What would you rather choose? Paying for groceries or paying your rent? Neither, right? Well, the reality is, most students right now have to make this tough choice. As the pandemic rages on, taking jobs and loved ones with it, more and more students have become food and housing insecure, as their ability to retain a job has become more difficult.
I work at an art museum on my college campus, but recently, we have had to close to the public because of rising COVID cases. I am out of a job until further notice. My income has stopped, but my bills are still rolling in.
In March, a COVID relief bill was passed, which allocated $14 billion to colleges and universities. There has been no relief since then, however, and students are struggling more than ever. That is why we are calling on Congress to provide at least another $14 billion for institutions of higher education in the next COVID relief bill, and most importantly to allocate funds to colleges based on overall student headcount, rather than full time enrollment. This would better serve low-resourced schools and support students who are experiencing food and housing insecurity.
No one should have to worry about how they are getting their next meal or whether they will have a place to live tomorrow, amid trying to get an education. Part time students are still full time humans!