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HOPE releases 2018 report on national survey of basic needs insecurity

The Wisconsin HOPE Lab released Still Hungry and Homeless in College, its third report assessing food and housing insecurity among college students across states. This year's study surveyed more than 43,000 students at 66 community colleges and universities in 20 states and the District of Columbia. The report finds that 36% of university students and 43% of community college students were food insecure in the last 30 days. In the past year, 36% of university students and 46% of community college students were housing insecure, and 9% of university students and 12% of community college students were homeless.

Read The Washington Post article or listen to Sara Goldrick-Rab on NPR's All Things Considered.

Here's a sampling of press reports:

Close to home: New study quantifies hunger and homelessness in higher education
College Times, May 18, 2018

Studying while hungry, homeless: Educators float solutions
Public News Service, May 14, 2018

State survey shows hunger, homelessness a common problem at public colleges, May 11, 2018

Many public college students in Massachusetts go hungry while trying to earn degrees
Boston Globe, May 10, 2018

Food scarcity on campus affects learning in the classroom
Scholarly Teacher, May 9, 2018

Hunger on college campus: New reports show more than a third go hungry
WECT, May 3, 2018

Where college students can find emergency money and housing
Seattle Times, May 1, 2018

College students nationwide are starving and need to choose between textbooks and food
The College Voice, May 1, 2018

Hungry and homeless at GSU
Governors State University, April 30, 2018

"A hidden crisis": Fighting food insecurity on college campuses
WABI, April 26, 2018

Rising number of college students struggle with hunger, homelessness
The Daily Free Press, April 24, 2018

Students face food insecurity
The Signal, April 24, 2018

Starving artists? More like starving college students
College Media Network, April 20, 2018

Op: College and homelessness shouldn't go together
Western Herald, April 20, 2018

Hunger, homelessness rising among college students
Boston Herald, April 19, 2018

Duke Special Report: A look at food insecurity on college campuses and DU's efforts
The Duquesne Duke, April 19, 2018

Free food for thought: Campus food pantries proliferate
The New York Times and The Associated Press, April 18, 2018

Hungry and homeless in college
LaSalle News Tribune, April 18, 2018

New report highlights food and housing needs for LGBTQ college students
Human Rights Campaign, April 17, 2018

No, one third of American college students aren't homeless and hungry
The Federalist, April 17, 2018

Textbooks or lunch? College students struggle for daily meals
The Columbia Chronicle, April 16, 2018

College students face housing and food insecurity
National Low Income Housing Coalition, April 16, 2018

Hunger and homelessness in college
WPR, April 16, 2018

Food insecurity is a serious problem
Indiana Daily Student, April 16, 2018

Student government column
The Tartan, April 15, 2018

Yes, it's possible to be overweight and malnourished
The Outline, April 13, 2018

The truth about bisexual college students and hunger
HuffPost, April 13, 2018

La crisis oculta de los estudiantes universitarios en Estados Unidos que pasan hambre y no tienen donde dormir
BBC, April 12, 2018

Tisch plans to open a food pantry, a longtime goal of campus activists
NYU Local, April 12, 2018

Third of college students go hungry or lack housing, Temple researcher finds
WHYY, April 10, 2018

Thousands of students go hungry every day
The Charleston Chronicle, April 10, 2018

College students in the community struggling to have food and a home, April 10, 2018

UMass Dining and UMass administrators: Join us at the Student Food Security Forum
The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, April 9, 2018

The University of Iowa needs homeless student support
The Daily Iowan, April 9, 2018

KU Student Senate launches emergency fund to ease burden on cash-strapped peers
Lawrence Journal-World, April 9, 2018

College students can't always afford to eat each day
ABC10, April 9, 2018

Pantry helps feed college students, staff
Record-Courier, April 7, 2018

More than 30 percent of students struggle with basic needs, new study shows
WOAI, April 7, 2018

This hidden hunger problem affects 36 percent of college students
The Student Loan Report, April 6, 2018

A third of college students face food and housing inecurity
Teen Vogue, April 5, 2018

Think college students are privileged? Nearly a third are hungry and homeless
Kansas City Star, April 5, 2018

Survey: Hunger among college students on the rise
Campus Safety Magazine, April 5, 2018

Hunger and homeless are widespread among college students, study finds
WMOT, April 4, 2018

Are students starving? Study finds widespread hunger in U.S. colleges
Newsweek, April 4, 2018

Still hungry
Inside Higher Ed, April 4, 2019

College students are going hungry - and researchers believe it's a growing problem
Bustle, April 3, 2018

Report: More than a third of college students don't have enough food, money for rent
Allentown Morning Call, April 4, 2018

Snowflakes, safe spaces mean nothing when college students can't eat
Salon, April 3, 2018

Report: More than one third of college students don't have enough food
U.S. News & World Report, April 3, 2018

The hidden crisis on college campuses: 36 percent of students don't have enough to eat
The Seattle Times, April 3, 2018

A third of college students don't have enough to eat, survey shows
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 3, 2018

The hidden crisis on college campuses: 36 percent of students don't have enough to eat
San Francisco Chronicle, April 3, 2018

America's college students are struggling to find food and housing
MarketWatch, April 3, 2018

Study: 36 percent of college students lack food, secure housing
UPI, April 3, 2018

A hidden crisis on college campuses: 36 percent of students don't have enough to eat
The Virginian-Pilot, April 3, 2018

Over a third of college students don't have enough to eat
Consumer Affairs, April 3, 2018

Food insecurity does not go on spring break, neither should quest for solutions
The Badger Herald, April 3, 2018

Report: More than a third of college students face food, housing insecurity
Daily Beast, April 3, 2018

Many college students struggle for food and housing
College Media Network, April 3, 2018

Temple-led survey" 36 percent of college students don't get enough to eat, April 3, 2018

A third of college students don't have enough to eat, survey shows
Herald & Review, April 3, 2018

Survey: Many college students don't have enough to eat
WCTV Tallahassee, April 3, 2018

Study finds hunger prevalent on college campuses
WPTV, April 3, 2018

More than one-third of college students struggle with food and housing insecurity, study finds
Common Dreams, April 3, 2018

New HOPE housing and food insecurity research featured in Washington Post

HOPE research reveals one-third of college students regularly skip meals and lack stable housing in a new Washington Post feature. Read the full report here.

HOPE Founder argues for tuition-free college in Wall Street Journal op-ed

In a recent WSJ editorial, Sara Goldrick-Rab argues that the taxpayer costs associated with providing tuition-free funding are an investment that will pay off in higher employment, tax revenues, and healthier communities.

Milwaukee's Shepherd Express interviews HOPE Founder

College costs have risen and financial aid has not kept up, says Sara Goldrick-Rab in an interview with Shepherd Express. She also discusses solutions such as fixing the FAFSA, emergency aid, and free college programs.

HOPE Founder discusses basic needs insecurity in The New York Times

At a time when an estimated half of all college students struggle with getting enough food to eat, Sara Goldrick-Rab writes in The New York Times that major changes need to be made in how we think about college expenses - and how they are funded. 

HOPE Founder wins Grawemeyer Award

Sara Goldrick-Rab received the University of Louisville's Grawemeyer Award and its $100,000 prize for her book Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream. She has donated the entire $100,000 to the FAST Fund (see Washington Post coverage), which college faculty use to provide emergency financial aid to students in need. She plans to match all donations to the FAST Fund at a 3-1 ratio until all $100,000 has been spent. Make a donation to the FAST Fund.

How basic needs security among college students impacts the economy

A new op-ed in The Gazette introduces readers to the challenges facing some college students and why those students' success is important for tomorrow's workforce. The author discusses the recent Real College conference, two HOPE Lab reports, and potential solutions for increasing student access to food and housing.

HOPE Founder discusses student poverty in new Talk Poverty op-ed

In a new op-ed, Sara Goldrick-Rab shared several years of HOPE research into basic needs insecurity among college students and efforts to address those needs, including Swipe Out Hunger and the College and University Food Bank Alliance (which was co-founded by HOPE Affiliate Clare Cady). To learn about the challenges students who are homeless face, see this profile of a Ramapo College senior.

