Mohave Community College plans to enhance programs to help students who are struggling to pay for food and housing.
MCC just released initial results from a survey that show 66% of respondents could not afford to eat balanced meals during the 30 days preceding the survey. 62% were identified as having housing insecurity issues over the past year.
Those housing issues include trouble paying either rent, mortgage or utilities. 21% reported moving in with other people because of financial problems.
These numbers come from 163 MCC students who took a national survey in which the college participated. It was conducted by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin.
MCC is one of 75 institutions taking part in the study. The initial results from MCC were presented at the college’s Board of Governors meeting last month.
“Life issues outside of academics absolutely impact student success,” Ana Masterson, dean of student services told the board. “The study reaffirms the continued need for MCC to address the whole student, with us already providing a handful of resources that allow students to continue their educational pursuits while addressing their financial hardships.”
Masterson said the survey results will help guide MCC as it works to address student needs. That includes enhancements to the college’s Student Support Program, emergency grants and MCC’s Community Resource Guide.
MCC President Michael Kearns said students facing the financial challenges identified in the survey are in a category the college defines as underserved.
“We are working to support initiatives that close the achievement gap for underserved populations in our communities,” he told the board. “It’s one of our strategic goals and we need to make sure our students have access to the assistance they need to help improve their lives through higher education.”
Other survey results show 57% of students had to borrow money from friends or family in the past 12 months to help pay bills. 36% did not pay the full amount for utilities. 31% had an account default or go into collections.
The majority, 77%, reported feeling either very safe or extremely safe where they currently live.
The final national report from Wisconsin HOPE will be released in March. MCC’s official school report will be provided after that.