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Over Half of Students Say Family Problems Hurt Them Academically During the Pandemic


This week, we’re sharing some key findings from a recent report about the challenges high school students experienced during the first 12 months of the pandemic, from April 2020-April 2021. Stay tuned each day this week to learn more about what students told us.

Many students, especially Latinx, Asian, and Black students, reported that the challenges they experienced during the first year of the pandemic had a negative effect on their performance in school. Problems and challenges with bullying, cyberbullying, neighborhood violence, and food insecurity were experienced less frequently than concerns about the health of someone close to them, family, finances, microaggressions, and discrimination, but still affected a noticeable proportion of students.

Problems with family had the greatest effect on students, with 51% of all students reporting that such problems either negatively affected their academic performance or delayed progress toward graduation.

Although the report found that experiencing challenges was not statistically related to lower ACT test scores, it did find that bullying (41%), cyberbullying (38%), and discrimination (31%) were noticeably detrimental to academic performance and graduation.

ACT supports urgent investment in Latinx, Asian, and Black communities that have been upended by the pandemic and students who need additional support from their schools to help ensure that they, along with their peers, progress academically and have proper access to mental health supports.

Read the previous blog posts in this series: