Letters from our Executive Director
“Ensuring a diverse student body in higher education helps everyone, not just those who, due to their race, have directly inherited distinct disadvantages with respect to their health, wealth, and well-being.” –Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson
Last week, I had the opportunity to be with a small group of our new Changemaker Fellows and some FAST Fund leaders at a convening of the University Professionals of Illinois, the union representing faculty and other academic support professionals on seven of the state’s public universities.
The COVID-19 pandemic shed a spotlight on the challenges many college students faced in meeting their basic needs.
As we continue to adjust to life after the COVID-19 pandemic, the mission of Believe in Students to help college students meet basic living expenses while working to obtain their degrees remains more relevant and urgent than ever.
“I can’t afford the parking decal.”
This comment from one of the students seeking emergency aid struck me, because when I was a student, I too was short of the funds for the parking pass, and so walked the mile between my apartment and campus every day. Like so many of our students, I didn’t consider myself “basic needs insecure,” I just thought I was living a romantic “broke college student” life.
But as we know, today, the cost of college has spiraled out of control.