Published on March 4th, 2019
When you think of college life you probably think of the hundreds of young people who spend their college years on campus enjoying all that comes with campus life. From great parties to fraternities, lecture halls to sports facilities, the life of a college student should be an easy one.
However recent studies have proved that this might not be true and that studies on national and local levels of poverty aren’t quite telling us the full story. Not all student experiences are the same and for the thousands of students who choose or have no choice but to live off-campus, life can be much tougher.
A study carried out in the US two years ago showed that poverty rates in many college campus towns, no matter what their size, sky rocket when you factor in students living off campus.
This shows us that not all students are living carefree campus lives and that we need to pay attention to those who are struggling to get by in our communities.
1. Not All Students Are The Same
For many of us the image of a college student is a young freshman entering the halls of learning and living independently perhaps for the first time, but for those living off campus, the reality is often very different.
Many of these students have children, are single parents or trying to juggle the responsibilities of family life, study and a job. It’s these individuals; often trying to create better careers for themselves that poverty tends to be a real problem. While younger students get parental and even governmental support, have more free time to take on part time work and can get by on few less luxuries, the mature student supporting a family has far less access support.
This in turn, leads to a much higher drop out rate among students living off campus as the balancing act between income, family and study becomes overwhelming.
The problem is made worse by inconsistent recording. One of the major hurdles we face in dealing with the impact of poverty is the fact that the recording of it changes from state to state. Students on campus are almost never included but sometimes we don’t know if the off campus students have dependents or are dependents themselves and we need to know the difference.
2. Getting Help
With education widely regarded as a key feature to escaping the circle that is the poverty trap, more and more education and welfare charities are turning their attention to supporting those living in poverty to access higher education.
Indeed the federal government offers a series of grants and scholarships to students, though finding out about them and accessing them can be confusing. Some qualifications are given greater priority than others, so if you’re studying to be a teacher or other public servant there are grants available to encourage take up of these training positions.
If grants are out of the question than pursuing a scholarship might also be a path towards paying for your educational fees. Scholarships are generally available to students who excel in a certain area, have put in an outstanding academic performance or have applied to certain organisations such as a church or charitable foundation.
With poverty, especially among children, on the rise in developed countries across the world its impact can be felt in education even before the college years. Studies show that children from poorer families are far more likely to drop out of school and fail to complete exams.
They are statistically more likely to experience physical and mental health problems and grow up knowing what real hunger looks and feels like. This poverty of education does not change by itself and children from these backgrounds are far less likely to pursue a college education than their well off classmates.
In an apparently modern world, the effects of poverty even in developed countries are all too real. This is true for children, adults and for students living off and even on campus too.
Better and more thorough statistic gathering will in time give legislators a greater understanding of how much poverty is evident in their districts and how to deal with it. It’s only be eradicating the huge gaps between rich and poor and decreasing poverty in education that countries will see a transformation in their communities for the better.
Chloe Bennet is a book marketer at BoomEssays and UKWritings services. She helps with book cover design, writes descriptions and works with publishing houses. Chloe tutors at Essayroo educational service.