Students with Food and Housing Insecurity

Students who are worried about food shortages or have already run out of food; students who are worried about housing or are already homeless.

Group of students laying in a circle

Tips for Advising

Food and Housing Insecurity

It is important to be aware of the prevalence of food and housing insecurity with the populations we serve.

Nearly one in five students (19.1%) on our campus has to worry whether they will run out of food before they have money to buy more, or they have already run out of food (College Student Health Survey, 2018).  Nationally, according to the USA Today’s article: Homelessness in College, "A survey of nearly 86,000 students taken last fall by The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice found that homelessness affected 18% of respondents attending a two-year colleges, and 14% of those attending four-year institutions".

In addition, 43.6% of undergraduate students worry about the ability to pay for housing, and 16.7% of undergraduate students worry about paying for housing. They also reported taking one or more steps that could have put them at risk of losing their housing such as: not paying and even delaying a rent or utility payment, or living with others beyond the expected capacity of the house or apartment (MiniSERU, 2019). 

The rising cost of tuition due to reduced state funding and the decreased purchasing power of financial aid are major contributors to student food and housing insecurity. The high cost of housing, especially near our campus, adds significant strain to students’ budgets, forcing them to choose between: rent, books, food, and other basic needs.   

Advising Considerations

  • Continue to learn about resources available on campus and in the community
  • Work to clarify the scope and goals of your work as it relates to the student’s current situation and the goals they have, which also may need to be adjusted
  • Help the student recognize support areas and resources available to them that could reduce stress and anxiety 
  • Have all or some of the resources on this page in your office available to share with your students

Referring Students

Off-Campus Living helps students navigate challenges related to renting and off-campus living.

If a student is experiencing a crisis, they can be referred to The Care Program, where they will be provided coordinated case management, support, and resources.   

  • Care Program
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 612-625-2517
  • Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm
  • 205 Appleby Hall

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides cash assistance for food to low-income individuals. Students are eligible if they meet specific criteria:

  • They must be a U.S. Citizen
  • And they must earn $1,718 or less per month (number increases with additional household members)
  • And they must meet one of the following: work a work-study job (any amount of hours) or work 20 hours per week at any job or be a parent or caregiver or be physically or mentally unable to work, etc. 

If you think a student may be eligible for this program, you can refer them to z.umn.edu/snapbenfits