By Catherine Morris
Two-parent households are dwindling in the United States, with four out of 10 children being born to a single mother, according to a new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). Between 1999 and 2012, the number of single mothers attending college has nearly doubled.
“Because single mothers are a growing share of the population, we shouldn’t be surprised to see a growing share of college students raising kids alone,” said Dr. Barbara Gault, the IWPR executive director. “Single mothers’ economic situation requires that they maximize their human capital so that they can earn a living wage and support their families. College is a great way to do that.”
Nearly 2.1 million students, or 11 percent of all undergraduates, are single mothers, the majority of whom are women of color. Close to half, or 44 percent, attend community college. Of those attending community college, 43 percent say that they are likely to drop out due to the struggle to balance caring for their family with school attendance.