Coming to College Hungry


Student Development
First-Year Students
Food Security
Non-Cognitive Attributes
Performance and Persistence

How to Cite

Collier, D. A., Fitzpatrick, D., Brehm, C., & Archer, E. (2021). Coming to College Hungry: How Food Insecurity Relates to Amotivation, Stress, Engagement, and First-Semester Performance in a 4-Year University. Journal of Postsecondary Student Success, 1(1). Retrieved from


This exploratory descriptive, single-university study (N=700) joined institutional, external, and survey data to examine first-year students’ food insecurity links to non-cognitive attributes and first-semester performance and persistence. Regressions indicate LGBTQ, multi-racial, international, transfer, and first-generation students exhibit increased food insecurity. Food insecurity linked with psychological distress, financial stress, amotivation, and intent to engage with peers but not to faculty, staff, and academic engagement. Food insecurity is also associated with lower first-semester GPA and credits earned. Findings strengthen limited evidence that food insecurity links to college students’ experience, suggesting groups of already-underserved students may need immediate support to ease food insecurity.

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Copyright (c) 2021 Daniel A Collier, Dan Fitzpatrick, Chelsea Brehm, Eric Archer