California Colleges: 50,000 Students Are Homeless, One In Five CSU Students Go Hungry

The rising cost of college tuition made headlines recently with the news that more female students are turning to prostitution to pay their tuition, but now a new study shows several thousand students are homeless.

The study shows 57,000 CSU students are homeless, while twice that number struggle to find enough food to eat on a daily basis, according to the SFGate.

“The issue that one in five Cal State students is food insecure is a gasp when you think about it.”

California State University Chancellor Timothy White presented the study as part of the Housing Stability and Food Security conference this week, according to the SFGate.

“It’s a gasp when you talk to someone in my neighborhood or an elected official because when they come to the campuses, they see the lights on, the lawns manicured, the classes full, the energy high and they don’t see the fact that one in five students on any five of our campuses is food insecure at any time and that one in 10 have an issue with respect to their housing.”


Many 18-year-old college students seek university housing when they leave home for the first time, but many California universities are unable to meet the demand, leaving the young people to struggle on their own.

Without university housing the college students are forced to seek market rate apartments, couch surf with friends or live out of their cars. The students aren’t required to report their housing situation to college staff and many don’t because of the stigma associated with being homeless.

White has promised to deal with the shocking homeless problem and find a housing solution for the thousands of homeless college students, according to the L.A. Times.

“We’re going to find solutions that we can take to scale. Getting this right is something that we just simply have to do.”

Only half of California’s 23 state college campuses offer housing programs and even less are actively trying to help students stuck in this untenable situation.


Defying common logic, the study found most homeless college students come from middle class families and aren’t used to dealing with the difficulties imposed by such poverty.

The CSU system is the first state college program to research student homelessness and the university system plans to continue the study for the next two years.

During the first phase of the study, researchers examined 92 students and conducted four focus groups at rural and urban campuses across the state, Cal State Long Beach assistant professor Rashida Crutchfield told the L.A. Times.

“A lot of these conversations took place inside our office with the door shut.”

Initial findings show 8 to 12 percent of the CSU population, totaling 474,600 students across 23 campuses are homeless while 21 to 24 percent can’t reliably feed themselves.


Many CSU faculty and staff were unaware of the homeless problem although some admitted to giving money to students and keeping food in their desks for those in need.

The high price of college tuition has been in the headlines recently as Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders campaigned on the promise to provide free university tuition.

The issue made headlines again when it came to light many female college students were seeking sugar baby sugar daddy relationships to help pay the high price of their college tuition; men are getting in on the practice too.

Websites like have popped up on the Internet with the promise of hooking up wealthy sugar daddies with struggling sugar babies in need of money to pay bills.

Is a college education worth going homeless or seeking a sugar daddy to pay tuition?

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]