SCOTT CARLSON: I’m Scott Carlson from The Chronicle of Higher Education , and I’m here with Barbara Gault, from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Barbara, nice to have you at The Chronicle .
BARBARA GAULT: Thanks for having me. Glad to be here.
SCOTT CARLSON: So, as you know, I’ve been doing a number of stories about low-income students in higher education, and that’s one of the main things that the IWPR looks at. But I’m kind of interested to talk with you a little bit about, What are the special challenges that women, female students, have in higher education, particularly if they are low-income students?
BARBARA GAULT: Well, women students, especially in community colleges, are much more likely to be raising dependent kids than male students are. In fact, we found that this varies quite a bit by race, and 54 percent of African-American students who are female have dependent kids that they’re raising while they’re in college. And many times they’re working at the same time.
Native American women students also are very likely to have kids — Hispanic women a little bit less so. But even a pretty high share of white women as well have kids while they’re in college. So it’s a big issue for women, especially in community college and those who have low incomes.