Student Parent Success InitiativeAdministrator2023-09-28T09:43:54-05:00

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.

FAFSA delay blog
FAFSA Delays-Navigating the Thorny Landscape of College Unaffordability

For many low-income college students, the prevailing Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) delays are causing added panic to our ever-growing educational crisis of soaring college costs. IWPR's Policy Team weighs in.

2023 Education poll
Majorities See Education as a Worthwhile Investment and Favor Student Debt Forgiveness in New IWPR Poll

Check out IWPR's latest poll on public attitudes towards college education, student debt, affirmative action and recent Supreme Court decisions on these important issues.

Underwater
UNDERWATER: STUDENT MOTHERS AND FATHERS STRUGGLE TO SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES AND PAY OFF COLLEGE LOANS

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.

previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow

Supporting Student Parent Recovery through State Policy

Higher education is essential to accessing high-demand jobs with family-supporting wages and improving family financial well-being. This was true before the COVID-19 pandemic and is especially true now as the nation continues the process of recovering from one of the worst public health, economic, and social crises in modern U.S. history. Early evidence suggests that the pandemic exacerbated barriers faced by student parents, affecting their college plans.

By Chaunté White and Lindsey Reichlin Cruse|November 30, 2021|

Evaluating the Role of Campus Child Care in Student Parent Success

To ensure student parents are wholly supported in their educational pathways, research is needed to understand the connection between quality, affordable child care and student parents’ academic outcomes. Yet several challenges persist that make rigorous study of this connection difficult. Drawing on interviews with campus child care directors and a review of data and relevant literature, this brief presents a snapshot of the availability and importance of campus child care services for student parent success. It concludes with recommendations to improve conditions for rigorous research on the role of campus child care in the outcomes of college students with children.

Child Care Access Means Parents in School Reauthorization Act

Read the Letter September 13, 2021 The Honorable Tammy Duckworth United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 Re: Child Care Access Means Parents in School Reauthorization Act Dear Senator Duckworth: As organizations committed to promoting the success of college students with dependent [...]

By IWPR|September 20, 2021|

“Nevertheless, I Persisted and Graduated”: A Single Mom’s Journey

This guest blog post is authored by Zoe Erickson in collaboration with IWPR’s Student Parent Success Initiative. Zoe graduated with her Bachelor's degree in June 2020 from Portland State University and is expected to obtain her Master of Public Policy at Portland State University by June 2022. Zoe is also a recipient of services of the Resource Center for Students with Children program at Portland State University.

By Zoe Erickson|August 24, 2021|

Leveraging Head Start for Student Parent Families

Student parents face significant challenges that can limit their ability to enter, persist in, and graduate from college. Innovative partnerships between Head Start and the higher education system is a promising strategy to bring together essential supports to meet the needs of student parents and set them up for long-term success. This briefing paper explores what this partnership might look like, and how federal and state policy could encourage greater support for student parents and their families through Head Start.

By Lindsey Reichlin Cruse and Tessa Holtzman|August 16, 2021|

“The Pandemic Was Not Going to Stop Me”: A Student Parent Reflects on Struggles, and Success, during COVID

This guest blog post is authored by Jessica Vera, a 2020 alumni of Misericordia University and participant of the Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program. The article was written in collaboration with IWPR’s Student Parent Success Initiative. This past year has drastically impacted my [...]

By Jessica Vera|July 30, 2021|
Go to Top