Exploring housing insecurity in relation to student success


Objectives. The relative high rates of homelessness and housing insecurity among college students has become a public health concern within the U.S. This study explores the relationship between housing instability in relation to academic and mental health outcomes. Participants. College students attending a larger public university (N = 1,416 students; M age = 22.54; 47.2% Pell Eligible; 54.6% racially/ethnically minoritized students) were surveyed employing cluster-sampling in the Fall Semester of 2019. Methods. Participants completed validated measures of housing instability, mental health outcomes, and demographics. Additional measures were matched with survey responses through the Office of Institutional Research (i.e., GPA, Pell Grant eligibility). Results. Students who experienced housing insecurity and homelessness were more likely to have a lower GPA as well as poorer mental health outcomes. Conclusion. Findings highlight implications surrounding the need for housing programs and additional financial support in an effort to bolster students’ academic performance and mental well-being.

Journal of American College Health