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VETWAYS researchers Xin Xie and Ross Benbow have released a research brief focused on the academic, career, and social impacts of COVID-19 on undergraduate student service members and veterans (SSM/Vs).

This study uses data from two surveys of a panel of Wisconsin SSM/Vs (n=375), first in spring 2020 and again in fall 2021, to explore the association between pre-pandemic social support networks and student career pathways.

It also studies how social support network changes through the pandemic—including the addition, loss, and/or replacement of personal relationships—might correlate with SSM/V academic/career trajectories.

Findings indicate that SSM/Vs with more campus social ties in spring 2020 felt the sting of campus closures more than SSM/Vs without such ties. Results also indicate that SSM/Vs with higher network turnover through the pandemic reported more negative pandemic-related career impacts.

As pandemic-related effects continue to subside on campuses, we suggest university educators focus on renewing and revitalizing SSM/V connections with one another, fellow students, faculty, and student service providers.


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