Assessing student veterans’ academic outcomes and well-being: A scoping review

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Higher education provides a pathway for military veterans to transition to an engaged civilian life. Veterans can be model students because of their diverse experiences, resilience, and discipline. Yet some veterans are simultaneously “at-risk”; most are non-traditional students and more likely than the general population to face mental/physical health issues. We propose well-being might protect student veterans from academic difficulties, ensuring positive outcomes. But few studies have investigated the relationship between student veterans’ well-being and academic outcomes. To guide much-needed research, we mapped how well-being and academic outcomes have been assessed in the student veteran literature. We reviewed 96 studies that quantitatively measured student veterans’ well-being or academic outcomes (databases: PsycINFO, ERIC, Proquest Dissertation/Theses, PubMed). Well-being was conceptualized in several ways, demonstrating lack of uniformity. Academic outcomes predominantly focused on performance, though non-performance-based measures (e.g., adjustment) were common. We outline existing research limitations and provide future research measurement recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-119
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Veteran Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2022


  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Educational psychology
  • Learner


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