Expert says stereotyping college students is doing real harm

Lynne Adkins
April 23, 2018 - 10:28 pm

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A local professor is asking college students to talk about their lives, in order to pinpoint the help needed on campus.  

 When you think college student, do you think a young man, living off his parents living at the frat house?

Not always, says Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, professor of higher education policy at Temple University.

“It probably represents less than ten percent of today's college students, most college students today are working,” she said. “One in four has a child; very large numbers of them are actually helping to pay their parent's bills while they are in college.”

She says hunger, homelessness, and childcare are just some of the issues college students are facing across the country.

Goldrick-Rab shared the story of one woman’s fight to survive.

“She was getting by just fine during her first few years of college, but then the bills got tougher and her parents had filed for bankruptcy and she ended up having to shoplift when she ran out of money, she said. “She was totally embarrassed, she never wanted to do anything like this, but she hadn't eaten.”

College students nationwide are being asked to share their situations at realcollege.org, so educators, administrators and lawmakers can understand what's needed to keep our next generation in school.