Second Real College conference attracts 400 to address basic needs insecurity

On October 23-24, over 400 practitioners, policymakers, and researchers gathered in Philadelphia to discuss strategies for addressing and learning more about basic needs insecurity among college students. Participants from 108 colleges and universities attended. Check out this Storify we made describing the event and these articles attendees wrote summarizing many of the conference themes.

HOPE study leads to institutional efforts to help homeless, hungry students

The Wisconsin HOPE Lab's recent report, Hungry and Homeless in College, was written to spur action to address basic needs insecurity on college campuses. Recently, both Mt. Hood Community College and Wor-Wic Community College have begun new programs to help hungry students.

HOPE Founder at forefront of movement to include food and housing information on syllabi

A new article in MarketWatch describes Sara Goldrick-Rab's recent efforts to encourage college faculty to include basic needs information on their class syllabi. Students in need of food and housing help often don't know how to find resources and are too embarrassed to use the them. Including the information on a syllabus helps students identify resources and can reduce associated stigma.

HOPE Founder and Affiliate weigh in on NPR discussion of tuition trends

In a new NPR article focusing on a potential slowdown in college tuition increases, HOPE Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab and Affiliate Robert Kelchen share their viewpoints on whether a trend toward slowing price growth is temporary or long-term.

HOPE Founder calls attention to students' lack of basic needs security

In a recent piece for the Association of Community College Trustees, HOPE Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab describes the Lab's recent survey of basic needs insecurity at 70 community colleges and provides recommendations for colleges looking to address student needs. Read more.

The Chronicle covers HOPE Lab work on living cost calculations

A new article in The Chronicle of Higher Education covers a HOPE Lab publication focusing on colleges' calculations of living costs and their impact on students. The paper, published in The Journal of Higher Education, compares colleges' calculations of living allowances to other measures of county-level living expenses. Although colleges' calculations of living costs impact students' eligibility for federal financial aid, the authors find that almost half of all colleges' estimates differ by at least 20% from the authors' measures. Read more.

HOPE Founder, Affiliate discuss food insecurity in Pacific Standard

A new article in Pacific Standard sheds light on the challenges faced by food insecure college students and current barriers to alleviate those challenges. HOPE Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab and Affiliate Clare Cady discuss impacts of food insecurity on academic success, stigma felt by hungry students, and current rules preventing students from receiving SNAP benefits and other government aid. Read more.

HOPE Founder, U.S. Senator Durbin weigh in on student loans

Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab joined The 21st to discuss issues surrounding student loans, debt, and the impacts of declining affordability. Senator Dick Durbin led off the segment to talk about federal policies impacting student debt. Listen here.

HOPE Founder connects basic needs security and academic success

In an article for the Association of Community College Trustees, Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab describes the results of the Lab's recent survey of 70 community colleges, explains how food and housing insecurity impacts college students' academic achievement, and suggests several ways that colleges and policymakers can help students. One suggestion is an expansion of the National School Lunch Program to higher education. Read more.

HOPE Founder appears on two recent podcasts

Sara Goldrick-Rab recently appeared on two podcasts focusing on affordability. In the first, for EdSurge on Air, she answered questions about increasing college costs, how price impacts both access and completion, and recent innovations in financial aid. The second, for Inversant, features a discussion about the rising price of college and why currently available financial aid is not enough for many students. Listen here or here.

HOPE informs New York Times Magazine article on free tuition programs

The New York Times Magazine recently included an article on free college featuring HOPE Lab Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab. The article underlines the importance of community colleges for economic mobility and how free tuition programs could help reverse the tide of decreasing college affordability. Read more.

HOPE Founder focuses on basic needs security at the ASU GSV Summit

Sara Goldrick-Rab recently spoke at the ASU GSV Summit in San Diego. She focused on college students' experiences with hunger and homelessness and what we can do to address those challenges. See her talk.

HOPE researchers win Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award from AERA

The American Educational Research Association awarded the Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award to HOPE Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab, HOPE graduate student Katharine Broton, and former HOPE graduate student James Benson, for their paper, "Working for College: The Causal Impacts of Financial Grants on Undergraduate Employment." The award is given annually for an outstanding article published in an AERA-sponsored journal.

HOPE Founder discusses college affordability on World Views

Sara Goldrick-Rab described how the demographics of college students have changed since the 1960s while at the same time states have been progressively appropriating less to higher education. In many cases, public universities are recruiting international students, who pay higher tuition, to compensate for decreases in state funding. Read the full transcript.

HOPE Lab announces 2017 food and housing insecurity survey

Following on the success of Hungry and Homeless in College, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab will undertake a similar effort in fall 2017. The new survey will include 2-year and 4-year colleges. To read more here or here.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab releases new report on hunger and homelessness in college

The Wisconsin HOPE Lab, in collaboration with the Association of Community College Trustees, released Hungry and Homeless in College,a new research report on food and housing insecurity among students at 70 community colleges in 24 states. The report reveals that one in three community college students are hungry and 14% are homeless. 

Dr. Pam Eddinger, President of Bunker Hill Community College, had this to say about the survey:

"Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine that 45% of my students are food insecure and 14% homeless.  The report gave me specific info about my college, and nationwide information about the scope of the problem."

If your college is interested in participating in a similar food and housing insecurity survey in fall 2017, please contact the Wisconsin HOPE Lab at

Here's a sampling of press reports:

Colleges looking to fill food pantry cupboards
The East County Californian, August 23, 2017

Too many community college students are hungry or homeless
KY Policy Blog, August 10, 2017

Homeless and hungry in college" Students find on-campus support to help with basic needs
Insight into Diversity, July 27, 2017

Report: Many Latino college students are homeless, hungry
Salud Today, July 24, 2017

5 important stories that have nothing to do with Trump's tweets
PBS, July 5, 2017

Up to 14% of community college students are homeless, new study says
USA Today, June 30, 2017

One of five Los Angeles community college students is homeless
Academe Blog, June 30, 2017

1 in 5 L.A. community college students is homeless, survey finds
Los Angeles Times, June 29, 2017

Homelessness affects 1 in 5 students at L.A. community colleges, says survey
LAist, June 29, 2017

Thousands of college students may be homeless or precariously housed, studies suggest
Washington Post, June 25, 2017

Organizations intensify efforts to help homeless students
Diverse Issues in Higher Education, June 12, 2017

Food insecurity on campus: Local pantry helps students as awareness grows
KBIA Radio, June 9, 2017

Hunger, homelessness eat away at students
Rochester Post Bulletin, May 12, 2017

Changing demographics force colleges to adapt
Rochester Post Bulletin, May 12, 2017

Surrounded by plenty, many college students are going hungry
Iowa Public Radio, April 21, 2017

How to survive as a homeless or hungry college student, April 11, 2017

Making the grade, missing meals: Community college students go hungry
Cronkite News, April 11, 2017

Behind the problem of student homelessness
New York Times, April 7, 2017

This community college president thinks no student should go hungry
WGBH Boston Public Radio, April 3, 2017

The 24 million person problem
Off-Kilter Podcast, March 31, 2017

One in eight community college students in the United States are homeless
World Socialist Web Site, March 31, 2017

Hungry and homeless in college
San Diego Free Press, March 27, 2017

California boosts efforts to stamp out hunger on campus
Christian Science Monitor, March 21, 2017

The poverty trap: Community college students face hunger and homelessness
Ebb Tide (Shoreline Community College (WA) student newspaper), March 20, 2017

Ten of Trump budget's cruelest cuts
CNN, March 17, 2017

Wis. study: Community college students struggling to afford basics
News3 (Madison), March 17, 2017

California's ambitious plans to make community college free
Education Dive, March 16, 2017

Wisconsin HOPE Lab calls on technical colleges to help their hungry, homeless students
The Capital Times, March 16, 2017

