San Francisco reporter Janie Har exposed a growing housing crisis hitting college campuses across the U.S.: A surge in the number of new students who deferred college during the worst of the COVID crisis has strained campus housing nationwide, leaving many students homeless, sleeping in cars or living in motel rooms while attending school — or causing them to further delay their education.

Working with AP’s housing coverage team, Har noticed that the housing crunch affecting many Americans was also impacting college students nationwide. California has been at the epicenter of the problem, with the University of California, Berkeley, threatening to cap enrollment over the issue. Har found that over the past year, 43% of students experienced housing insecurity and 14% experienced homelessness nationally.

With video from Terry Chea and photos by Eric Risberg, digital storyteller Samantha Shotzbarger created a strong presentation that brought the issue to light. The story performed well both on AP platforms and with customers, but its real impact was on Facebook, where it was viewed 2.4 million times.