This American Public Health Association (APHA) policy brief provides context for the fact that nearly one-third of all students in the United States do not graduate from high school on time. For Black, Latino and American Indian students, that number jumps to half. It’s a destructive cycle: students who don’t graduate face lifelong health risks and high medical costs, and are more likely to engage in risky health behaviors.They are less likely to be employed and insured, and earn less—all of which continues the cycle of poverty and disparities. It argues that all students--but particularly the most vulnerable ones--need someone to pay attention to whether they ate last night, whether they have electricity at home to do their homework, whether they even have a home. School-based health center staff are in the best position to see the social factors and stressors that affect students, and to work with the school and community to remove those barriers so students can learn and graduate.
In this policy brief, four prominent scholars examine how public colleges and universities, after decades of underfunding, can cope with projected budget shortfalls brought on by the pandemic.