Single mothers who graduate college earn $600,000 more over their lifetimes

In The News

By Jillian Berman

For every dollar a single mom in college invests in her education, she gets back $16.45 in increased earnings if she earns an associate’s degree and $8.50 if she earns a bachelor’s degree, according to a study published this week by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a think tank. (The study found that each dollar invested goes farther for an associate’s degree because the cost is significantly less than a bachelor’s degree).

But reaching the finish line can be elusive for this group, putting their investment in jeopardy. Just 8% of single mothers who enroll in college graduate within six years, compared to about 49% of women in college overall, IWPR notes. That’s because these students often struggle to find the funds to afford college — 89% of single mothers in school are low-income — and typically need to balance child care, working and school responsibilities.

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