#RealCollege is a national movement created by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. Focused on the struggles, triumphs, and realities of what it means to be in college today, #RealCollege seeks to change the landscape of higher education so that all students can afford and complete their studies.

Historically disempowered students and colleges become more powerful when they work together, pooling resources to alter the future of higher education. #RealCollege coalitions form the basis of the movement. All the coalitions commit to a single fundamental premise: Secure access to food, housing, and other basic needs are essential to academic success in higher education and must, therefore, be treated as a top educational priority.

#RealCollegeCalifornia Impact:
As a result of three years of engagement in the partnership with The Hope Center, college leaders and districts in California:

  • Used data to inform basic needs programming and effective interventions
  • Implemented strategies to support students with equitable emergency aid models (doubling graduation rates)
  • Strategized to develop innovative programs to secure housing, maximize the implementation of one-stop centers, and leverage funding opportunities
  • Built internal capacity to respond to the ecosystem nuances, enhancing the operationalization of programs designed to support students
“Addressing students' basic needs is hard and necessary work. We need to do it as a community, and #RealCollegeCA brings us together as allies in support of our students.“

- Keith Curry, Ed.D., President/CEO, Compton College

#RealCollegeCalifornia History:
Envisioned by the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges Affordability, Food & Housing Access Taskforce, the #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition was created in 2019 to provide the latest evidence, integrated with hands-on guidance to inform implementation and help members develop a cutting-edge mindset to increase their institutional effectiveness. In a post-pandemic environment, the Coalition aims to strengthen California’s ecosystems to support students’ basic needs and promote college completion.

#RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition Membership:
Members of the Coalition have access to research and data services combined with learning best practices from peer institutions and other experts in the field. This approach strategically aligns The Hope Center’s nationally renowned student basic needs survey with systems change education and training services to help institutions not only identify their students' basic needs, but also address them.

#RealCollegeCalifornia Membership Levels:
Institutions can select to engage in one of four levels designed to propel institutional transformation: Hope Impact Partnerships (HIP): These three levels include fielding The Hope Center’s basic needs survey, access to a live data dashboard, and much more. Additional details including Coalition members who have chosen this level and pricing are available here.

#RealCollegeCA Level Information: If surveying students is beyond current institutional capacity or goals, The Hope Center offers current and future Coalition members the option to continue to engage with institutions and key-players in the State. This one-year commitment includes reduced member registration to the #RealCollegeCalifornia Basic Needs Summit, two California-specific practitioner community sessions facilitated by Hope staff focused on #realcollege research, policy, and/or practice, and unlimited access to three modules of The Hope Center's NEW #RealCollege Basic Needs Curriculum. The cost associated with this level is $3,000 per year regardless of the institution’s student headcount.

Renew or Enroll Now!
All California higher education institutions are invited to join the #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition. To indicate your interest in fielding the survey and participating in HIP, please select the level that best suits your institution and submit the enrollment application

Note: A portion of the membership fee ($300) will be used to support the annual #RealCollegeCalifornia Basic Needs Summit.

For additional information or questions, including district pricing please contact hip-info@temple.edu.

Complete Your Membership Application Now! 
Note: Colleges that complete the #RealCollegeCalifornia membership application will receive an invoice from the Community College League of California for membership payment.

About your institution:

If you are signing up all colleges in your district, please complete an application for each college, separately.

Who will be the point of contact for your #RealCollege membership?

Who can we contact to follow up on the membership payment?

Commitment Statement:
Please review this statement with your college president and affirm that they agree to it. If possible, please post your commitment publicly.

We recognize that secure access to food and housing is essential to academic success in higher education and must, therefore, be treated as a top educational priority. We will exemplify this commitment in our public statements and in our daily work. We will advance a campus culture of caring that recognizes that students are humans first. We will use data and evidence to drive our efforts to reduce food and housing insecurity and seek to impact as many of our students as possible. Finally, we will address the structural poverty that created this basic needs security crisis.