Date of Award
Campus health care services are often overlooked by prospective students and families during the college search process, yet the access and affordability of these services may have a significant impact on the overall health of college students. This study sought to compare student health services and policies at the 14 member institutions of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Additionally, this study explored student perceptions about campus health services and policies. A mixed methods approach was used to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. Institutional website reviews of all 14 SEC institutions were conducted to gather information regarding health insurance policies, health center funding, and services available to students. Interviews of campus health center administrators were conducted to provide clarifying and additional information beyond what was available on the websites. Surveys regarding student perceptions about campus health policies and services were administered to a convenience sample of undergraduate students at one SEC institution. Website reviews and administrator interviews revealed that 10 of 14 SEC institutions have a mandatory student health fee each semester, 3 of 14 SEC institutions mandate that students have insurance coverage, 12 of 14 SEC institutions offer a school-sponsored health insurance plan to undergraduate students, and 11 of 14 SEC institutions offer online scheduling. Student surveys revealed that the majority of students do not understand their own insurance policies. Students expressed frustration regarding cost of receiving services at the student health center as well as concerns about privacy, availability of services, and lack of online scheduling options. Administrators may explore alternative funding mechanisms to improve affordability and access to campus health care services. Additionally, administrators could consider health insurance literacy an important topic for students and families and consider developing educational programming on this topic during Orientation, Welcome Week, and First Year Experience courses. Future research should explore these topics nationally, with a focus on the effectiveness of strategies aimed at improving access, affordability, and understanding of campus health care services.
Gateley, Katrina, "An Examination of Student Health Insurance and Student Health Center Policies Across the Southeastern Conference" (2020). Honors Theses. 1459.
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