But I thought the economy was rebounding!

With the number of homeless college students increasing over 75% in the past three years, you have to question the veracity of the economic and employment numbers we have been getting.

Sean McLean’s first day of college at the University of Massachusetts Boston came on the heels of sobering news: The night before, he and his family were evicted from their home in Woburn, 9 miles north of Boston.

“I went to school knowing that later that day I would be packing up everything I owned and going to a shelter,” said McLean, now 19.

McLean is one of more than 58,000 homeless college students in America today, according to Free Application for Federal Student Aid data from the 2012-2013 academic year. The figure — which does not account for students who either do not realize they qualify as homeless (i.e., couch-surfers) or those who choose not to report their cases out of fear or shame — marks a more than 75 percent increase over the previous three years. Administrators and poverty advocates nationwide attribute the recent spike in homelessness among college students to several leading factors: a parent losing a job, a lack of affordable housing and rising tuition costs.

Unlike the homeless population at large, homeless college students are largely indistinguishable from their peers. Many live out of their cars. Some spend nights in the school library pretending they fell asleep studying; others couch-surf at friends’ houses. The rest shack up on the streets or in shelters or motels.

McLean found himself in the latter group last fall. His mother was no longer able to work after taking custody of her infant granddaughter in 2012, and McLean’s part-time job as a maintenance assistant at a school for students with special needs became their primary source of income. They were evicted from their home in September 2013 after falling behind on rent. The state Department of Housing and Community Development placed McLean, his mother and his 2-year-old niece at the Bedford Plaza Hotel in Bedford, Mass., which operates as a family shelter.