Students are humans first. They deserve access to basic needs—food, housing, child care, transportation, and other financial support—that allow them to learn and succeed.

Join our Basic Needs Communities of Practice

As more than four million college students struggle with basic needs insecurity, many higher education institutions and states are responding with new and reimagined programs, community partnerships, and policies. But few of these interventions leverage emerging evidence for lasting change.

Working side by side with our team, you can draw on our expertise in postsecondary basic needs research and practice to create and refine programs and policies. We take time to understand what your students need, then use the latest evidence from the field to deliver effective, relevant technical assistance, communities of practice, and applied research.

Our Work is Guided by Three Student-centered Goals

  1. Improve understanding of how basic needs insecurity affects students, including its impact on classroom learning, engagement, and sense of belonging
  2. Advance knowledge of key cross-sectoral activities to address basic needs insecurity, how to implement activities effectively and efficiently, and how to maximize equitable use of services
  3. Use data and evidence to measure and improve the impact of basic needs support activities

Basic Needs Services


Communities of Practice

Many basic needs practitioners work in isolation at their college or university. To build a network of support, in early 2024 we will launch a free national community of practice. Together, we will work through problems of practice guided by research and data. This project builds on the highly successful #RealCollege conferences held prior to the pandemic.


Technical Assistance and Professional Development

Gain knowledge and build skills needed to implement effective, evidence-based basic needs programs and supports for college students in your community. Contact us to learn more.


Applied Research and Related Services

Let us help you assess basic needs insecurity, examine equitable program use, evaluate current practices, and scale your work using data. Contact us to learn more.

#RealCollege Resources

#RealCollege Survey Guide and Questions

Do you want to assess your students’ needs for support with food, housing, child care, transportation, and mental health? Are you seeking information on which services and supports students use, to identify gaps in their use, and to examine reasons for those challenges? Use our free guide to learn how to field the nation’s leading postsecondary basic needs survey instrument.

#RealCollege Resource Library

Curious about the latest evidence on what works to address basic needs or seeking practical guidance for how to create and implement specific programs and policies? Check out this searchable, open access repository of helpful resources.

College Basic Needs LinkedIn Group

Connect and collaborate in this group—open to anyone and everyone who cares about and commits to supporting students as humans first.