In January 2017, Trellis launched a nine-month study aimed at better understanding the non-academic challenges that postsecondary students face and the ways they try to meet their basic needs while pursuing academic goals.
Working with 11 institutions in Texas and Florida, researchers recruited a cohort of 72 current undergraduate students. Though not representative of college students nationally, this cohort was highly diverse. More than half did not have a parent with a postsecondary credential, and over 20 percent were at least 28 years old. Hispanic students made up 39 percent, white students 31 percent, and African-American students 19 percent. About two-thirds of this group were pursuing associate degrees at public two-year (community) colleges, and about two-thirds had started college between one and three semesters ago.