Voices for Change

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The media story of the typical college student – one who is lazy, goofing off, and entitled – doesn’t reflect the vast majority of students today struggling to make it to graduation. We’re ready to tell another story, the real story.

It’s time to speak up and speak out.

#RealCollege: Voices for Change is a national call to action for today’s college student to share audio stories of what life is really like balancing academics and a lack of money.

College students across the country struggle with homelessness, food insecurity, and balancing work, family, and other obligations while trying to earn a degree. And yet, congress, politicians, and campuses administrations frequently talk of college already being free, of students being lazy and undeserving, and of proposals to cut the limited financial aid that already exists. We know this just isn’t reality.

We want to hear from the students. #RealCollege: Voices of Change is a platform to tell the real stories of what it’s like to attend college today. It’s your story.

Be part of the movement

The people behind #RealCollege have been advocating for students needs for years. From big publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post, to national audiences like The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, #RealCollege has a platform. We want your voice to be the focus.

Sara Goldrick-Rab and Trevor Noah

We are thrilled to see student voices rising up and sharing the realities of college life today. Students like those at Howard University, Spelman College, University of Michigan, and others across the country are creating their own platforms to call out these realities. We aim to add to these narratives by expanding the voices being heard.

Help us bring your voice to the conversation by sharing your story.

Send us your short audio stories (3 to 8 minutes long) about balancing work, home responsibilities and academics while contending with poverty and hurdles of policies, procedures and norms while attempting to earn a college degree. We want to hear student’s audio story detailing experiences such as:

  • Balancing school, work, family, and other aspects of life while trying to finish a degree
  • Facing hunger or food insecurity while trying to succeed in school
  • Experiencing housing insecurity or being homeless while being a student
  • What it’s like to be first-generation, low-income, a former foster youth, undocumented, part of the re-entry population, a comebacker, or other student identities
  • Other aspects of what it means to be a student may not always be known to college presidents, administration, and faculty, or policymakers

Not comfortable doing an audio recording? You can also write your story for us as well. Written stories should be between 200 and 600 words.

The Details

The campaign runs April 18, 2018 through December 1, 2018. Read our walkthrough on recording and submitting here.

Stories may also be used in future #RealCollege work advocating for supporting students.

You’re eligible if:

  • You have been enrolled at least half time in an institution of higher learning during Spring of 2018. It is OK if you have left school for any reason. We know that your story might include why you had to take time away from being a student.
  • You’re attending school in the United States,
  • Non-U.S. citizens are welcome to participate.
  • You tell your own story, unless you are unable to speak for any reason. Then please designate a person to speak for your recording.

By submitting, you’re agreeing to have your story included in an open-source audio library that can be accessed by the public for educational and advocacy purposes.


Thank you to our sponsors!

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