Food-insecure UNM students at risk of failing in school
As the cost of college continues to soar, more students are finding themselves struggling to find stable housing and enough to eat. A 2019 study found of 167,000 students nationwide found 39% had experienced food insecurity in the last 30 days, and the coronavirus pandemic has only made this worse.
A team of researchers at the University of New Mexico found these students are more likely to fail or withdraw from class, or drop out of school entirely. Their findings were recently published in the Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice.
The survey was done by lead author Heather Mechler, UNM Office of Institutional Analytics; Kathryn Coakley, UNM Department of Individual, Family, and Community Education; Marygold Walsh-Dilley, Department of Geography; and co-PI Sarita Cargas, with the Honors College.
The work is part of the Basic Needs Project at UNM, which seeks to improve the basic needs security of college and university students in New Mexico through a combination of data collection, research, and the development of and advocacy for sustainable solutions.
They made sure their sampling for their survey represented all UNM students, including graduate students and those seeking professional degrees, setting it apart from most similar studies.