The Rise of the Basic Needs Coordinator

Campus leaders have begun to recognize the critical importance of having on-campus basic needs coordinators

Due in part to the unique challenges faced by students during the COVID-19 pandemic, campus leaders have begun to recognize the critical importance of having on-campus basic needs coordinators. Basic needs coordinators are tasked with helping students secure housing, food, mental health supports and other resources that can reinforce a sense of stability in their lives. The goal is for students to have a partner embedded within their academic institution that can help them access all resources available to them, as many students remain unaware of how to make the most of those resources—or even find them at all. 

While the position itself is hardly new, it’s increasingly being seen as a vital component of institutions’ strategy to boost persistence and student success—and calls for additional support helping students to meet basic needs have come from statehouses as well. In fact, in recent weeks, Oregon and California have both emerged as bellwethers in passing state policies designed to ensure access to basic needs coordinators for students across public universities. Below, we’ve broken down the new policies from both states. 

With the latest wave of COVID showing no signs of slowing down as a new school year approaches, basic needs coordinators will have their work cut out for them. As institutions consider the challenges that lie ahead, these are some of the priorities that we hope will be adopted by basic needs coordinators:

In the months to come, basic needs coordinators are likely to be a crucial resource for students and institutions navigating the ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic. The recent bills in Oregon and California suggest that a growing number of states are recognizing the importance of the role, and we hope to see more policies and practices that can help more students receive the hands-on support and guidance they need throughout their education.

Are you an administrator? Get in touch with us at to learn more about how you can bring equitable emergency aid to your institution today.

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Written by
Edquity Team

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