Community college students face hunger and homelessness, new study finds
Marketplace, March 16, 2017

Mesa program Empty Bowls raises money to fight hunger
KJZZ (Rio Salado and Maricopa Community College Radio), March 16, 2017

A striking number of college students are hungry and homeless
The Atlantic, March 15, 2017

Scholars: Student hunger, homelessness underrecognized 
Diverse, March 15, 2017

National survey shows high rates of hungry and homeless community college students
NPR, March 15, 2017

The disturbing trend of homeless community college students 
Washington Post, March 15, 2017

Hungry and unable to complete
Inside Higher Ed, March 15, 2017

Hunger among community college students
Politico Morning Education, March 15, 2017

Half of community college students struggle to find housing and healthy food
MarketWatch, March 15, 2017

Study: Half or more of community college students struggle to afford food, housing
The Hechinger Report, March 15, 2017

Community college students struggle with hunger, homelessness
WNYC's The Takeaway, March 15, 2017

Homelessness and hunger a fact at community colleges, study finds
Philadelphia Inquirer, March 15, 2017

MAZON calls for holistic solutions to address growing food insecurity among college students
MAZON, March 15, 2017

HOPE Founder discusses latest HOPE project, book, in New York Times

A recent NYT describes Sara Goldrick-Rab's new book and the HOPE Lab's latest project, an IES-funded study of completion grants at multiple universities across the country. The study, a partnership between HOPE, Temple University, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, will use a randomized controlled trial to estimate the impacts of completion grants on student success. Read more.

Goldrick-Rab delivers keynote at SXSWedu

On March 7, Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab delivered the keynote address at SXSWedu. She spoke about college affordability and her new book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream. Watch her talk or read more.

Inside Higher Ed covers HOPE Founder at Raritan Valley Community College

On February 28, Sara Goldrick-Rab gave a book talk at Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey. Inside Higher Ed shared several college affordability facts from her talk and wrote, "There's something encouraging about seeing people tell recognizable truth. That's social science at its best." Read more.

HOPE Founder testifies to New Jersey State Legislature regarding student hunger

On Monday, February 27, Sara Goldrick-Rab testified before the Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee regarding food insecurity in New Jersey higher education. She presented results from two Wisconsin HOPE Lab studies and presented multiple policy recommendations for the state to pursue. Read her testimony.

HOPE Founder discusses the Trump administration's higher education policy

Sara Goldrick-Rab appeared on WHYY Public Media to discuss universal free college, oversight of for-profit colleges, and college affordability. Listen here.

HOPE to investigate impact of student grants on degree completion

The Wisconsin HOPE Lab is part of a five-year, $3.98 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to investigate whether small-dollar completion grants help students complete their degrees. HOPE will join researchers at Temple University and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) to study completion grants at multiple APLU institutions. Read more.

HOPE founder speaks about college affordability on Smart Talk

Sara Goldrick-Rab appeared on WITF to discuss college affordability in Pennsylvania and her new book, Paying the Price. Listen here.

The New Republic reviews Paying the Price

In a recent review, The New Republic provides an overview of Paying the Price and recounts several of the book's policy solutions, including "first degree free," an effort to provide free public education to students pursuing 2-year and 4-year degrees. Read more.

Higher Education Strategy names Paying the Price its book of the year

Alex Usher writes, "Goldrick-Rab wrote a page-turning best-seller about student aid. I've been in the student aid business a long time and never thought this possible. It's a great book: read it." Read more.

HOPE Founder discusses new book on WAMC

HOPE Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab spoke about Paying the Price with host Joe Donahue of WAMC - Northeast Public Radio. Listen here. Read an excerpt of the book on Timeline.

Paying the Price appears on multiple "Best of 2016" lists

HOPE Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab's recent book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream, was included on two prominent lists of the best books of 2016. The book was first runner up in Inside Higher Ed's #IHEreaderschoice award. In addition, John Warner of The Chicago Tribune included the book in his list of "Books About Education You Should Read If You Care About Education."

Paying the Price featured in Metro

Sara Goldrick-Rab's new book Paying the Price was featured on the front page of Metro, a free New York City newspaper that reaches over 1.5 million readers weekly. In the article, Sara discusses college students' struggles despite their hard work. Read more.

Goldrick-Rab's book covered in the Chicago Tribune

"Paying the Price is a detailed look at shortsighted and insufficient policies and the specific havoc they wreak on specific students," according to the Chicago Tribune. The article compares Paying the Price to Christopher Newfield's new book, The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them, that explores how commercialization in higher education has led to decline. Read more.

HOPE Founder featured in interview with Mother Jones

Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab talks about her new book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream in an interview with Mother Jones. Read more.

HOPE Founder discusses free public higher education at SUNYCON2016

Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab spoke at the State University of New York's 2016 Annual Conference. She discussed free college with Wall Street Journal higher education reporter Melissa Korn and Matthew Chingos of the Brookings Institution. Watch here.

Goldrick-Rab discusses new book with Wharton Business Radio

Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab spoke to Dan Loney about undergraduate college affordability, the limitations of our current financial aid system, and undergraduate food and housing insecurity. Listen here.

HOPE Founder discusses college prices, costs, and student debt with The American Prospect.

In a wide-ranging interview with The American Prospect, HOPE Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab discusses why the price of college is increasing while the cost of providing a college education has remained steady. Read more.

Glamour article featuring HOPE Lab founder recommends strategies for students hoping to pay for college

In a new article in Glamour, Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab shares several strategies for students struggling to afford college. She recommends not trusting colleges' sticker prices, applying for financial aid early, and, to the extend possible, limiting outside work. Read more.

HOPE Founder appears on CSPAN's After Words

Sara Goldrick-Rab was featured in an episode of CSPAN's After Words. She spoke about college affordability and her new book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream. Watch here.

Pacific Standard publishes interview with HOPE Founder

Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab discussed her new book, college affordability, and the student debt crisis in a new interview with Pacific Standard. Read the interview.

HOPE affiliate Schudde releases working paper on the impacts of SAP on academic achievement

Wisconsin HOPE Lab Affiliate Lauren Schudde and co-author Judith Scott-Clayton recently released an NBER working paper describing the impacts of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements on persistence, credit attainment, and grades. They find that failure to meet SAP requirements reduces credit attainment but improves grades for students who remain enrolled. In addition, SAP standards increase inequality by "pushing out low-performing, low-income students faster than their equally low-performing, but higher-income peers. Read the paper.

Founder Goldrick-Rab's book tour begins

Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab began her book tour with an appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, an article in The Atlantic, and events at the Milwaukee Public Library and A Room of One's Own Book Store in Madison. She also appeared on WISC-TV News 3. The book and the tour were covered by The Capital Times and The Daily Cardinal. Sara also contributed a post to Urban University linking the book's findings to related HOPE Lab work on undergraduate food and housing insecurity. Tour dates.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founder to appear on The Daily Show

On Tuesday, September 27th, at 11/10c, Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab will appear on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to talk about her new book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream. Read The Capital Times article.

Capital Times features Goldrick-Rab's new book

A recent article in the Capital Times focused on Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab's new book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream. The book uses interviews and data from Wisconsin students to show how the current financial aid system fails American students and to suggest steps that will help ensure that every student has a chance for postsecondary success. Read more. Buy the book.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab and HUD release guidebook to help colleges address student housing issues

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Policy Development and Research and the Wisconsin HOPE Lab have co-authored this guidebook to assist institutions of higher education as they consider, evaluate, implement, and scale up programs and policies to support students' learning, persistence, and completion. Drawing on examples from institutions nationwide, this guidebook describes strategies that colleges and universities can implement in order to support students facing housing insecurity and challenges covering other living costs, such as food and childcare. Read the guidebook.

Politico Cover

Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab named to the Politico 50

Each year, Politico creates a list of the 50 most influential "thinkers, doers, and dreamers." Sara Goldrick-Rab was named to the 2016 list for her efforts to make college affordable, including her new book Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream. Read more.

