A new report from the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice at Temple University explores how students’ college experiences during the pandemic varied by race and ethnicity.
The findings show that basic needs insecurities were highest among Indigenous, Native American and Black students at over 70 percent. The rate among white students was 54 percent.
According to the report, Pacific Islander and Indigenous students made up the largest proportion of students who experienced challenges accessing the internet or a computer, with four out of every five students self-reporting such difficulties.
The data come from a survey completed by more than 195,000 students attending 202 colleges and universities in 42 states in the fall of 2020, as well as four focus groups held at the start of the pandemic in spring 2020.
“Higher education has historically excluded and intentionally marginalized Black, Brown and other non-White populations,” Lauren Bohn, the center’s senior director of strategic communications, said in an email statement about the report. “The COVID-19 pandemic heightened these deep inequities by disproportionately impacting basic needs insecurity for students from systematically marginalized racial and ethnic backgrounds.”
The report recommends that federal policy makers establish permanent emergency aid and increase funding to institutions that serve high numbers of historically marginalized students.
“Federal funds for emergency aid during the pandemic have now been exhausted, but students still urgently need this resource,” the report reads. “As the nation exits the pandemic era, students need systemic changes in higher education policy and practice to reduce structural barriers to their success.”