The cost of being educated

California Student Aid Commission report shows food, housing affordability still a significant challenge for college students

The California Student Aid Commission recently released its 2018–19 Student Expenses and Resources Survey, examining the financial obstacles college students face. More than 15,000 students were surveyed across 110 campuses. Here are the highlights. Go to for the full report.

• Approximately 35 percent experienced housing insecurity in the past 30 days, including inability to pay rent or utilities or having to move frequently. These rates were highest in the Central Valley (42 percent) and greater Sacramento area (41 percent).

• Food insecurity was the highest in the northern inland area (Butte, Lassen, Plumas, Shasta and Siskiyou counties), reaching 47 percent. The overall average was 35 percent.

• Black students reported the highest levels of housing insecurity (47 percent) and food insecurity (54 percent).

• Students with dependent children or adults (i.e., ill or elderly family members) reported higher expenses—$2,691 versus $1,734 for younger students. They also had higher rates of food insecurity (43 percent) and housing insecurity (57 percent).