In 2022, students at 39 colleges and five universities across Washington state participated
in a survey about basic needs insecurities, including access to food, housing, childcare
and more. The survey found that nearly half of all students in all regions of the
state experienced some type of basic needs insecurity.
One in every three students experienced either food insecurity or housing insecurity.
One in every 10 students had also experienced homelessness in the previous 12 months.
Some students experienced these insecurities at higher rates than others, and former
foster youth had the highest rates of basic needs insecurities with 75 percent experiencing
either food or housing insecurity.
Addressing basic needs challenges for students contributes to their ability to remain
enrolled and pursue their educational goals as evidenced by data from the two student
support programs the legislature previously enacted, the student emergency assistance
grant program and the supporting students experiencing homelessness pilot program.
When students received this assistance, an average of 88 percent of them were able
to persist in their programs. Therefore, the legislature intends to continue to support
students and help students meet their basic needs by increasing access to resources
and support services.