Pantries and parking lots: meeting basic needs

Over the past three years, student activism and a growing body of research have drawn attention to the challenges college students face in meeting basic needs: food, shelter, transportation and mental health.

While colleges have added food pantries and emergency housing beds, lawmakers continue to debate solutions. Proposals range from the ambitious and pricey—overhauling the Cal Grant program to cover the total cost of attendance—to the more modest, like letting homeless students park overnight in community college lots.