Within the past year, 44% of University of California undergraduate students suffered from food insecurity and 16% experienced housing insecurity, according to a new report from the system.
The report, which was presented to the UC Regents during a meeting Thursday, calls on the system to reduce the proportion of students facing those hardships by 50% in the next five years.
The rates of students facing housing or food insecurity is higher for foster youth, low-income students, LGTBQ students, first-generation students, Black students and Latino students, the report found.
The report defines someone as being food insecure if they have ever worried that their food would run out before they were able to get more. It defines an individual as being housing insecure if they had slept overnight in a temporary location because they didn’t have a permanent home to return to.
The report also makes a number of recommendations to policymakers and UC leaders. It urges policymakers to advocate for more spending on financial aid and expand eligibility for Cal Grants, the primary state financial aid awards that are available to UC students. The report calls on UC administrators to refine how the system calculates the total cost of attending UC and to prioritize basic needs resources for underserved student populations such as low-income students and foster youth, among other suggestions.