An astounding number of American college students are going hungry or homeless

Michael Mann/Getty ImagesSome college students can’t afford food or housing.

The “broke college student” stereotype has reached a new level.

An astounding number of American college students are going hungry or homeless, reported James McWilliams for Pacific Standard, citing a new study by the non-profit Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. It conducted surveys with 167,000-plus students across 101 community colleges and 68 four-year colleges and universities.

Nearly half of respondents said that in the month prior to the survey, they experienced food insecurity – “the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food, or the ability to acquire such food in a socially acceptable manner,” according to the report.

Roughly 50% of two-year college students and 44% of four-year college students in the survey worried their food would run out before they could afford to buy more. Of each group, 30% didn’t eat when they were hungry because they couldn’t afford it.

Read more: College is more expensive than it’s ever been, and the 5 reasons why suggest it’s only going to get worse

Housing was also an issue among respondents – 18% of two-year college students and 14% of four-year college students said they were homeless. Some respondents reported staying with a relative or friend, or couch surfing, while others said they lived outdoors, at a shelter, or in a camper.

It’s a side effect of the growing expense of college –tuition has more than doubled since the 1980s. As a result, student loan debt is at an all-time high, according to Student Loan Hero: The national total student debt is over $US1.5 trillion and the average student loan debt per graduating student in 2018 who took out loans is $US29,800.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.