Kresge awards the Wisconsin HOPE Lab grant to better understand undergraduate food and housing insecurity

The Kresge Foundation's Education and Human Services Programs have awarded the Wisconsin HOPE Lab $200,000 to collect data on undergraduate material need from a national sample of community colleges. The Lab and the Association of Community College (ACCT) Trustees have partnered to identify participating schools. The HOPE Lab and ACCT will disseminate the results of the survey in spring 2017. Read the press release.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab releases website and convening summary focusing on undergraduate material need

In April 2016 the Wisconsin HOPE Lab hosted 150 practitioners, policymakers, and researchers at Milwaukee Area Technical College to learn how to effectively address undergraduate food and housing insecurity and increase college completion for low-income students. Read the convening summary here. To follow up on this effort, the Lab has created a website including all videos, presentations, and other materials from the convening as well as food and housing resources for college students and institutions and related readings on the topic. Go to the website.

In Chronicle op-ed, Founder Goldrick-Rab shares what colleges can do to help low-income students

Writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab describes the challenges low-income students face in higher education and how colleges can help these students succeed. Read more.

Founder Goldrick-Rab contributes to radio program on student hunger

Sara Goldrick-Rab appeared on the radio program 21st Show to speak about student hunger and approaches to addressing it, including food pantries. Listen here.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab graduate student joins podcast on college food insecurity

Katharine Broton appeared on an American Radio Works podcast focused on hungry college students. She described results from the Lab's Hungry to Learn report and efforts to address student hunger. Listen here.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab research featured prominently in New York Times article focusing on living costs

Colleges' estimates of living costs help set the limit on financial aid students can receive. These estimates are often wrong, however, and colleges located blocks from each other arrive at vastly different figures. One solution: the U.S. Department of Education should "develop a consistent method to calculate living costs." Read more.

HOPE Lab report results in food pantry at Georgia Highlands College

Georgia Highlands College (GHC) opened the Charger Food Pantry in response to the Wisconsin HOPE Lab's Hungry to Learn report showing widespread food and housing insecurity among college students. The pantry opened in March and partners with a local food distribution center to provide healthy food to students at five GHC campuses. Read more.

Congressional Bill to limit FAFSA re-filing based on Wisconsin HOPE Lab work

On July 15, 2016, Education and Workforce Committee Ranking Member Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03) introduced H.R. 5784, the File Once FAFSA Act of 2016. The legislation simplifies the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for low-income students by requiring dependent Pell Grant recipients to file just once before going to college and forgo burdensome refiling in subsequent years. If enacted, the bill would make it easier for nearly 3.5 million low-income students to obtain critical Pell Grant Aid and access and complete college. Read more here and here.

Costs and Productivity in Higher Education Convening Summary

On October 15th and 16th, 2015, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab hosted a workshop on Costs and Productivity in Higher Education. Researchers from across the country came together to discuss reframing current discussions of higher education costs to focus on actual resources used and how those resources impact are linked to desired outcomes. Read the workshop summary here.

Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab featured in new Slate podcast

Slate's newest podcast, The United States of Debt, follows people whose lives have been impacted by debt, including student debt. Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab is featured in several of these podcasts. Listen to the podcast.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab awarded IES grant for nudging study

The Wisconsin HOPE Lab is part of a $2.175 million dollar grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to study whether information on FAFSA renewal and Satisfactory Academic Progress, delivered via text message, helps students persist in school and eventually graduate. Read more.

National College Access Network features HOPE research on timing of FAFSA applications

NCAN cited HOPE's newly released working paper showing that nearly half of Pell grant recipients file their FAFSA's after their states' aid deadlines, disqualifying them for state grant money. To encourage students to file on time, states should align their deadlines with the federal deadline or use behaviorally informed messages to alert students and their parents to aid deadlines. Read more.

California State University to host statewide food and housing insecurity conference

The CSU Conference to Best Meet the Needs of Housing Displaced and Food Insecure Students will take place June 20-21 for over 200 participants from CSU's 23 campuses. Wisconsin HOPE Lab Affiliate Clare Cady will deliver a keynote address. Learn more.

WNYC's The Takeaway airs report on HOPE's Too Distressed to Learn

As part of their Community College Challenge, WNYC produced a segment using recent Wisconsin HOPE Lab research on mental health among college students. Listen here.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab researcher Drew Anderson comments on student loans in WalletHub

In a feature on U.S. cities with the most student loan debt, HOPE Lab postdoctoral researcher Drew Anderson comments on what students should consider when applying for loans, the steps students should take if they cannot afford loan payments, and potential impacts that student loan debt may have on the U.S. economy. Read more.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab brief results in amendment to the federal Child Nutrition Act

At the Wisconsin HOPE Lab we are deeply concerned with the growing body of evidence that food insecurity is hampering the ability of undergraduates to succeed in college. We’ve written widely on this, and earlier this week issued a short policy brief (abbreviated from our earlier, longer release) that together with the Scholars Strategy Network our Founding Director Sara Goldrick-Rab took to Capitol Hill.  She had the opportunity to discuss it with Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) and his team.

Today Representative Scott introduced an amendment to the Child Nutrition Act that reiterated the Wisconsin HOPE Lab's call to expand the National School Lunch Program to higher education. As planned, after getting the issue on the record, he withdrew the amendment saying he will pursue it in the Higher Education Act.

This is an historic moment in the national effort to create more equitable opportunities for college attainment. We are deeply proud to be part of this effort.

View video of Representative Scott introducing HOPE Lab research into the Congressional Record (forward to the 3:25 mark).

Two new experimental studies from the Wisconsin HOPE Lab demonstrate the efficacy of financial aid

Students often say that the price of higher education prevents them from completing degrees.  Does reducing the price by providing more grant aid increases their rate of success?  Two new peer-reviewed studies from researchers at the Wisconsin HOPE Lab say “yes.” Read the articles in the American Journal of Sociology and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, or the press release.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab's #RealCollege event featured in The Washington Post

Writing in The Washington Post, Sara Goldrick-Rab describes the Lab's recent #RealCollege convening at Milwaukee Area Technical College that brought together policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to discuss how to address food and housing insecurity among undergraduates. #RealCollege participants brought a variety of innovative solutions currently in place and directions for future efforts. Read more. Storify of #RealCollege tweets.

Goldrick-Rab debates the value of free college efforts

In a debate with Richard Vedder, Director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, Sara Goldrick-Rab argued that free college programs will be worthwhile investments for increasing affordability, participation, and completion in higher education. The debate, moderated by Melissa Harris-Perry, was sponsored by The Century Foundation and New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Watch the debate.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab proposes to expand National School Lunch Program to college

In a newly-released policy proposal, Sara Goldrick-Rab, Katharine Broton, and Emily Colo cite the changing demographics of higher education and evidence of food insecurity among undergraduates to argue that expanding the National School Lunch Program has the potential to help students earn their diplomas and become competitive in today's labor market. Read the proposal.

Here's a sampling of press reports:

Wis. research group proposes expanding NSLP to colleges
Food Service Director, April 29, 2016

Food assistance put on table for low-income college students
Diverse Issues in Higher Education, April 27, 2016

As college prices soar, poorest students left further behind
Christian Science Monitor, April 29, 2016

Friday fragments
Inside Higher Ed, April 29, 2016

Sara Goldrick-Rab appears on PBS' @PointTaken Twitter chat

On April 26, PBS hosted a Twitter debate about college. Along with two co-hosts, Sara Goldrick-Rab discussed college affordability and answered questions from other Twitter users. 

Paying the Price

Coming Soon!

Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream by Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab will be published by Chicago Press in 2016. To sign up for notification when it is out, email Pre-order the book now!

TICAS releases new report on challenges community college students face

The Institute for College Access & Success' new report, On the Verge: Costs and Tradeoffs Facing Community College Students, describes the results of a survey of California students. HOPE Founding Director Sara Goldrick-Rab and Senior Researcher Peter Kinsley helped with the report, which shows that, even when tuition is low, community college students face high non-tuition costs that limit their academic success. Read more here.

