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Data/Resources: Student Life

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U.S. Dept. of Education Campus Safety and Security

This is a clearinghouse of campus safety and security data that allows you to search campus by campus.

The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice

This is a group based out of Temple University that produces a lot of data, research and analysis about challenges facing low-income and vulnerable college students, including food and housing insecurity and the impact of the pandemic. It’s coming from an activist perspective.

American Council on Education

This is the “establishment” higher education trade group, which has a membership of more than 1,700 colleges and universities and related associations. This is the group you want to reach out to on deadline if you want to get the view on what nationally significant decisions like Supreme Court cases, immigration overhauls, and National Labor Relations Board rulings mean for its member institutions and higher education more broadly.

Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA)

This is the trade group that supports student-affairs professionals. They put out reports on a variety of topics related to student life, like how racial justice and equity efforts are progressing.

This is a federal website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and provides data, facts and research about bullying, and how to prevent it.

The Center for the Study of Student Life

This is a center based at Ohio State University that researches and studies how to improve the student experience. The center and its researchers could be a good resource for broader trends in student life and might be able to point you to the relevant data and research on your topic.

UNCF K-12 Research and Resources

This is a collection of information by UNCF, an advocacy group of historically Black colleges and universities, about how to strengthen the K-12 to college pipeline for Black students. The UNCF itself is a good resource for student-life information. The group represents dozens of HBCUs.

National Education Association

This trade group has a wealth of information on its website about several topics related to student life, including an overview and research about the importance of nutrition to student success, and the role early childhood education plays in performance. They can also put you in touch with experts to talk about broad trends.


Student life is a broad topic that has been well-studied, so there’s a wealth of quality information available about the factors outside the classroom that affect student success. Here’s a sampling of such studies:

“How the quality of school lunch affects’ students academic performance.” 

A Brookings Institution study that explores the relationship between the quality of school lunch and students’ performance. The study from the research group is a little dated; the last year it covers is 2013, but it included data from every public school in California.

“Integration in emerging social networks explains academic failure and success.” 

This is one of many studies that explores the link between students’ social connectedness and their academic success. Researchers published the study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the official journal of the National Academy of Sciences.

“What Matters to Student Success: A Review of the Literature” 

This is a good National Postsecondary Education Cooperative (NPEC) overview of factors affecting student success in college. NPEC, created by the National Center for Education Statistics, includes all sectors of the postsecondary education community, such as federal agencies.

“The Student Personnel Point of View,” 

This is a landmark pre-war report from the American Council on Education, a nonprofit higher education association, about the development and ascendance of the student-affairs profession. This report provided the philosophical foundation of the profession.

“The Value of Out-of-School Time Programs”

The RAND Corporation, a nonprofit global policy think tank, offers a good overview of the research linking after-school programs to student performance.