According to a report by the Wisconsin Hope Lab, an institution that analyzes social disparities, malnutrition affects over half of the students, but it is not their only problem: 14 percent of those attending community college are homeless.

A growing number of American students are malnourished, eating too little and too poorly (mostly junk food) as they are faced with hardships caused by the rapidly rising costs of college tuition and fees, not just at the great private schools such as Harvard and Stanford, but also at community colleges. Millions of college students deal with food insecurity, according to a study by the Government Accountability Office, a congressional agency that oversees the government’s activities. The GAO has filled a gap (there are no federal inquiries in this field) by comparing the results of tens of local reports. It is even worse in community colleges, public colleges, especially technical schools, where students (often from low income families) earn two-year degrees. According to a report by the Wisconsin Hope Lab, an institution that analyzes social disparities, malnutrition affects more than half of the students, but it is not their only problem: 14 percent of those attending community college are homeless.

They have no housing and end up sleeping in the street or couch-surfing with fellow students who are willing to host them for a few days. America’s higher education system is rightfully renowned for the high quality education imparted in its best institutions, especially as far as scientific subjects are concerned. However, this system is merciless for those that do not have access to ample financial resources: students are forced to live on tight budgets or take student loans for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Currently, more than 44 million U.S. citizens, both current and former students, have to pay back student loans of $1.5 trillion, thereby already carrying the burden of significant debt as they enter the job market. Some economists fear that this huge student debt may become the next credit bubble, 11 years after the one caused by subprime mortgages. Perhaps we will avoid a new Lehman case, but this is already wreaking deep social consequences, such as the acceleration of rural flight. According to a study by the Federal Reserve, the increased influx of young people moving to metropolitan areas is made up especially of university students that took large student loans: they know that only large cities offer any chance to find the high-paying jobs that will allow them to repay their debts.