Great Lakes releases report on its emergency grant program

The Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, whose founding gift created the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, recently released a report describing the results of their $1,500,000 emergency grant program at 16 colleges Wisconsin Technical Colleges System. The report features best practices and evidence suggesting that emergency grants are an effective tool for helping vulnerable students complete their degrees. Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founding Director Sara Goldrick-Rab contributed the foreword the the report. Read more.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab college costs studies featured on NPR

National Public Radio reported on four Wisconsin HOPE Lab studies showing that college costs are frequently higher than advertised and that higher education financing is often insufficient, particularly for low-income students. This research is the subject of a recently released Century Foundation report by Founding Director Sara Goldrick-Rab and Affiliate Nancy Kendall. Read the report here and coverage in the Deseret News here.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab Statement on Leadership Changes

At the Wisconsin HOPE Lab we seek to find effective ways to make college more affordable in Wisconsin and throughout the nation. We are a team and prize our relationships with the communities we serve.

Therefore, we are sharing news about changes to our team. Effective July 1st, our Founding Director Sara Goldrick-Rab will become Professor of Higher Education Policy and Sociology at Temple University, the public university of Philadelphia. Sara will continue her focus on higher education affordability and will be pursuing opportunities to expand her work in this area, both at Temple and through collaborations with UW-Madison researchers and other partners.

Sara will support and advise the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, and our work will not change. When Sara founded the Lab in 2013, she secured a five-year commitment from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation in the form of a financial gift. That gift remains at the university and supports work at the Lab through July 2018.  Jed Richardson, currently the Lab’s Managing Director, will take over leadership responsibilities as Acting Director of the Lab.  As the Lab’s Founder, Sara will serve as an independent contractor providing consultation and expertise to the Lab as it completes the work funded by the Great Lakes gift.

While the Lab will disband at the UW when the Great Lakes gift expires in 2018, our individual commitments to our partners, our externally funded research activities, and our mission of improving college affordability will continue.

We greatly appreciate the opportunity to create meaningful research that facilitates positive changes in the lives of undergraduates. We look forward to the future.

New Wisconsin HOPE Lab paper uncovers the extent of mental health conditions among college students

In collaboration with the Healthy Minds Study at the University of Michigan, the Association of Community College Trustees, and Single Stop, HOPE Lab researchers fielded a survey of more than 4,000 community college students across the nation. We find that over half the students surveyed are experiencing a current or recent mental health condition, but less than half of affected students are receiving mental health services. Read the paper here, and accompanying articles by Sara Goldrick-Rab and co-author Daniel Eisenberg in The Hill and The Conversation.

Here's a sampling of press reports:

Cope with mental health issues as a community college student
U.S. News & World Report, June 7, 2016

American crisis: 17 million young people struggle with mental health issues
WNYC, May 27, 2016

Many California community college students report depression, anxiety
CBS San Francisco Bay Area, March 3, 2016

Half of community-college students report mental-health conditions
The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 2, 2016

Survey: Half of community college students report mental health problems
Inside Higher Ed, March 2, 2016

Half of community college students confront mental health conditions
Style Magazine, March 2, 2016

Wisconsin HOPE Lab work informs "Navigating College" a resource guide for homeless and low-income students published by MoneyGeek

Sara Goldrick-Rab, Founding Director of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, and Cyekeia Lee, Director of Higher Education Initiatives for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, contributed to "Navigating College", a guide linking to financial aid opportunities and resources for housing, food, transportation and medical help for college students in need. Read more here.

Lab Affiliate Clare Cady illustrates the challenges of, and possible solutions to, poverty among college students in the Chronicle of Higher Education

In the commentary, Cady describes student experiences with hunger and poverty and cites the HOPE Lab's Hungry to Learn report. She also offers up several examples of campus programs to address food insecurity as well as potential changes to local, state, and federal policies that could better support students. Read more here.

Goldrick-Rab argues in the Wall Street Journal that all students should be eligible for loans

Citing the economic need for college-educated workers and borrowing constraints that would otherwise limit the ability of low-income students to attend college, Sara Goldrick-Rab writes that lenders should not be in the position to choose which students receive loans. Read more.

HOPE researchers argue for expanding the National School Lunch Program to College

In a post in the journal Democracy, Sara Goldrick-Rab and Katharine Broton describe the national crisis of hunger on college campuses and propose a simple solution: expanding the National School Lunch Program that has provided nutritious meals to K-12 students since 1946.

Senator Patty Murray cites Wisconsin HOPE Lab's Hungry to Learn report

In a speech to the Association of Community College Trustees and the American Association of Community Colleges, Senator Murray cited statistics from the HOPE Lab's Hungry to Learn report that thirteen percent of survey students experienced homelessness and more than half experienced hunger.

Katharine Broton discusses food and housing insecurity among undergraduates on Wisconsin Public Television

Wisconsin HOPE Lab graduate student Katharine Broton appeared on Wisconsin Public Television to discuss HOPE's recent Hungry to Learn report and other research on food and housing insecurity among undergraduates. She described how the college population has recently shifted to more "non-traditional" students, the impacts of rising college costs, and efforts to address food insecurity nationwide. See the video here.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab releases statement on Wisconsin's proposed emergency aid legislation

The HOPE Lab released a statement supporting a bill that would provide $450,000 for emergency grants at technical colleges and 2-year campuses. In a Wisconsin State Journal article, HOPE Founding Director Sara Goldrick-Rab described the financial challenges of low-income students and how emergency aid can help.

HOPE Affiliate Kelchen features HOPE work in an article on colleges' net prices

In an article on the Brown Center Chalkboard, Wisconsin HOPE Lab Affiliate Robert Kelchen describes trends in colleges' net prices from 2009-10 to 2013-14. One potential reason for changes in net prices is that some colleges have reduced off-campus living allowances, a strategy that helps lower sticker prices but may understate the true costs of attendance, a them explored in a Wisconsin HOPE Lab paper.

The Chronicle of Higher Education features Wisconsin HOPE Lab policy brief on free community college

The Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted a recently released HOPE policy brief questioning the data behind claims that community college is already free. In the brief, authors Sara Goldrick-Rab and David Monaghan point out several factors that complicate oft-cited College Board statistics that, in some interpretations, indicate that the average community college students receives free tuition and fees. Read more here.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab working paper covered in the Capital Times

The working paper, by Postdoctoral Researcher Drew Anderson and Founding Director Sara Goldrick-Rab, calls for evaluation of the Wisconsin Grant, a state financial aid program that provides funds to 60,000 students annually. The authors note that an evaluation could clarify the grant’s return to taxpayers, essential information for future decisions about the program. Read more here

Wisconsin HOPE Lab's AVID/TOPS evaluation in the news

The Boys and Girls Club of Dane County announced that they will receive $3.3 million to expand its AVID/TOPS program in Madison and Verona public schools. News coverage of this announcement cites the Lab's recent evaluations showing that AVID/TOPS students enroll in more AP and honors courses and have better attendance than similar students not in the program. Read more here, here, and here.

Goldrick-Rab weighs in on free college plans in the New York Times' Room for Debate

Along with several other policy experts, Sara Goldrick-Rab shared her thoughts on free college programs. Her contribution, "Public Higher Education Should be Universal and Free," argues that free college enhances college affordability while builds lasting political support for college financial aid. Read more here and here.

Boys & Girls Club receives grant to expand AVID/TOPS program

A new Capital Times article cites the Wisconsin HOPE Lab's evaluation of the AVID/TOPS program in both the Madison and Verona school districts. The investments by the American family Insurance Dreams Foundation, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Burke Foundation follow on HOPE's findings that students in AVID/TOPS take AP and honors courses at higher rates and have fewer absences.

