state tu­ition and fees at pub­lic col­leges in 31 states, a re­port from Child Care Aware Amer­ica finds. No won­der a grow­ing num­ber of moth­ers with young chil­dren are choos­ing to leave the work force and stay home. Wash­ing­ton Post

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