Survey result: College students struggle with food insecurity

Survey result: College students struggle with food insecurity

College students experience many challenges throughout their higher education journey. Students face many challenges which can include family expectations, financial debt and dealing with mental health problems. One of these challenges include being food insecure. The Health Affairs calls it the “Invisible Epidemic” as 30% of all college students experience food insecurity at some point in their college career. Breaking this down further, 38% are from two year colleges and 20% are students at a four-year institution. 

Recently a former Let’s Go intern, Nathen Ortiz, conducted a survey and asked the Let’s Go community if they experience food insecurity. 31.8% of respondents were community college students, 31.8% were CSU students, 9.1% were from a private institution, 27.3% were students at a UC institution. These students were asked a variety of questions related to food insecurity, such as if they also experienced housing insecurity, if their institution offered a food pantry and how accessible said food pantry was. About 45.5% of the respondents consider themselves food insecure, 31.8% do not consider themselves food insecure and 22.7% said they were not sure. From this data, it is gathered that almost 50% of the respondents were food insecure and from these correspondents, 60% also struggled with housing insecurity. Challenges that contribute to students struggling with food insecurity have to do with not receiving enough financial aid, having to pay for other expenses and bills, losing jobs, and having financial emergencies. 

Suggestions students presented to address food insecurity among college students and improve food services in their institutions were:

  • Institutions being more vocal of resources outside school like food banks and other food-related programs
  • Giving leftover food to students
  • Outreach programs and outside resources
  • Grocery store gift cards
  • Providing stipends or emergency funds for students in need
  • Giving free meal swipes for students 
  • Providing free grocery food stamps and other forms of food insecurity support for eligible students 

Source: https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/forefront.20220127.264905

Vaccination Requirements Update for Fall 2021 term

California State University

Because of the current surge in COVID cases due to the highly contagious delta variant, the CSU is looking to maintain the health and well-being of their students, employees, and visitors to the campuses. Although the CSU is still drafting a vaccination policy, they are urging the CSU community to get vaccinated as soon as possible. According to the chancellor’s office exemptions will be made for students and employees who can not be vaccinated due to medical or religious reasons. But all certifications must be completed by September 30th, 2021. 

Chancellor Joseph Castro mentioned that campus leaders are setting incentives, such as scholarships, textbooks vouchers or prizes, to encourage their students and staff to get vaccinated. 

For further information, please visit the original article or official press release

University of California

In early July, the UC also announced that it would require students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for campus access. The UC policy explains that students and staff must show proof of vaccination two weeks before the start of the fall term. 

Guidelines for how the policy will be implemented systemwide are being finalized and are expected to be issued next week. Look for more information from your campus.

For more info visit the official announcement here

California Community Colleges

Community Colleges Interim Chancellor Daisy Gonzales urged local community college districts to adopt vaccination mandates. According to this EdSource article, at least 29 of the state’s 115 in-person community colleges have announced some form of vaccine requirement for this fall including the Los Angeles Community College District, the largest community college district in the state. 

Checklist for Commuter Students

Checklist for Commuter Students

Everyone says that starting college is a very exciting part of your life but no one really talks about the stress that comes with preparing for college. There are things you need to figure out such as: will you be living on campus or with family? How will you get to and from school? When thinking of commuting you need to take in consideration a checklist that would make your commuting experience more enjoyable. Here are some tips to make your commute easier:

Staying Safe

Whether you are commuting by public transportation or by your own vehicle, one of the most important things is staying safe. Sometimes you may stay in school very late and by the time you head home it is dark or you may need to leave home very early in the morning. No matter the time, here are some tips on staying safe:

  • Tools*

Pepper spray, taser and emergency car kit are all helpful tools that can be used during an emergency. Read the instructions on how to properly use these tools and only use them for emergencies. 

  • Emergency SOS programs

Android and Apple have an emergency mode on smartphones to help during difficult situations. Depending on the company, these programs allow you to add emergency contacts, call emergency services and put your phone on ultra power saving mode. 

More information for apple users, samsung, and android users.

Nutrition

Sometimes you are running late and forget to make yourself breakfast or maybe you did not pack lunch. One way to avoid this is by meal planning! There are many ways to meal plan, it is done according to your lifestyle. If you have never meal planned before, here is a some tips for beginners:

 When meal planning, it is important to save on produce! Here are some guides to CalFresh, SNAP, and food banks that may be available near you. 

Entertainment

Have a long commute? One of the discouraging things about having a long commute is knowing how to fill in the time. 

  • Listening to a podcast, music, or audiobook  

Student discounts for Apple Music and Spotify

  • Studying

If you have an exam that day, you can review your notes or study guides on the way to school. This is helpful because you are briefly reviewing your notes before your exam to make sure you don’t forget some last minute details. 

