Understanding HSU’s Health Cost Factors

There are a number of unique challenges at HSU that contribute to our health care shortage and the increasing costs of Student Health and Wellness Services.

University Size

Our smaller size compared to other campuses in the CSU system is one factor. We can’t take advantage of some efficiency that can be gained through size, so the cost per student for on-campus health services is higher. Some costs do scale with enrollment, like staffing levels, but many others do not - such as medical records, laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, accreditation compliance, staff training, and building maintenance.

Aging building

A facilities audit performed in 2014-15 identified nearly $3 million in deferred maintenance and renewal costs for the Student Health and Counseling building.

Higher Need

A 2017 campus-wide HealthyMinds Survey revealed 1,746 HSU students have untreated mental health concerns. This matches other data, including from the 2016 National Survey of Student Engagement and American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment, which show HSU students have higher health care needs compared with other CSUs and national averages. Visit the Health & Wellbeing data and strategic planning page for more information.

Systemic Barriers

Many students arrive at HSU underserved and either under-insured or uninsured. A lack of primary care and mental health care providers in our surrounding community makes it hard for students to find off-campus services. Food insecurity is another risk for student success and overall wellbeing. And in Humboldt County as a whole, we have a suicide death rate twice the California average, likely because isolation is a significant risk factor.

Impact on Student Success

At HSU, wait times for walk-in health services often exceed an hour. There are wait times of weeks for counseling and months for psychiatric medication management. As a result, many students miss class to get help or drop out before they can get needed treatment. Investing in health is shown to increase retention and improve the impact of resources invested in other activities across campus. The best evidence suggests that with improved mental health treatment, more than 100 additional students would continue their educations each year.

How will Health Fee Adjustments Impact Services

View Health Fee Dollar to Service Impact Table Updated for 2018-2019 Enrollment Decline

View Vice President's Announcement of New and Expanded Wellbeing Services