Teach the students we have


As instructors, we often forget that students have lives that impact their performance in the classroom. When you take the percentages listed here and apply them to our classrooms, one will see that the majority of students we teach are dealing with some sort of issue, if not multiple issues.

Following is a run down of stats and related sources for them that give an overview of the students in our classes. All are national except for the last one which is local to USF:

Food and Housing

    • 36% of university students were food insecure in the 30 days preceding the survey
    • 36% of university students were housing insecure in the last year; housing insecurity affected 51% of community college students in last year’s study, and 46% in this year’s study
    • 9% of university students were homeless in the last year; in comparison, 12% of community college students were homeless in this year’s survey

Source: https://hope4college.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Wisconsin-HOPE-Lab-Still-Hungry-and-Homeless.pdf


    • Nearly 3 in 5 of university students were experiencing basic needs insecurity
    • The black/white gap in basic needs insecurity 19%
    • Food insecurity affected 44% of students at two-year institutions and 38% at four-year
    • Homelessness due to COVID-19
      • 15% at four-year institutions
      • 11% at two-year institutions
    • Other facts
      • 2 in 3 students who were employed before the pandemic experienced job insecurity, with one-third losing a job due to the pandemic
      • Basic needs insecurity was higher among students who experienced job loss and/or cuts to pay or hours
      • Half of respondents exhibited at least moderate anxiety
      • Half of respondents at two-year colleges and 63% of respondents at four-year colleges said that they could not concentrate on schooling during the pandemic
      • 21% of respondents dealing with basic needs insecurity applied for unemployment insurance, 15% applied for SNAP, and 15% applied for emergency aid; but many students did not apply for supports because they did not know they were eligible to do so

Source: https://hope4college.com/realcollege-during-the-pandemic/

Students with Disabilities 

    • 19% of male students report having a disability
    • 20% of female students report having a disability

Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2019). Digest of Education Statistics, 2018 (2020-009), Chapter 3.

 Mental Health 

    • 75% of lifetime cases of mental health conditions begin by age 24
    • 1 in 4 young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 have a diagnosable mental illness
    • More than 25% of college students have been diagnosed or treated by a professional for a mental health condition within the past year
    • More than 11% of college students have been diagnosed or treated for anxiety in the past year and more than 10% reported being diagnosed or treated for depression

Source: https://www.nami.org/Support-Education/Publications-Reports/Survey-Reports/College-Students-Speak_A-Survey-Report-on-Mental-H

Domestic and Dating Violence 

    • 21% of college students report having experienced dating violence by a current partner
    • 32% of college students report experiencing dating violence by a previous partner

Source: Dating and Domestic Violence on College Campuses. Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center: University of Michigan. Retrieved from

    • About 6 in every 1,000 students will be sexually assaulted on college campuses

Source: https://hawcdv.org/the-truth-about-domestic-violence-on-college-campuses/


    • 18.5% of veterans experience some form of mental health problem (such as depression or PTSD)

Source: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9336.html

    • The largest study on SSM/V retention and performance in higher education to date examined 898,895 veterans over a span of 10 years (Million Records Project; Cate, 2014) and found that, although SSM/Vs earn postsecondary degrees (from vocational to doctorate) at rates similar to other students (51.7%), it takes them longer to do so

Source: US National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health.

First Generation

    • ~ 33% first generation
    • These students are more likely to be racial/ethnic minorities, be low-income, and have dependent children

Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). 

LGBTQ Students 

    • In 2016, the American College Health Association found that out of a sample of more than 33,000 undergraduate students, 10% identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, asexual, pansexual, or questioning (Best Colleges, 2020)
    • Of undergraduate TGQN [1] students, 65.1% reported experiencing harassing behavior since enrolling at their school
    • In addition, 21.5% reported intimate partner violence, and 15.2% reported having been stalked (Association of American Universities, 2019)
      • [1] TGQN is defined as students who listed their gender identity as transgender woman, transgender man, nonbinary or genderqueer, gender questioning or gender not listed (Association of American Universities, 2019)
    • Nationally, 26% of campuses prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in 2017 and less than 16% expressly prohibit discrimination based on“gender identity and expression” (Diverse, 2017)

Source: Post Secondary National Policy Institute (June 2020)

International Students

    • ~11% of USF students are international
    • It is more difficult to track those that are multi-cultural and may be U.S. citizens but English is not their first language and/or they have specific deeply held cultural orientations
    • More than 5,000 international students from more than 145 countries call USF home and contribute to our reputation as one of the most diverse campuses in the U.S.

Source: USF Facts

Single Parents

  • only about 1/5 of students who are single parents will graduate with a bachelor’s degree within six years
  • From 1995-96 to 2011-12, the number of undergraduate students who are single parents nearly doubled from 1.8 million to 3.5 million. As of 2011-12, more than 15% of undergraduate students are single parents.

Source: Appify and Institute for women’s policy






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