By Matt Krupnick
Forty percent of U.S. university and college undergraduate and graduate students are, like Nalesnik, 25 and older, according to U.S. Education Department data . Even among undergraduates alone, the figure is higher than 30 percent . The number who are parents — among both undergraduate and graduate students — has increased from 3.2 million to 4.8 million since 1995, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research reports .
But colleges and universities are largely not set up to deal with them.
Instead, as budgets tighten, they’re shedding services such as day care. The proportion of four-year universities with day care centers — most of which also accept university employees’ children — is down from 55 percent to 49 percent since 2002, and the proportion of community colleges, from 53 percent to 44 percent, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research .