Basic Needs: Food, Housing, Financial, and Mental Well-being
Basic needs insecurity is a growing and critical struggle that threatens students' academic and mental and physical well-being. A student's retention and progress to graduation can be in danger when they have inconsistent access to nutritious food, housing, financial instability, and mental health instability.
Students at Risk
Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students are at risk of being basic needs insecure because of factors like increasing cost of higher education, lack of awareness of available support, and stigma and shame. However, a certain population of students is disproportionately impacted; students that are already undeserved, including first generation, LGBTQIA, low income students, and students of color.
The Impact on Students
Basic needs insecurity is common among college students and the negative impacts are real:
- Increases difficulty in concentrating and studying, lowers retention, and decreases graduation rate.
- Generates and/or elevates depression, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and burnout.
- Lowers morale and motivation, reduces creativity, hinders communication, decreases productivity, increase absenteeism, and decreases social opportunities.
Students that are hungry, burned-out, depressed, preoccupied with issues like money are less likely to succeed academically, socially, and personally.