Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Stress Takes Its Toll on College Students

About 40 percent of the suicides that have taken place at Cornell in the last 30 years have been a result of jumping into the gorges near campus.
About 40 percent of the suicides that have taken place at Cornell in the last 30 years have been a result of jumping into the gorges near campus.Photograph by Nivek Neslo/Getty Images

There is no denying that today’s undergraduates are under lots of pressure. College tuition continues to rise, which means many of them are buried in debt; the slow economy is making it difficult to find jobs after graduation; and academia, much like the rest of the world, continues to get ever more competitive.

All that stress can be grueling, and it can lead to emotional and mental health problems. A 2012 study by the American College Counseling Association found that 37.4 percent of college students seeking help have severe psychological problems, up from 16 percent in 2000. Of the 228 counselors surveyed, more than three out of four reported an increase in crises in the past five years requiring immediate response, 42 percent noted an increase in self-injury, and 24 percent have seen an increase in eating disorders.