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She started college as a single mother at age 18. Now she has a diploma. (January 01, 2017)

By Nick Anderson
The Washington Post

The need for such help across the country is vast. Recent federal data suggests that there are about 4.8 million parents in college, said Barbara Gault, vice president and executive director of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Those student-parents face steep challenges. Many schools offer little or no child care, and federal data shows that what care is available on campus has dwindled in recent years.

Many young parents, especially teenagers, skip college entirely.

“The chances of teen moms getting a college education are extremely small,” Gault said. “Their financial needs are so intense.” It’s not just about tuition, fees, room and board. It’s also about child care and time commitments.

“Without support,” Gault said, “it becomes a near-impossibility to manage taking care of a child by yourself and attending college full time or even part time.”

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