Blackboard with Class Confessions written on it
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Video

Class confessions: Students share struggles online

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.

The BBC's Olivia Crellin spoke to students at Columbia University about the site.

For more videos subscribe to BBC Trending's YouTube channel.

Next Story: The Costco heir who became a voice for Baltimore

You can follow BBC Trending on Twitter @BBCtrending. All our stories are at bbc.com/trending

  • 06 May 2015
Go to next video: NYC subway dancers defy police ban