Discounted Bus Passes for Students

If you will be taking public transportation to get to and from school, you will need a bus pass. The cost for a bus pass can accumulate but luckily there are programs that offer discounts for students! Additionally, these offers have unlimited rides for your semester/quarter.**

  • Orange County and Irvine Students
  • Bay Area Students
    • Clipper Card 
      • Will be able to use on Caltrain Golden Gate Transit, Marin Transit, Muni, SamTrans, etc… Check the FAQ for more information
      • Must have an income level below $89,320

*keep in mind some places do not allow pepper spray, tasers or anything sharp inside their perimeters 

**rules may vary, visit websites for more information

Credit Cards 101

Credit Cards 101

You see it all the time on movies and TV! People go shopping and pull out their nice sparkly credit card to pay for the charge, but what exactly is it? Credit cards are actually a staple in adult finances. Read below for more on what credit cards are and why they matter!

Q: What is a credit card?

During a transaction, a credit card will work the same as a debit card. Both cards have a 16-digit number, a security code, and an expiration date; however, the mechanics behind them are different. 

While debit cards withdraw your own funds from the bank, credit cards draw from a loan. This “loan” is called your credit line. Banks will approve you for a certain loan amount and this loan is the maximum the bank is giving you to spend. If your credit line is $500, then you can only use $500. If your credit line is $1000, then you can only use $1000. 

Because the money is not yours, you have to pay the money back month-to-month. Most banks have a listed minimum payment amount. For example, you may have used $300 of your $1000 credit line, and you’re required to make at least a $35 payment each month. The minimum payments vary from bank to bank. 

Notably, credit cards charge you an interest rate. Because the bank is allowing you to use their money, they will charge you interest to make more money back. If your interest rate is 10%, then if you use $100, you have to pay the bank back $110 ($100 + $10 for interest). 

There are different types of credit cards. Some are specifically meant for college students! As you grow older, you will have options to cards that are specific to travel, rewards shopping, and more.

Q: Why should I get a credit card?

Importantly, credit cards can help build and increase your credit score! A credit card is a perfect way to show lenders that you are a reliable consumer through on-time payments and credit usage. 

If you pay your credit card bill every month on time, your credit score will go up! If you pay more than the minimum payment each month, your credit score will also go up!

Additionally, using only a portion of your credit limit is extremely beneficial! Financial experts recommend using only 30% of your credit limit. This indicates to other lenders that although you have access to more money, you do not need to use it all. So if you have a $1000 credit limit, it is recommended that you only use a constant $300. If you use more than 30%, your credit score may decrease, but if you manage to keep it at 30% or lower, your credit score will go up!

Q: Who can get a credit card?

There are a few requirements for a credit card. You must:

  • Be at least 18 years old. At this age, you must have a reliable source of income (your financial aid counts);
  • Have a social security number. If you are a DACA recipient, you can use the SSN assigned to you to apply;

Applications will then ask for other basic information such as your residence, birthdate, and more. Note that some banks may require that you have a co-signer. A co-signer is someone who becomes responsible for your debt if you cannot pay it back. If you miss your credit card payments, then the co-signer begins to be charged and becomes liable for the debt. 

After submitting an application, you will know if you got approved or not within a few business days. Some cards let you know if you got approved instantly!

Q: How do I get a credit card?

The first step is choosing a credit card to apply to. Because we are not financial experts, we cannot recommend specific cards; however, there is plenty of information available online. Some cards are specifically designed for college students. While your credit limit may be lower, it will have more advantages for college students such as easy approval or no yearly charges. 

Google, “best credit cards for college students,” and choose according to what you think is best! Remember that this is a huge financial decision and can impact you negatively if you get rejected. First, make sure that you can prove you have access to financial aid. A work-study or part-time job will always be a plus! If you have not worked for a few months anywhere, you should wait until you have a longer history of income. Credit cards are a safer option for people who have been working for at least a year or two.

Follow the links below for more resources on credit cards! Please remember that we at the Let’s Go team are not financial experts. More individualized advice is required by experts. 

 

How to Enjoy Your Summer

How to Enjoy Your Summer

Looking for fun ways to spend this summer? Here is a list of different activities and events that are now available as California Begins to re-open! 

Find a Park: Find your local beach/park (or maybe plan a road trip!) and enjoy the outdoors. 

Summer 2021: In-person fairs and festivals in Southern California through September : Fairs are back! Here are their dates and where they will be this summer/incoming fall. We can smell the turkey legs and fried-everything already. 

Los Angeles and San Francisco museums reopening: The list : Who else misses romanticizing their life as they walk through museums? Here is the reopening list and guideline! Museums are great learning point as well as backdrops for your summer IG posts.

California reopening calendar: theme parks, museums, venues: Missing the thrills of roller coasters? Here is the reopening calendar, don’t let your masks fly off! 

25 Best Things to Do in California (2021):  Still unsure? Here is a miscellaneous list of what to do this summer, find one that best fits you. 

We have all had a rough year, the least we can do is enjoy this summer. Stay safe and enjoy this summer!