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Basic Needs Insecurities

Introduction to Basic Needs Insecurities

This chart shows the share of households in the U.S. by food security status (1998-2020).This guide was created to help individuals who may be experiencing basic needs insecurities here at Midlands Technical College. On this guide, you can learn more about Basic Needs Insecurities as well as find information about various organizations and agencies that may be able to offer guidance or resources.

Image Source: Statista


What is a Basic Needs Insecurity?

According to the Ohio State Student Wellness Center, basic needs insecurity can be defined as a lack of consistent access to food, shelter, clothing, utilities, childcare, and security (both financial and physical). In today’s society, many would also argue that lack of access to technology and stable Wi-Fi fall into this category as well.

Who is impacted by Basic Needs Insecurity?

Students attending colleges and universities are not immune from experiencing food or basic needs insecurity. A 2019 report from the Hope Center found that 42% of students at 4-year institutions and 47% of students at two-year institutions are impacted by food insecurity.  

Risk factors for basic needs insecurity include (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2019): 

  • Students who are employed
  • Students with longer enrollment
  • Part-time students versus full-time
  • Divorced students
  • Students with children
  • Students financially independent from their parents 

How does Basic Needs Insecurity impact college students?

There is no shortage of research demonstrating the adverse effects of basic needs insecurity on college students. Facing basic needs insecurity can result in numerous barriers for students, such as distraction in class, deteriorating mental health, dropping or discontinuing classes, and lower grades. Some studies suggest that addressing food insecurity on campus can potentially enhance student GPA and university retention rates.(Woerden, Hruschka, and Bruening, 2018). 


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