By Jillian Berman

“CCAMPIS is the only federal program that supports child care access for low-income college students who have children,” said Lindsey Reichlin Cruse, a senior research associate at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research who studies student-parents. “While small, for those students who do benefit from this program, they see an immense change in their ability to persist and complete.”

Increasing access to campus-child care as UNM hopes to do helps student-parents of course, but there’s evidence that it’s important for other reasons too. About 28% of single moms who entered college between 2003 and 2009 received a degree or certificate within six years, according to research from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. That’s compared to 40% of married mothers and 57% of women in college without children.

Without degrees, these parents won’t be able to reap the investment they made in their education — whether in the form of time, debt, their own funds or a combination of all of the above. But if parents are able to pursue and persist in higher education, it will likely increase their own fortunes and benefit society more broadly.

“Student parents who graduate with a college degree, particularly those who are coming from a low-income background are going to see substantial earnings gains,” Reichlin Cruse said.

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