Sara Goldrick-Rab Ranks in the Top 200 of Most Influential Educational Scholars

Sara Goldrick-Rab, founding director of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, has been named to a listing of the nation's most influential education policy scholars. The Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, published annually by Education Week, list the year's 200 most influential university-based scholars. Goldrick-Rab was ranked 13th for her many citations and presence in both general and education press. Read the Capital Times story here.

Build HOPE for the holidays (See Flyer here)

In 2015, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab conducted and released research that revealed the economically precarious lives led by some undergraduates. We shared that work with Congressional leaders, the White House, and in the New York Times. Our thought leadership on free college plans, the need to address housing and food insecurity among students, and the importance of investing in the nation's community colleges is supporting real change. We are poised to do so much more. You can be part of this effort.

Please visit here ( to make a donation to further our work.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab releases report on emergency aid program best practices

HOPE Lab researchers surveyed and interviewed administrators of 21 emergency aid programs across the country to better understand how programs operate and how administrators think that they should operate. This exploration of best practices provides vital context as the Lab plans to evaluate the effectiveness of emergency aid programs. Read more here.

HOPE Lab paper and New York Times op-ed reveal the extent of student food and housing insecurity

In 2015 we joined forces with the Healthy Minds Study at the University of Michigan, the Association of Community College Trustees, and Single Stop to field a survey of more than 4,000 students at 10 community colleges across the nation. That survey revealed that more than one in two students were navigating food and/or housing insecurity. Read the paper and the New York Times op-ed.

Here's a sampling of press reports:

Hungry for Knowledge
Academic Minute
, March 8, 2016

Colleges beginning to address the issue of student hunger
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March, 7, 2016

On the path to graduation, life intervenes
The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 6, 2016

Donations stock food pantry for students in need
The Montclarion, February 20, 2016

In the shadows: UW's homeless students struggle to succeed
The Badger Herald, February 16, 2016

Absence of emergency housing perpetuates student homelessness
The Daily Cardinal, February 15, 2016

FRCC students can access free food pantry on Feb. 16
The Front Page, February 13, 2016

Joining U.S. hunger program is not a snap
Inside Higher Education, January 29, 2016

Financial struggles make navigating college tougher
The Courier, January 25, 2016

The hidden hunger on college campuses
The Atlantic, January 14, 2016

First debt, then homeless for college students? It's too much
South Jersey Times, January 4, 2016

College students facing significant food shortages, universities trying to help
Good Call, December 31, 2015

At community colleges, hunger is a growing problem
WGBH Boston
, December 21, 2015

Food pantry on campus to feed needy UW-Madison students
Wisconsin State Journal, December 20, 2015

Report challenges food, housing assumptions for community college students
The Badger Herald, December 12, 2015

Study: College students sometimes hungry, homeless
San Diego Union-Tribune, December 10, 2015

New report: Shocking number of community college students are hungry, homeless
Generation Opportunity, December 10, 2015

Community college students struggle with hunger and homelessness, study finds, December 10, 2015

Long Beach City College fighting student hunger, homelessness one donation at a time
Long Beach Post, December 10, 2015

Wisconsin HOPE helps hungry, homeless students
NBC15, December 9, 2015

Some College Students Struggle with Hunger, Study Shows
Houston Chronicle, December 9, 2015

Study finds students' homelessness, hunger community college issues
Diverse Issues in Higher Education, December 7, 2015

House and Home
Inside Higher Ed, December 7, 2015

Morning Education
Politico, December 7, 2015

First Things First
Inside Higher Ed, December 6, 2015

UW Survey Finds Half of Community College Students Risk Hunger, Homelessness
Capital Times, December 5, 2015

Half of Community College Students Struggle to Find Housing, Food
MarketWatch, December 5, 2015

Many Community-College Students Struggle to Afford Food or Shelter, Study Finds
The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 4, 2015

Half of Community College Students at Risk of Homelessness, Hunger
Houston Chronicle, December 4, 2015

Think Finals are Tough? Real Challenge for Growing Number of College Students is Getting Enough to Eat
PBS NewsHour, December 4, 2015

Goldrick-Rab and Radomski part of Badger Herald student debt panel

In a panel discussion sponsored by the Badger Herald, Founding Director Sara Goldrick-Rab and Advisory Board member Noel Radomski spoke on the dangers of student debt in the University of Wisconsin system. Read more here and here.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab research cited in national higher-ed publication

The November issue of University Business, a magazine that reaches more than 80,000 college practitioners and policymakers across the nation, featured Wisconsin HOPE Lab research in an article on food insecurity at Columbia University. Click here for the article and here for the working paper by Katharine M. Broton, Victoria Frank and Sara Goldrick-Rab that was cited in the publication.

The Wisconsin HOPE Lab is hiring an executive assistant

Please see the description here.

Sara Goldrick-Rab leads Twitter chat on affordability

DivJChats is the hashtag for monthly Twitter chats held by Division J, a service of the American Educational Research Association that provides forums for policy experts and academics to discuss issues surrounding higher education. On October 30th, Sara Goldrick-Rab served as host of a chat on the free college movement. Read the transcript.

Wisconsin Public Radio interviews Sara Goldrick-Rab

The skyrocketing cost of college—and accompanying rise in student loan debt—was the topic when Sara Goldrick-Rab joined WPR’s Central Time on October 29th for a discussion of the past, present and future of college affordability. Listen here.

Drew Anderson featured in article on SB 228

An October 28th article in The Badger Herald examining ramifications of proposed changes to a state scholarship program included analysis from Drew Anderson, postdoctoral fellow at the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. Drew discussed research showing that the changes—as currently enumerated in Wisconsin Senate Bill 228—could reduce the effectiveness of the program. Read more.

The Compass covers Sara Goldrick-Rab's presentation on college costs

Lake Superior State University's student news outlet published a review on October 21st of Sara Goldrick-Rab's recent lecture on the financial costs of college. Speaking at the school's Arts Center in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, Sara talked about costs, disparity, and the value of a First Degree Program.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab research anchors Inside Higher Ed article on state funding

On September 28th, Inside Higher Ed published an article by Sara Goldrick-Rab and Wisconsin HOPE Lab Affiliate Tammy Kolbe that examines disparities in state support within UW System universities and colleges. The article includes a report from a meeting of national higher educational policy experts on college funding. Read more.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab experts participate in Politico study

Nancy Kendall and Sara Goldrick-Rab are among the educational policy scholars who contributed to an October report published by Calling it a "deep dive," the report examines education as part of a special series. Nancy and Sara were surveyed for an article on student debt. Read it, and get links to the rest of the series, here.

The Conversation publishes article by Wisconsin HOPE Lab colleagues

An article written by Katharine Broton and Sara Goldrick-Rab was published in the September 25th edition of The Conversation, an international online current events journal, and subsequently published in the San Diego Free Press. In their writing, Katie and Sara called for linking federal nutrition policy with higher education practices, and provided insight into Wisconsin HOPE Lab research concerning college students and food insecurity on campuses throughout the nation. Read more.

Harvard Doctoral Student and Wisconsin HOPE Lab Affiliate Anthony Jack’s research featured in the Daily Cardinal

As part of the Wisconsin’s HOPE Lab Fall Speaker Series, Harvard Doctoral Student in Sociology Anthony Jack discussed his findings on how programs at elite institutions exclude and hurt disadvantaged students. Read more.

Anthony Jack

Anthony Jack, Sociology Ph.D. Candidate at Harvard University and Wisconsin HOPE Lab Affiliate.  

The Badger Herald looks at new national college scorecard

In a September 15th article, The Badger Herald turned to Sara Goldrick-Rab for insights on the new federal university scorecard. She cautioned readers not to accept the scorecard at face value and to instead explore the data it contains. Read more.

Sara Goldrick-Rab contributes to discussion of free college in The Wall Street Journal

Sara Goldrick-Rab is one of three educational policy experts interviewed in "What's the Best Way to Make College More Affordable?" The report, published September 15th in The Wall Street Journal, looks into proposals that the nation's next president could consider to reduce student debt, increase affordability, and more. Read more.

