Scaling Success: Lessons From the ASAP Expansion at Bronx Community College
ASAP was designed to improve completion rates by providing wraparound services for eligible students, including financial, academic, and personal support.
Wolfson et al. / Public Health Nutrition / July 2021
This study examines the effect of food insecurity during college on graduation and degree attainment. The authors used a secondary analysis of longitudinal panel data to measure food insecurity concurrent with college enrollment using the 18-question USDA Household Food Security Survey Module. Educational attainment was measured in 2015-2017 via two questions about college completion and highest degree attained. Logistic and multinomial-logit models adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics were estimated. This study used a nationally representative, balanced panel of 1,574 college students in the US in 1999-2003 with follow-up through 2015-2017 from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. In 1999-2003, 14.5% of college students were food insecure and were more likely to be older, non-White, and first-generation students. In adjusted models, food insecurity was associated with lower odds of college graduation (OR 0.57, 95% CI: 0.37, 0.88, p=0.01) and lower likelihood of obtaining a Bachelor’s degree (RRR 0.57 95% CI: 0.35, 0.92, p=0.02) or graduate/professional degree (RRR 0.39, 95% CI: 0.17, 0.86, p=0.022). These associations were more pronounced among first-generation students. 47.2% of first-generation students who experienced food insecurity graduated from college; food insecure first-generation students were less likely to graduate compared to first-generation students who were food secure (47.2% vs. 59.3%, p=0.020) and non-first-generation students who were food insecure (47.2% vs. 65.2%, p=0.037). Food insecurity during college is a barrier to graduation and higher degree attainment, particularly for first-generation students. Existing policies and programs that help mitigate food insecurity should be expanded and more accessible to the college student population.