Guide to Assessing Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education

Goldrick-Rab, S.,
Richardson, J.,
Kinsley, P.
Published: July, 2018

This guide describes how universities and colleges can perform two types of studies to assess food and housing insecurity among its student populations. The first approach is to conduct surveys to assess basic needs security and to collect data to help support educational success. More specifically, survey data can help determine how many students could benefit from additional supports, such as campus food pantries, emergency aid, crisis housing, or other interventions. The second approach is to conduct opportunistic small-scale experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of programs meant to address basic needs security. Administrators can use the results to support fundraising efforts, guide campus decision-making about key investments, and generate new ideas for how to improve degree completion rates. The results can also help inform conversations about student well-being. (author abstract modified)

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