Sara Goldrick-Rab contributes to NPR report on College Scorecard

A September 12th feature on National Public Radio discussed President Obama's newly released College Scorecard. Sara Goldrick-Rab, founding director of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, contributed comments and analysis about what the new data reveal when it comes to what graduates earn, how much debt they have, and more. Listen here.

WalletHub features Nancy Kendall in look at community colleges

Comments from Wisconsin HOPE Lab Affiliate Nancy Kendell, associate professor of  educational policy studies at UW-Madison, are featured in a September 10th article by WalletHub. The online service reviewed 570 community colleges and ranked them on affordability, quality, and more. Read the article and Nancy's comments here.

Equity & Reasonable Costs in Public Higher Education Workshop Summary 

On July 21st and 22nd, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab hosted a workshop on Equity & Reasonable Costs in Public Higher Education. Leaders from all educational sectors across the country came together to discuss these topics. Read the workshop summary here

New Report from Wisconsin HOPE Lab Affiliate Micere Keels with Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founding Director Sara Goldrick-Rab’s commentary

Wisconsin HOPE Lab Affiliate Micere Keels of the University of Chicago released a new report on financial distress among first year undergraduates from her Minority College Cohort Study. Founding Director Sara Goldrick-Rab authored the commentary in the report.

Lifestyle publication includes Wisconsin HOPE Lab research in article on student debt

Madame Noire, billed as a Black women's lifestyle magazine, includes research from the Wisconsin HOPE Lab and comments from Sara Goldrick-Rab in a recent article. Published on September 1st, "Debt vs. Wealth: The Weight and Reality of Student Loans in Black America" examines the ramifications of college affordability and student borrowing. Read more.

Sara Goldrick-Rab contributes to ThinkProgress article on the color of student debt

"For Profit Colleges, Students of Color, And The Debt Crisis No One Really Talks About" is the title of a blog post published at on August 31st. Comments from Sara Goldrick-Rab (co-author of The Color of Student Debt) are featured prominently and illuminate the role for-profit colleges play in higher-ed borrowing by students of color. Read the ThinkProgress article.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab research cited in PBS NewsHour Twitter Chat

On August 21, our founding director, Sara Goldrick-Rab, participated by invitation in a PBS NewsHour Twitter chat about merit-based versus need-based scholarship programs. She joined other nationally known educational policy experts for a lively and informative online discussion, complete with links to several Wisconsin HOPE Lab studies. Read the transcript.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab offers analysis of proposed changes to scholarship program

Wisconsin Senate Bill 228 proposes significant changes to the state's Academic Excellence Scholarship program. As a resource for public information and discussion, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab released this August 12th statement on the pending legislation in order to provide background, analysis of existing research, and more. Read more.

Candidates join national conversation on college affordability

As college affordability becomes an increasingly important topic of state and federal policy discussions, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab continues to provide research and information to journalists and media outlets covering this national conversation. Our latest efforts include commenting on the plans that presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have each presented to address affordability. Here's a sampling of press reports:

How Going to College Could Change Under Hillary Clinton's New Plan
National Public Radio, 8/11/15

Clinton unveils plan for no-loan college tuition
Aljazeera America, 8/10/15

Bernie Sanders' Plan for Free College Could End Racial Disparities in Higher Ed , 5/19/15

Low cost college isn't enough
CNN, 5/18/15

Wisconsin HOPE Lab submits testimony to the National Commission on Hunger

In an August 6th report, The Capital Times covered our research into food insecurity among college students. The article details Wisconsin HOPE Lab testimony co-authored by Katharine M. Broton and Sara Goldrick-Rab and submitted to the National Commission on Hunger. Click the links for more. 

A Wisconsin HOPE Lab mention in Inside Higher Ed

In his August 3rd blog published by Inside Higher Ed, author John Warner lauds the Wisconsin HOPE Lab for "concrete successes in attacking the problems of [college] affordability." Read more.

The Washington Post cites Sara Goldrick-Rab on toughening college default rules

Sara Goldrick-Rab was quoted in a July 31st Washington Post article about federal proposals to increase penalties for colleges when students default on loans. In the article, she warns that such legislation could decrease access for low-income students. Read more.

Sara Goldrick-Rab discusses cost of college with  

In an interview published July 30th by, Sara Goldrick-Rab discusses rising tuition with best-selling author and nationally known consumer advocate Bob Sullivan.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab contributions to affordability noted by UW-Madison School of Education

The Wisconsin HOPE Lab got a nice write-up from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education news site on July 9. The site did a great job summarizing how our research on college affordability—and the efforts of Founding Director Sara Goldrick-Rab to disseminate that research—are informing state-by-state and national policy on this important issue. Read more.

Inside Higher Ed cites F2CO proposal from Wisconsin HOPE Lab colleagues Sara Goldrick-Rab and Nancy Kendall

Early in July, Inside Higher Ed noted that a policy report authored by Nancy Kendall and Sara Goldrick-Rab played a major role in informing state of Oregon legislators about the possibilities and opportunities of making community college tuition-free. Read more.

State of Oregon legislature receives Wisconsin HOPE Lab testimony on college affordability

On July 2, the state of Oregon legislature considered making community college free via its Senate Bill 81. Our founding director, Sara Goldrick-Rab, delivered invited testimony via Skype in favor of the bill. The bill was subsequently passed and has been signed into law, and we are pleased that our work as a translational laboratory helped inform discussion of this important legislation. Read her full remarks here.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab research informs discussion of student financial aid

As our research has shown, low-income college students today are experiencing an ever-decreasing level of financial resources. Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founding Director Sara Goldrick-Rab and Wisconsin HOPE Lab Affiliate Robert Kelchen share their insights in this important Washington Post article.

Goldrick-Rab quoted in U.S. News 

In this U.S. News article, Sara Goldrick-Rab discussed how minority students have to borrow higher amounts to pay for college. Read more

Kelchen and Goldrick-Rab mentioned in The Atlantic about Starbucks

The authors were cited on the disadvantages of the Starbucks Free College model. Read more. For the research article, read here.

Sara Goldrick-Rab featured in Detroit Free Press article on president’s college proposal

An April 15th article in the Detroit Free Press included comments from Sara Goldrick-Rab on the minimum grade-point-average requirements contained in President Obama’s proposal for free community college. Read it here.

Goldrick-Rab and Kelchen in Time 

In this Time op-ed, Goldrick-Rab and Kelchen wrote about what colleges aren't telling their students about the true cost of attendance. Read more.

Kelchen and Goldrick-Rab mentioned in The Hechinger Report 

The article spotlighted a proposal from Wisconsin HOPE Lab's affiliate, Robert Kelchen, and founding director, Sara Goldrick-Rab. They proposed a pilot program that guarantees the maximum Pell Grant to low-income eighth-graders who complete high school and enroll in college. Read more.

Goldrick-Rab Interview with NASPA 

The NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education interviewed Sara Goldrick-Rab on studying social class in higher education. Read more.

Goldrick-Rab's blog on

Founding director, Sara Goldrick-Rab's blog featured on on President Obama's free college plan. Read more.

Nathan Jones receives the Spencer Small Research Grant

Nathan Jones, Wisconsin HOPE Lab co-PI and affiliate, received the Spencer Small Research Grant for the time-use study. This research will be embedded in a study with more than 400 undergraduates in Wisconsin led by founding director, Sara Goldrick-Rab and Josipa Roksa from University of Virginia. Read more.

Goldrick-Rab receives award from Lumina Foundation

Sara Goldrick-Rab received $300,000 from the Lumina Foundation to study the “other costs” related to college attendance. The study will explore the unexpected expenses college students face in order to join their classmates in work and leisure activities, and their means for securing resources to cover those costs. The grant runs through September 2015.

