This kind of action is particularly urgent as more students with young children are entering college, said Lindsey Reichlin, a research associate at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Many begin freshman year with more family responsibilities than, say, plans to attend fraternity parties.

“It’s an invisible population,” Reichlin said. “Most universities aren’t aware of the parents on their own campuses. It’s easy to associate college with young adults who still receive support from their parents. But a large share of students with kids are low income, and they’re making extreme sacrifices to get through school.”