Student Parent Success Initiative2023-07-31T10:19:55-05:00

Student Parent Success Initiative

Earning a postsecondary credential is more important than ever for families to achieve economic security and mobility. For the roughly four million college students who are parents of children under 18—70 percent of whom are mothers—earning a degree or certificate is a pathway to a better life for themselves and their families. These student parents, however, are often overlooked on college campuses and in the broader system of higher education, and lack access to the supports, such as affordable, high-quality child care, that they need to successfully graduate.

IWPR’s Student Parent Success Initiative conducts research and policy analysis, provides technical expertise and assistance, and communicates its research and builds partnerships to lift up the voices of students with children and increase equity in higher education for student parents and other underserved student populations.


IWPR conducted original research on an often-overlooked group of students—parents with children—as they struggle to make ends meet while pursuing academic degrees and certificates. Click to learn more.

This September, Let’s Celebrate Student Parents!

September is National Student Parent Month, a month to celebrate and uplift student parents in higher education and recognize the need to further empower this unique group of students. According to IWPR reports, student parents make up a substantial percentage of postsecondary students but often [...]

By |September 15, 2023|

Policy-at-a-Glance: Securing Student Parent Success

Earning a college degree has long been critical to unlocking many high-paying jobs – and, as a result, to economic mobility and security. Increasingly, however, the traditional “norm” of a college student – one who enrolls straight out of high school, receives some support [...]

By |September 11, 2023|

State Policy for Student Parent Success: A Landscape Scan of Policy Solutions Enacted at the State Level

While promoting student-parent success has mainly been left to institutions of higher education, several states have considered or adopted a range of policy initiatives to support student parents in postsecondary education. This paper provides state policy stakeholders, including governors, state agencies, and advocates, with [...]

By |August 25, 2023|

Dismantling Barriers to Degree Attainment for Black Single Mother Students

A college degree can be a critical tool to economic stability, security, and advancement, yet structural and systemic issues create challenges for some students. Black single mothers pursuing higher education are disproportionately impacted by factors including lack of child care, educational affordability, and housing. Because [...]

By |July 12, 2023|

Supreme Court Blocks Biden Student Debt Relief Program

Today, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the Biden Administration’s student debt relief program is unlawful and beyond the scope of executive authority. The program would have eliminated up to $10,000 of student debt for borrowers earning up to $125,000 per year ($250,000 for married [...]

By |June 30, 2023|

Black Women Have Made Major Gains in Higher Education, But Black Single Mothers Still Struggle To Attain Degrees

This fact sheet aims to provide college leaders, student parent advocates, and policymakers with data to better understand the landscape for Black single mother students on a national level and prompt considerations for racial and gender equity and investments in institutional resources and supportive [...]

By |June 14, 2023|
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