President's free community-college plan has Wisconsin HOPE Lab connection

A paper authored by Sara Goldrick-Rab, founding director of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, and Nancy Kendall, a faculty associate of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, helped inform dozens of media reports on President Obama's January 9th announcement of support for making two years of community college free for all students. In addition, Goldrick-Rab spoke to local, state, national and international reporters, and authored a guest column on the topic for the British publication The Guardian. Here's a sampling of press reports:

"Another Step for Free College
Catalyst Chicago, 2/24/15 

"Going to a public college isn’t as affordable as it used to be"
Washington Post, 1/30/15 

"Can Community Colleges Work for More Students?"
JSTOR Daily, 1/28/15

"Obama Community College Proposal Mirrors UW Professors' Plan"
Interview with Nancy Kendall
Wisconsin Public Television/Here and Now, 1/23/15

"Obama eyes legacy with free higher education plan"
University World News, 1/23/15

"Free two-year community college tuition"
Wisconsin Radio Network/Great Rivers, 1/19/15

"UW experts answer questions"
The Daily Cardinal, 1/19/15

"President Obama's free community-college plan is a necessary plan"
Guest blog by Sara Goldrick-Rab
The London School of Economics and Political Science, 1/16/15

"President Obama's Plan for Free Community College"
Interview with Sara Goldrick-Rab
Wisconsin Public Radio/The Kathleen Dunn Show, 1/15/15

"Obama taps UW professor's proposal for new tuition plan"
WISC-TV (Madison), 01/12/15

"Free community college isn't a joke for families who spend half their income to send a child"
Guest blog by Sara Goldrick-Rab
The Guardian, 1/12/15

"UW's Sara Goldrick-Rab says Obama's free community college plan is 'smart and bold'"
The Capital Times, 1/11/15

"The Players Who Influenced Obama's Free College Plan"
Chronicle of Higher Education, 1/11/15

"Following Up on Free Community College"
Inside Higher Ed, 1/11/15

"Obama's Community-College Plan: A Reading List"
The New York Times, 1/9/15

"Did Obama Just Introduce a 'Public Option' for Higher Education?"
The Nation, 1/9/15

"Obama in Tennessee to Promote Free Community College"
National Public Radio, 1/9/15

"UW's Goldrick-Rab backer of Obama's plan to make community college tuition free"
UW-Madison School of Education News, 1/9/15

"How Obama Retooled a Republican Education Idea Along Democratic Lines"
Bloomberg Politics, 1/9/15

"There's a big catch in Obama's plan for free community college"
Washington Post, 1/9/15

"Are High Community College Tuitions the Problem?"
National Review Online, 1/8/15

"When Free Doesn't Mean Fair for Community College"
The Nation, 1/12/15

"Where Obama's Free Community-College Plan Fails, Tennessee's May Succeed"
Governing, 01/13/15

Wisconsin HOPE Lab study shows gap programs working

The Capital Times and WMTV-TV are among the media outlets that covered a Wisconsin HOPE Lab study released January 12. The study details analysis conducted by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, which show a partnership designed to improve outcomes and close the achievement gap in Madison public schools is working; participating students are earning better grades and missing fewer days of school. AVID/TOPS is run jointly by the school district and the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, and the Wisconsin HOPE Lab analyzes results yearly. Read more here and here.

Goldrick-Rab named one of top 30 influential educator scholars

Sara Goldrick-Rab, founding director of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, has been named to a listing of the nation's most influential education policy scholars. The Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, published annually by Education Week, list the year's 200 most influential university-based scholars—out of an estimated 20,000 faculty currently researching, speaking and publishing about education. Goldrick-Rab was ranked 29th most influential of the top 200 for her contributions to public debate and discourse about education issues. Read more here.

New Wisconsin HOPE Lab study informs discussion on affordability

In its November 13 article, The Chronicle of Higher Education examines living expenses as an overlooked factor in college affordability. Remarks from Sara Goldrick-Rab are featured, along with a new paper on the topic that she co-wrote and delivered at an Association of Public Policy and Management conference in October. A gift from the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates supported HOPE Lab research for the paper. Click here for the article, and here for the paper.

Wisconsin HOPE Lab study illuminates low-income student issues

The November 13th article in the Badger Herald shed light on college affordability issues. Read more here.

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Wisconsin HOPE Lab featured in Capital Times profile

The work of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab is featured in an in-depth profile published on October 29 in The Capital Times. To learn more about our mission, our research and how we are contributing to the national discussion on college affordability, read the full profile here.

Fox 11 talks with Minh Mai

October 16, 2014 Wisconsin HOPE Lab staff member Minh Mai spoke with Green Bay's Fox 11 News on issues of college affordability following a day of discussion on this topic with Wisconsin's higher education leaders at UW-Oshkosh. 

Wisconsin HOPE LAB study secures $4 million grant

On October 14, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab was presented with a $4 million grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates. The grant will fund a five-year study involving scholarships to students at 10 Wisconsin colleges and universities. Read more here.

Goldrick-Rab to lead project supported by U.S. Treasury

Sara Goldrick-Rab, founding director of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, will serve as Principal Investigator for one of two projects awarded to the University of Wisconsin Center for Financial Security by the United States Department of Treasury. The awards were announced on October 7. Read more here.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin praises Wisconsin HOPE Lab

On September 12, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab and director Sara Goldrick-Rab were lauded by United States Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) for their work on Baldwin's new bill, the Working Student Act. Read what she said here.

WKOW-TV, Madison, reports on The Color of Student Debt

On September 10, director Sara Goldrick-Rab was interviewed by WKOW-TV about a paper she co-coauthored and presented at a Washington, D.C. forum hosted by the UCLA Civil Rights Project. Watch the interview.

Wisconsin Public Television Interview

On May 2nd, Wisconsin Public Television Anchor Frederica Freyberg spoke with Wisconsin HOPE Lab Founding Director about her proposal to make the first two years of college free. Watch the interview.

Goldrick-Rab Visits DC

In February 2014, director Sara Goldrick-Rab visited Washington, DC and met with staff of the U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and higher education advisors in the White House’s Domestic Policy Council to discuss President Obama’s higher education agenda. Goldrick-Rab also spoke with the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance and delivered a lunchtime talk (with board member Andrew Kelly) at the American Association of Community Colleges National Legislative Summit.

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Wisconsin HOPE Lab Newsletter Summer 2016
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Wisconsin HOPE Lab Newsletter Fall 2015
Wisconsin HOPE Lab Newsletter Summer 2015
Wisconsin HOPE Lab Newsletter Spring 2015
Wisconsin HOPE Lab Newsletter Winter 2014

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Feedback from the Field

“Dr. Goldrick-Rab provided an informed diagnosis of the ailing state of higher education, but went beyond just identifying the problems. In an engaging and energetic manner, she proposed a well-researched and data-driven treatment plan. Dr. Goldrick-Rab’s remedy certainly challenges the traditional approach and therefore created a stimulating discussion. I only wish we’d had more time for debate.”

- NASSGAP 2014 Annual Conference Attendee

"I enjoyed the presentation that Sara gave to our technical college board members and presidents in Rhinelander.  I found it very informative and it made me think outside the box of possible solutions to solve the affordability issue...After the presentation I started thinking of ways that our college could give to students that were not in the traditional scholarship or loan processes.  I have discussed with our Foundation that it would be a good idea to give financially to expand our food pantry.  I discussed with IT and our Foundation the possibility of giving used computers to our students so that this would not be a barrier... We are now looking into expanding the hours at our childcare facility so that students have childcare in the evenings and/or weekends when they might be taking courses….We are exploring different avenues because of Sara’s presentation.  She was energetic, knowledgeable and insightful."

- Angela Lawrence, District Board Member of Western Technical College
Response to Sara Goldrick-Rab's talk to October presentation to the District Boards Association in Rhinelander, WI. 

"Dear Sara: Thanks for participating in the conference last Thursday. The combination of the energy you brought to the table and your command of the facts was impressive and a very important contribution to the panels you attended."
- Sean Gailmard, Associate Professor & Vice Chair for Personnel Travers Department of Political Science University of California, Berkeley