Happy April, Hope Community!

It’s Community College Month and we’re excited to celebrate the pivotal role that community colleges play in championing affordability and accessibility in higher education. Stay tuned for some #CCMonth fun and spotlights over the next few weeks. This toolkit from our friends at ACCT is a great way to dive into the month.

And fresh off the press: our Federal Policy Priorities for 2023, urging policymakers to champion students’ basic needs security during a time of rising economic instability and inequality. We especially urge lawmakers to center vulnerable populations, such as LGBTQ+ students, students who can get pregnant, and students from other structurally marginalized identities.

We also have a guest post on our blog from Pam Blumenthal, Director of College Housing Northwest’s Affordable Rents for College Students program, making the case for affordable student housing (yes, please!) We love highlighting your perspectives and expertise; if you have a blog idea or want to write for us, please slide into our inbox at

With gratitude,

The Hope Center Team

The Hope Center’s 2023 Federal Policy Priorities

We just released our Federal Policy Priorities for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in 2023-24, which include both authorizing and appropriations requests. During a time when three in five college students experience basic needs insecurity and inflation continues to rise, Congress must invest in students’ wellbeing.

We urge the federal government to treat students as humans first by helping them afford the full cost of higher education. We call for:

☑️ major reforms to financial aid and public benefits to focus on students’ basic needs,

☑️ significant increases in federal funding for public institutions and grant programs that support students’ basic needs,

☑️ better outreach to students about available resources, and

☑️ more equitable design and implementation of federal financial aid programs.

Read our Federal Policy Priorities

Letter to Congress on The Hope Center’s Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Priorities

It’s federal appropriations season, and we have even more ideas on how Congress can invest in students’ basic needs. We sent a letter to Congress with our appropriation priorities for fiscal year 2024. We are urging Congress to:

☑️ quadruple funding for the Department of Education’s Basic Needs Grant Program to allow more institutions to build ecosystems that support basic needs security,

☑️ invest in parenting students with much greater funding for the Child Care Access Means Parents In School (CCAMPIS) program,

☑️ dedicate more funding to support student mental health, and

☑️ expand campus-based aid programs like Federal Work Study.

Head over to our website to read more.

Letter to Congress

End of the Public Health Emergency and Impact on Student Eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Informed by our recommendations, the U.S. Department of Education has released guidance to colleges & universities and state higher education agencies on how they can help students access SNAP and other public benefits in the wake of the public health emergency expiration.

Read the Memo

🚨 New Blog Post Alert 🚨

As housing prices continue to soar and inflation is on the rise, students are finding it increasingly difficult to secure safe and stable housing. College campuses are fraught with student homelessness due to dwindling availability of affordable housing.

In Oregon, College Housing Northwest is at the forefront of the fight for student housing security through their Affordable Rents for College Students (ARCS) program.

Read Pam’s Post

Are you planning on attending the 2023 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Annual Conference this week? Two of our Hope superstars, Leanne Davis and Joshua Williams, are presenting a session on student basic needs at 11:30 a.m.!

Don’t forget to drop by our booth (#847) to say hi (our Director Dr. Anne Lundquist will be there too!) and grab some Hope swag. 🥳

Students Speak: Responses From Our Survey

Institutions are busy fielding our redesigned Hope Center Student Basic Needs Survey and we have over 23,000 responses so far!

Though survey responses will be rolling in throughout the next few months, we couldn’t wait to share some insightful perspectives from students—the true experts whose lived-experiences inform our work.

We will continue to lift their responses throughout our data collection period as they’re powerful reminders that the system is not working.

Read Student Responses!

Students, we are rooting for you. Let’s fight basic needs insecurity together. 💪

The Hope Center’s Hope Impact Partnerships (HIP) program is how colleges and universities can participate in the Hope Center Student Basic Needs Survey as well as collaborate with Hope Center staff and other higher education partners to not only identify students’ basic needs, but develop strategies and actions to address them.

HIP’s three partnership levels range from survey-only to bundled research, training, and coaching options.

Learn More About HIP

National Community College Month

This month, and all year long, we’re celebrating the strength and persistence of community college students, and recognizing the role played by community colleges in making higher education affordable and accessible for a wide range of students.

A couple weeks ago, we celebrated National Poetry Day with this poem by Pakistani revolutionary poet Habib Jalib, who dedicated his life to opposing state oppression. We continue to be inspired by his sadly evergreen fight for justice. May we continue to refuse to accept.