IWPR conducted original research on an often-overlooked group of students—parents with children—as they struggle to make ends meet while pursuing academic degrees and certificates.

Student parents often face enormous financial barriers to academic success. They report high financial insecurity including issues with food, housing and other basic needs. For students with children, borrowing for postsecondary education may mean accumulating debt without improved labor market outcomes or the financial ability to pay off loans. This is because the financial barriers and logistical challenges, such as inadequate access to reliable child care, student parents face may result in leaving college early without a credential, which has implications for future earnings.