Impact in Action Video: How the University of Hawaiʻi Empowers Student Success

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Findhelp customers empower student success at more than 15 higher education institutions around the country, from community college systems to private universities and prestigious schools of medicine. These institutions want to help students achieve their professional goals and dreams, but social factors beyond the institutions’ control can have detrimental impacts on student success and graduation rates


Barriers to Student Achievement

Graduating studentIncome, Pell Grants, and student aid have not kept up with the cost of college; affordability is a significant barrier to college completion and successful entry into the workforce. Students from communities with low incomes commonly contribute financially to their families while in school – not the other way around. Each year, 3 million students drop out of college because of a financial emergency of $500 or less (Hope Center for College, Community and Justice).

According to the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice’s most recent basic needs survey, nearly three in five of the almost 200,000 students who responded said they had experienced basic needs insecurity. 39% of students at two-year colleges and 29% at four-year colleges experienced food insecurity, and 48% of all students experienced housing insecurity.

Post-secondary credentials are key pathways to economic security; higher education institutions partner with findhelp to provide access to support programs for their students so that they can focus on their studies, instead of worrying about their next meal or where they’re going to sleep that night. 

Learn how we’re helping colleges and universities across the country improve student outcomes and empower students.

Link to our higher education use case


Impact in Action: Our New Customer Video Series

We’re launching a new series as part of our storytelling initiative: “Impact in Action.” In this series we’ll explore stories of how our customers successfully partner with us to positively impact their communities and support the populations they serve. 

Watch the short video below to learn more about how the University of Hawai‘i empowers student success and achievement through the findhelp platform. 


Supporting the Whole Student: the University of Hawai‘i

University of Hawai' System logoiFounded in 1907, the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) System includes 3 universities, 7 community colleges and community-based learning centers across Hawaiʻi. In March 2021 UH launched their Student Basic Needs platform (powered by findhelp) to provide a quick and easy way to connect with social care resources in their area. 

Using findhelp’s single sign-on (SSO) capabilities, students and faculty use their university email credentials to log in to the platform, streamlining access to additional findhelp features like favorites folders and referrals.

Quote from Farrah-Marie Gomes at the University of Hawai'i


Student Basic Needs Committee

stack of books and apples

The University of Hawai‘i Basic Needs Committee (UHBNC) was formed in 2019 by UH President David Lassner to better understand and address food and other forms of basic needs insecurities in the student population. The UHBNC is dedicated to supporting students’ basic needs so that personal and educational goals are achieved. With designated committee members from each UH campus, the committee is familiar with accessible resources available specific to their campus and the surrounding community.

To gain insight into the social need barriers facing their students, UH partnered with Temple University’s The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice in 2020 to survey students and report on their social care needs. The Hope Center’s free reports and resources provide the evidence and the insight needed to support #RealCollege™ students. Despite the high levels of basic needs insecurity that were identified, the report showed that only a small number of UH students reached out for support.

Cover of the University of Hawaii's Student Basic Needs Master PlanTo address the needs of their students, the Committee developed a Basic Needs Master Plan for social care barriers like food, housing, childcare, mental health, clothing, living expenses, and transportation. According to the 2020 UH student survey, more than half of their students experience some type of basic needs insecurity. 

Notably, UH requires that students log in to their findhelp platform via single sign-on, so that needs, resources, and outcomes can be tracked to an individual student’s record. Between March 2021 to January 2024, more than 4,000 students have logged into the platform, completing more than 21,000 searches and 2,000 connections. Staff, faculty, and students are all encouraged to use findhelp and the basic needs committee website, and UH leads monthly webinars to teach people how to use their basic needs site and findhelp platform.


Meeting Students Where They Are: Virtual Basic Needs Café

UH launched its Virtual Basic Needs Café in early 2023, and expanded it to all campuses later that spring. The program, available to students outside of regular business hours, connects them to professional staff to identify and access basic needs resources via UH’s findhelp platform. The café operates Sunday to Thursday, from 8pm to 12am and provides a safe and welcoming space for students.


Virtual Student Basic Needs Cafe
A UH student being helped via the Virtual Student Basic Needs Cafe.


Support Student Success

If you’d like to learn more about how we partner with higher education institutions nationwide and can help you support your students, grab some time with us.

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