Staying above Water: Educational Outcomes of College Students during the 2016 Louisiana Flood Academic Article uri icon


  • College students occupy a socially constructed transitional space between childhood and traditional adulthood that may generate unique risks for them during disasters. Yet, few disaster research studies focus specifically on college students. Using data derived from in-depth, qualitative interviews six to eight months following the 2016 Louisiana Flood, this paper explores college students perspectives on how the flood affected their educational experience. The students described attendance issues, course schedule changes, grade fluctuations, and changes in motivation. These impacts were often indirectly related to the flood, and varied based on the amount of damage that they or their families experienced, as well as secondary effects including emotional stress, living arrangements, socioeconomic status, and connection with family during recovery. This research exposes the need for further studies on how disasters within college students families may reverberate through the students educational experiences and potentially affect their life trajectories.

published proceedings

  • Mass emergencies and disasters

author list (cited authors)

  • Breen, K., & Meyer, M. A.

complete list of authors

  • Breen, Kyle||Meyer, Michelle Annette

publication date

  • August 2021