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New Jersey Launches Free Online Tool to Connect College Students Facing Basic Needs Insecurity to Resources

In an effort to address basic needs insecurity among students, the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) launched a free online tool to connect college students to basic needs resources.Gov. Phil MurphyGov. Phil Murphy

The navigation tool provides students a place to look up resources and information for matters such as housing, food, transportation, childcare, and state assistance processes.

This effort comes as part of NJ Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration’s goals to increase college completion and get 65% of state denizens a high-quality credential by 2025.

“As my Administration continues to work toward making higher education more affordable and accessible throughout our state, we recognize that success depends on what happens both in and out of the classroom,” said Murphy. “Today’s students come from all different backgrounds and face any number of challenges in their day-to-day life beyond their ongoing studies. We must take a whole-of-government approach to supporting New Jersey students and understanding their unique challenges to help ensure their postsecondary success.”

OSHE also held a statewide convening Nov. 17, at Kean University to highlight and discuss efforts to address such insecurities among New Jersey’s diverse student populations, featuring guests such as the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Complete College America, Researcher and Diverse columnist Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, senior fellow at Education Northwest was the event’s keynote speaker.

“Basic needs insecurity among students is a significant concern that affects students not only in New Jersey but nationally,” said Goldrick-Rab. “At least one in every three students faces food insecurity, one in four is a parent while studying, and one of every two may be housing insecure. Knowing this allows us to recognize that students are humans first and addressing their personal needs and overall well-being is not tangential but central to their academic success.”

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