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.
Power Point presentation from Student Parent Support Symposium session on "Current Student Parent Research & Policy Efforts"
Over a quarter (26 percent) of all undergraduate students, or 4.8 million students, are raising dependent children. Women are disproportionately likely to be balancing college and parenthood, many without the support of a spouse or partner.
This report presents findings from a survey of female community college students in Mississippi conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and commissioned by the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi.
College Students with Children are Common and Face Many Challenges in Completing Higher Education Summary
The role of parenthood in postsecondary outcomes needs greater focus from the higher education reform community.
Webinar: Student Parent Success Initiative on federal supports for low-income student parents through the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF)
DOWNLOAD REPORT Slideshow/Powerpoint presentation from the Student Parent Success Initiative webinar on federal supports for low-income student parents through the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) highlighting existing programs in Minnesota and Virginia. 7/25/2012
Only two states, Minnesota and Virginia, have used their PAF grants to provide services related to postsecondary institutions. This fact sheet describes several of the programs and initiatives created by these PAF grantees.