Sara Goldrick-Rab is Professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology at Temple University, and Founder of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice in Philadelphia, as well as the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. She 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 and the American Educational Research Association’s Early Career Award, and in 2016 POLITICO magazine named her one of the top 50 people shaping American politics. Her latest book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream (University of Chicago, 2016), is an Amazon best-seller and a 2018 winner of the Grawemeyer Award, and has been featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. The Chronicle of Higher Education calls her “a defender of impoverished students and a scholar of their struggles,” she is ranked 6th in the nation among education scholars according to Education Week, and in April 2018 the Carnegie Corporation awarded her the Carnegie Fellowship.

Courses Taught




EDAD 0855

Why care about College: Higher Education in American Life


EDUC 5010

Special Topics in Education: Making College Affordable


Selected Publications


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Kinsley, P. & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2015). Making the grade: The academic side of college life among financial aid recipients. In The Working Classes and Higher Education: Inequality of Access, Opportunity and Outcome (pp. 87-109). doi: 10.4324/9781315696096

  • Kelchen, R. & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2015). Accelerating college knowledge: A fiscal analysis of a targeted early commitment pell grant program. Journal of Higher Education, 86(2), pp. 199-232. doi: 10.1353/jhe.2015.0007

  • Schudde, L. & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2015). On Second Chances and Stratification: How Sociologists Think About Community Colleges. Community College Review, 43(1), pp. 27-45. doi: 10.1177/0091552114553296

  • Brand, J.E., Pfeffer, F.T., & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2014). The community college effect revisited: The importance of attending to heterogeneity and complex counterfactuals. Sociological Science, 1, pp. 448-465. doi: 10.15195/v1.a25

  • Goldrick-Rab, S. (2014). Creating Cultures of Affordability: Can Institutional Incentives Improve the Effectiveness of Financial Aid? In A.P. Kelly & S. Goldrick-Rab (Eds.), Reinventing Financial Aid: Charting a New Course to College Affordability. Harvard Education Press. Retrieved from

  • Goldrick-Rab, S. (2014). Creating Cultures of Affordability: Can Institutional Incentives Improve the Effectiveness of Financial Aid? In A.P. Kelly & S. Goldrick-Rab (Eds.), Reinventing Financial Aid: Charting a New Course to College Affordability. Harvard Education Press. Retrieved from

  • Goldrick-Rab, S. (2014). Conditional pell dollars miss students who need them most. Education Next, 14(2).

  • Sawhill, I. & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2014). Should pell grants target the college-ready? Education Next, 14(2), pp. 58-64.

  • Goldrick-Rab, S. (2014). Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality. AMERICAN JOURNAL of SOCIOLOGY, 119(5), pp. 1474-1476. doi: 10.1086/674742

  • Goldrick-Rab, S. & Kelchen, R. (2014). Making sense of loan aversion: Evidence from wisconsin. In Student Loans and the Dynamics of Debt (pp. 317-378).

  • Goldrick-Rab, S. (2014). “Economic Diversity for Cost Containment.”. In R.D. Kahlenberg (Ed.), The future of affirmative action : new paths to higher education diversity after Fisher v. University of Texas. New York: The Century Foundation Press. Retrieved from