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Publication Date

Summer 2017

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Greg Feist

Subject Areas



Based on the over 3000% growth in the number of on-campus emergency food banks from 2008 to 2014, student hunger is a significant and growing problem among college and university students. This study’s purpose was to explore the extent and severity of food insufficiency among students attending San José State University. Surveys were administered to 2057 San José State University students to determine the presence and extent of food insufficiency, to investigate its impact on academic performance, and to identify characteristics of food-insecure students. Corresponding archival data were collected for these students as part of the American College Health Association – National College Health Assessment II (American College Health Association, 2011). Forty-three percent of San José State University students reported experiencing some form of food insufficiency. Students who experienced a lowered grade on an exam or project were 1.81 times more likely to also be food insufficient; those who experienced a lowered grade in a course or who dropped a course were 4.43 and 4.72 more likely, respectively, to also be food insufficient, and students who experienced a significant disruption to a thesis, dissertation, practicum, or research project were 5.25 more likely to also be food insufficient than students who had experienced no academic difficulty. Student demographics found to be associated with food insecurity were year in school and cohabitation status.