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March 15, 2017

New survey results out Wednesday show that the rates of hungry and homeless students at community colleges across the country are higher than previously thought. 

The results, published by researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, show that one third of community college students go hungry and 14 percent are homeless.

Those rates are up from 2015, when the same research team surveyed 4,000 community college students in 10 states and found one fifth were without adequate nutrition and 13 percent were homeless.

Today's results come from a much wider survey sample: more than 33,000 students at 70 community colleges in 24 states.

"Not only did we find challenges of food insecurity and housing insecurity at the less expensive community colleges, we found it at more expensive colleges,” said Sociologist Sara Goldrick-Rab, who led the research team. 

“We found it at urban schools and rural schools. It's all over the place," she adds.

Goldrick-Rab says rates of hunger and homelessness are higher this time, in part, because her team surveyed earlier in the term before the most vulnerable students dropped out.

Researchers say - short of long-term solutions - colleges should partner with local homeless shelters and food banks to better address students' needs.

Listen to Goldrick-Rab discuss the survey's results on PRI's The Takeaway.

Earlier: The Number Of Hungry And Homeless Students Rises Along With College Costs

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