At first glance, providing period product access on campus may be costly compared to other student services.
However, it comes at a greater cost for students who don’t have this access as they may be subject to missing class while on their periods and experience poor health outcomes.
Insufficient access to period products clearly poses a public health threat.
FACT: 1 in 10 college students experience period poverty or lack access to menstrual products when needed.
Menstruating students who don’t have access to free period products may resort to a makeshift pad or other improvised methods. Some may use period products longer than is recommended for safety reasons, may replace period products with unsanitary alternatives or choose to “free bleed.”
Cost is oftentimes one of the major factors holding colleges back from providing free period products on campus.
Our research shows that universities should budget $10-$20 per menstruating student per year for period products.
While it may be an added cost to do so, both schools and students benefit in the long term by making products like tampons free and accessible.
Universities can choose to work together with students to improve period product access on campus and reduce stigmas associated with menstruation.
Luckily, we have quite a few resources for student advocates:
- Student Advocacy Guide
- Logistics Toolkit for Student Advocates
- How to Respond to Objections and Concerns
- Student to Admin Email Template
- Princeton University Case Study