In the series, COVID-19 on Campus, we break down concerns voiced by over 900 college students across the nation through our pandemic survey.
From health to fiscal impact, college students have genuine concerns about how COVID-19 is affecting their higher education experience. In this edition, we discuss students’ housing concerns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and how these challenges can be minimized as we adjust to our new ‘normal’.
The importance of student housing
A college campus is a microcosm of society. At any time, you can find a variety of school and life activities happening from attending a lecture to participating in a campus organization. A college campus truly is a world of its own. Most importantly, the college campus and the overall experience is designed to provide and support more than just coursework.
An essential part of this experience is housing. Whether it’s an on-campus dorm room or an off-campus apartment, housing is a basic necessity. Student housing provides students a place of shelter and refuge. It also serves as a critical element of how students connect with one another. With the onset of COVID-19, student housing was dramatically affected as higher education institutions were forced to temporarily close campuses and operate remotely. Many campuses closed residence halls and other on-campus housing.
The pandemic’s impact on student housing
Kaleidoscope surveyed more than 900 students nationwide to better understand the impact of the pandemic on their housing situations. Nearly 30% reported that they know someone who is experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness, while slightly over 19% were unsure whether the people they know face these challenges or not.
The global pandemic has exposed an enormous amount of social inequities across the United States. As our country continues to battle with record unemployment and financial hardships, housing insecurity has remained a major concern for numerous college students. Unfortunately, housing insecurity is not a recent development. For years, students have struggled to find access to adequate, affordable housing. Homelessness among college students was an issue before the pandemic and economic conditions will likely exacerbate the problem.
So, what’s the solution?
During these unprecedented times, housing insecurity requires creative solutions. Colleges must have adequate funding and support to deploy effective solutions. The need for more partnerships between colleges and organizations is critical to help mitigate some of the challenges. No one should have to worry about where they are going to sleep at night or how they afford their next meal.
Scholarships, grants, and other awards programs offer an opportunity to support students as they look to fund housing during their college years. And the need has never been higher. In this time of uncertainty, the need to support students should be top of mind.
How can we help?
Through our strategic work, our goal is to help both the sponsors and scholars navigate the scholarship and grant process. We offer comprehensive solutions for both the students seeking scholarships and grants as well as individuals organizations looking to design, administer and host scholarship and grant programs.