- One of the reasons the issue hasn't received great attention may stem from a misperception about what today's students are really like, says Katharine Broton, an assistant professor in educational policy and leadership studies at the University of Iowa, who has published research on food and housing insecurity in colleges.
Many students don't fit the stereotype of someone who attends a four-year institution full-time and doesn't have a job, Broton says. Rather, about 40 percent of students these days are working in addition to going to school. And nearly 1 in 4 are parents.
Adding to the stress is the fact that while tuition and fees continue to rise, financial aid hasn't kept pace. In the 2017-18 school year, after accounting for grant aid and tax benefits, full-time students at two-year colleges had to cover $8,070 in room and board, on average, while those at four-year public institutions faced an average $14,940 in room, board, tuition and fees.