Assessment of prevalence, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of food insecurity in students attending a private university

Kayla Guerrero


Multiple studies have concluded that acquisition of a college education plays an essential role in ending financial instability. A study on food insecurity in college students noted a small likelihood of food insecure students achieving a GPA of greater than or equal to 3.1. Previous research examining food insecurity prevalence in college student populations has found rates of food insecurity to be higher than national or state averages. Currently, no research exists that has evaluated food insecurity in private institutions. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence and perceptions of food insecurity among students attending a private, all-women’s university. A survey instrument was developed using validated questions from the literature and themes identified from individual interviews during the first phase of the study. Of the 84 respondents, 7.1% were classified as food insecure. The majority of students (90.3%) reported food insecurity can be an issue for college students, and many (59.0%) reported knowing someone experiencing food insecurity. However, participants lacked knowledge about food assistance programs. These data support the need for education and interventions to reduce food insecurity among the college student population.