Research Assistant

Areas of Expertise: Access to Higher Education, Investing in Single Mothers' Higher Education, Student Parent Success Initiative

Tessa Holtzman is a Research Assistant at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.  Tessa works on projects related to college access and success and nontraditional occupations, examining how these topics intersect with economic issues.

Prior to joining IWPR, Tessa worked on LGBTQ impact litigation and policy with GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). While at GLAD, she worked as an assistant to the attorneys challenging the transgender military ban and as part of a team leading a national policy initiative to fight insurance discrimination. She currently serves on the board of two education non-profits, both of which are focused on addressing educational equity.

Tessa received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in 2017.

Publications

Prioritizing Student Parents in COVID-19 Response and Relief

INTRODUCTION   Nearly four million U.S. undergraduate college students are parents or guardians of children under the age of 18. These student parents, who already faced immense financial, child care, food, and housing insecurity before the COVID-19 pandemic, are now dealing with multiple new barriers, including school closures, lay-offs, and child care disruptions, among other…

STUDENT PARENTS IN THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: Heightened Need & the Imperative for Strengthened Support

Introduction   Nearly four million undergraduates, or more than one in five college students, are parents of children under 18. These student parents face—in normal times— disproportionate economic insecurity, difficulty meeting basic needs, and significant time and caregiving demands. Yet, in spite of these challenges, they are also incredibly resilient. Motivated to build a better…

Investing in Single Mothers’ Higher Education: National and State Estimates of the Costs and Benefits of Single Mothers’ Educational Attainment to Individuals, Families, and Society

Introduction   Earning a higher education is increasingly necessary for achieving family economic security. For single mothers, who are more likely to live in poverty than other women, earning postsecondary credentials can bring substantial benefits, from increased lifetime earnings and employment rates to better health outcomes and chances of success for their children (Attewell and…