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Class confessions: Students share struggles online

Published on BBC Trending on May 6, 2015.

A college degree is one of the best ways to help Americans rise out of poverty. But for many low income students, navigating life at university can feel like an impossible task.

Now a new anonymous Facebook forum is letting some low-income students share their stories and find support. Class Confessions allows students struggling to make ends meet a chance to vent – and to get support from other students.

These students say that while they may be academically prepared for life at a top university, the universities themselves are ill-equipped to support their needs – and their more privileged classmates can’t understand the struggle.

Forced to work up to 50 hours a week on top of lectures and school work, all while acquiring massive debt, students go hungry or without books needed for the coursework.

Many are the first in their family to go to university, so they have no one to help them navigate the social, academic and financial pressures.

It’s no wonder that low income American students are much less likely to finish university than their peers. But advocates hope by sharing their struggles online, these students will be able to find needed resources – and solidarity.

Class Confessions started at Columbia University but is spreading to other elite schools.