College taking steps in right direction to address student poverty

With the start of a new semester, a new program to help those in need arose on campus and with the help of the Elk Grove Food Bank, students who financially struggle to afford food can now get access to a food pantry at no cost.

The food pantry, under the name of “The Hawk Spot”, is stocked with necessities and increasingly serves more and more students.  Receiving help can be intimidating but the program ensures anonymity which helps build a trusting relationship between the school and student.

The development of this program is a huge step in continuing the process of maintaining as well as upgrading a student friendly environment. Many colleges in California have been offering some type of food support for students already, so it’s only appropriate for Cosumnes River College to follow in their footsteps.

Another program worth mentioning is the First Year Experience

Community colleges can offer people the chance to attend college at a more affordable rate. Although cost is significantly lower than universities, it is still financially difficult for students to afford basic needs.

According to a research brief released in 2015 by CRC, a little over half of the students in attendance at the college live under the low income or poverty line. More than a 25 percent of that half live under the classified poverty line.

We can thank CRC for its efforts in helping students, but the creation is a little late considering how long other colleges have had a similar program up and running. The program is also fairly new so much can’t be said about the future. Will the food pantry be enough to support all the enrolled students living under the poverty line if hypothetically they were to use it?

So there is more that can be done for these students who balance getting a higher education and living in poverty. This campus is a community and in order for that community to grow and prosper, additional steps can be taken to ease the burden on students.

What can be done should be something that can not only support the students through community college, but also help them have a stable support system as they transfer into a four-year or their next stage of schooling? If universities are much more expensive than community colleges, then the support at that level should be much stronger.

CRC, like many of the other Los Rios Community Colleges, is dealing with low enrollment and perhaps this can be mutually beneficial for both parties.

If the school can put in place more programs and provide more financial support, then it can become a go-to for more students in poverty seeking a higher education and draw in more from the area.