I have been looking for a recent update to the number of parents (and specifically moms) in college for some time, and today I got just that. I think it’s important for you and I, along with school administrators and staff to know just how many of us are in college, needing services and support. So, here is what the Institute for Women’s Policy Research says:
“Over a quarter (26 percent) of all undergraduate students, or 4.8 million students, are raising dependent children.1 Women are disproportionately likely to be balancing college and parenthood, many without the support of a spouse or partner. Women make up 71 percent of all student parents, and roughly 2 million students, or 43 percent of the total student parent population, are single mothers. Single student fathers make up 11 percent of the student parent population.”
- “Approximately 2.1 million student parents attend 2-year institutions, representing 30 percent of the entire community college student body. An additional 1.1 million student parents attend four-year institutions (public and private not-for-profit), representing 15 percent of the total four-year undergraduate student body, and 1.2 million student parents attend for-profit institutions, making up 51 percent of the student body at for profits. The remaining 371,207 student parents attend other institutions or more than one institution.”
- “The share of women (32 percent) doing so is much higher than the share of men raising children (18 percent), and women of color are the most likely students to be raising children while pursuing a postsecondary degree Nearly half of all black women in college have dependent children (47 percent), followed by roughly two in five American Indian or Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander women”
- “Students with children are especially unlikely to complete a certificate or degree within six years of enrollment, with only 33 percent attaining a degree or certificate in that time. They face significant time demands, with 56 percent of single parents devoting more than 30 hours per week to dependent care, and often have significant financial challenges”
- Student parents are more likely than their counterparts without children to have low-incomes. Sixty-one percent of all student parents have no money to contribute to college expenses (i.e. they have an Expected Family Contribution of $0). Among single students with children, 88 percent have incomes at or below 200 percent of poverty.”
What does this tell us? That the population of moms in college is worth examining and that there is a need for support. The low success rate at 33% is something to really think about. We need to find ways to get support and administration needs to find efficient ways to support us — be it the availability of after-hours childcare, more scholarships, or otherwise. They seem to keep nontraditional students in mind when creating afternoon and evening classes, but what about those mothers who have no child care?
As a mom (or dad) in college, what do you feel is lacking where it concerns being successful and completing college? Let me know in the comments below!
Information taken from IWPR stats sheet, to see the entire fact sheet please visit this link: http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/4.8-million-college-students-are-raising-children