Student Parent Success Initiative
Meeting the demands of an evolving economy requires a skilled workforce that is adequately prepared to fill in-demand jobs. Earning a postsecondary credential is, therefore, 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.
This briefing paper outlines how state and federal
policymakers can center the immediate and longerterm needs of student parents in policy responses to the pandemic, so that they are able to safeguard their families’ economic well-being and continue along their pathway to college attainment.
Greater investments in helping single mothers graduate college would benefit their families, their communities, and society as a whole.
Investments in the postsecondary success of parents with young children can increase attainment of credentials leading to good jobs, bring children the benefits of high-quality learning environments, promote later college-going among children, and improve family economic security across generations.
Head Start-College Partnerships as a Strategy for Promoting Family Economic Success: A Study of Benefits, Challenges, and Promising Programs
DOWNLOAD REPORT Introduction and Summary Improving family economic security in the United States requires new strategies to support parents while they develop skills and attain education to prepare them for well-paid jobs. Postsecondary education brings a range of benefits to graduates and their [...]
DOWNLOAD REPORT Making “Free College” Programs Work for College Students with Children College is one of the most reliable routes to economic security for parents and their children. College credentials are linked to increased earnings, higher rates of employment, lower poverty rates, and [...]
DOWNLOAD REPORT Two-generation (2Gen) programs and policies create opportunities that allow adults and the children in their lives to build on each other’s successes. Ensuring that both parents and children have access to affordable, high-quality educational opportunities, for example, is a core component [...]
DOWNLOAD REPORT Single Mothers with College Degrees Much Less Likely to Live in Poverty Earning a postsecondary degree is a well-established pathway out of poverty, and degrees are especially life-changing for women raising children on their own. Analysis by the Institute for Women’s [...]
IWPR Analysis Informs Historic Sick Days Ordinance in Austin In February, the Austin City Council passed an ordinance to require the city’s employers to provide paid sick days. The ordinance’s historic passage makes Austin, Texas, the first city in the South to guarantee paid sick [...]
DOWNLOAD REPORT Single student mothers are growing in both absolute numbers and as a share of the college population. They often face significant financial and time-related obstacles that make it difficult for them to persist to graduation. Investing in programs and supports that [...]