Sara Goldrick-Rab is Professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology at Temple University, and Founding Director of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice in Philadelphia. She is also the Chief Strategy Officer for Emergency Aid at Edquity, a student financial success and emergency aid company, and founded Believe in Students, a nonprofit distributing emergency aid.

Sara is best known for her innovative research on food and housing insecurity in higher education, having led the four largest national studies on the subject, and for her work on making public higher education free. She is the recipient of the William T. Grant Foundation’s Faculty Scholars Award, the American Educational Research Association’s Early Career Award, and the Carnegie Fellowship. In 2016 POLITICO magazine named her one of the top 50 people shaping American politics and she is ranked 6th in the nation among education scholars according to Education Week. Her latest book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream, won the 2018 Grawemeyer Award, and was featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. The Chronicle of Higher Education calls Sara “a defender of impoverished students and a scholar of their struggles,” an accurate description of her life’s work.

Financial Disclosure: As Chief Strategy Officer for Emergency Aid at Edquity, a private company, I am a paid consultant and hold stock. The terms of this arrangement have been reviewed and approved by Temple University.

Courses Taught




SOC 2176

Is College Worth It? Student Debt and Student Gain


SOC 3176

Sociology of Education


Selected Publications


  • Goldrick-Rab, S. & Labaree, D. (2021). Policy Dialogue: The Problems and Promises of Higher Education in the United States. History of Education Quarterly, 61(3), pp. 341-350. doi: 10.1017/heq.2021.27

  • Anderson, D.M., Broton, K.M., Goldrick-Rab, S., & Kelchen, R. (2020). Experimental Evidence on the Impacts of Need-Based Financial Aid: Longitudinal Assessment of the Wisconsin Scholars Grant. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 39(3), pp. 720-739. doi: 10.1002/pam.22190

  • Goldrick-Rab, S. & Steinbaum, M. (2020). EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR THE STUDENT DEBT CRISIS REQUIRES AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 39(2), pp. 548-550. doi: 10.1002/pam.22210

  • Goldrick-Rab, S. & Steinbaum, M. (2020). WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH STUDENT DEBT? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 39(2), pp. 534-540. doi: 10.1002/pam.22208

  • Broton, K.M., Miller, G., & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2020). College on the margins: Higher education professionals' perspectives on campus basic needs insecurity. Teachers College Record, 122(3).

  • Freudenberg, N., Goldrick-Rab, S., & Poppendieck, J. (2019). College students and SNAP: The new face of food insecurity in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 109(12), pp. 1652-1658. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305332

  • Anderson, D.M. & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2018). Aid after enrollment: Impacts of a statewide grant program at public two-year colleges. Economics of Education Review, 67, pp. 148-157. doi: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2018.10.008

  • Kolbe, T., Kinsley, P., Feldman, R.C., & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2018). From the (Academic) middle to the top: an evaluation of the AVID/TOPS college access program. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 23(4), pp. 304-335. doi: 10.1080/10824669.2018.1530114

  • Broton, K.M. & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2018). Going Without: An Exploration of Food and Housing Insecurity Among Undergraduates. Educational Researcher, 47(2), pp. 121-133. doi: 10.3102/0013189X17741303

  • Goldrick-Rab, S. (2018). Listening to students. In Taking It to the Streets: The Role of Scholarship in Advocacy and Advocacy in Scholarship (pp. 86-91).

  • Kelchen, R., Goldrick-Rab, S., & Hosch, B. (2017). The Costs of College Attendance: Examining Variation and Consistency in Institutional Living Cost Allowances. Journal of Higher Education, 88(6), pp. 947-971. doi: 10.1080/00221546.2016.1272092

  • Valentine, J.C., Konstantopoulos, S., & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2017). What Happens to Students Placed Into Developmental Education? A Meta-Analysis of Regression Discontinuity Studies. Review of Educational Research, 87(4), pp. 806-833. doi: 10.3102/0034654317709237

  • Broton, K. & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2017). The dark side of college (Un)affordability: Food and housing insecurity in higher education. In College Teaching and Learning for Change: Students and Faculty Speak Out (pp. 151-163). doi: 10.4324/9781315302393

  • Goldrick-Rab, S. & Mewburn, I. (2017). Interview. In The Digital Academic: Critical Perspectives on Digital Technologies in Higher Education (pp. 156-161). doi: 10.4324/9781315473611

  • Broton, K.M., Goldrick-Rab, S., & Benson, J. (2016). Working for College: The Causal Impacts of Financial Grants on Undergraduate Employment. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 38(3), pp. 477-494. doi: 10.3102/0162373716638440

  • Goldrick-Rab, S., Kelchen, R., Harris, D.N., & Benson, J. (2016). Reducing income inequality in educational attainment: Experimental evidence on the impact of financial aid on college completion. American Journal of Sociology, 121(6), pp. 1762-1817. doi: 10.1086/685442

  • Broton, K. & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2016). The Dark Side of College (Un)Affordability: Food and Housing Insecurity in Higher Education. Change: the Magazine of Higher Learning, 48(1), pp. 16-25. Informa UK Limited. doi: 10.1080/00091383.2016.1121081

  • Schudde, L.T. & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2016). Extending opportunity, perpetuating privilege: Institutional stratification amid educational expansion. In M.N. Bastedo, P.G. Altbach, P.J. Gumport, & M.N. Bastedo (Eds.), American higher education in the twenty-first century: Social, political, and economic challenges, 4th ed (pp. 345-374). Baltimore, MD, US: Johns Hopkins University Press. Retrieved from

  • Goldrick-Rab, S. & Kelly, A.P. (2016). Should community college be free?: Education next talks with Sara Goldrick-Rab and Andrew Kelly. Education Next, 16(1), pp. 54-60.

  • Goldrick-Rab, S. & Kolbe, T. (2016). A Matter of Trust: Applying Insights From Social Psychology to Make College Affordable. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3(2), pp. 237-244. doi: 10.1177/2372732216656457