Foster Success in Indianapolis and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education surveyed Indiana public colleges and universities to gather information about how campuses support students facing housing and food insecurity. According to the Housing Instability and Food Insecurity report, colleges and universities provide a variety of resources for students, though data on housing and food insecurity remains lacking.
The resources include food pantries, emergency funds and on-campus housing during breaks
The survey report was funded through a grant from United Way of Central Indiana. Representatives from 27 unique campuses responded, about 76% of Indiana public colleges and universities.
The report found that while most campuses that responded have resources in place to assist students experiencing food or housing insecurity, there is a “significant lack of high-quality data capturing the prevalence of student food and housing insecurity.”
“Food and housing insecurity among college students is likely more prevalent than we know because our study revealed that the information isn’t being systematically collected around the state,” said Foster Success President Dr. Maggie Stevens. “Hopefully, this study will raise awareness of the issue and lead to better collection of data and communication to students about the resources and support that are available to them.”
According to the report, more than three-quarters of responding campuses have an on-campus food pantry available to students. Of those campuses, less than half have restrictions on student access to the pantries, with the most common restriction being the need to set appointments or request access. Five campuses provide emergency relief funds for food.
“The Commission’s approach to educational equity includes a commitment to providing greater wraparound services to Indiana’s low-income and first-generation students,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “This includes making food, housing and emergency resources readily available on our higher education campuses.”
You can read the full Housing Instability Stability and Food Insecurity survey report by clicking here.