By Cailin Crowe

The posts go viral because they illustrate a systemic problem, said Barbara Gault, vice president and executive director of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. People understand that colleges and universities don’t always recognize the caregiving responsibilities of students who are also parents. “It’s a statement about something bigger,” she said.

More than 25 percent of college students are parents of dependent children, according to the institute. However, the idea that colleges and universities should provide child care is still a fairly new concept, Gault said.

The bulk of child-care responsibilities still fall on women’s shoulders. Those duties, combined with the lack of accessible child care and the demands of studying, make it difficult for mothers to complete their degrees. Less than a third of single mothers complete their college degrees, according to the institute.

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