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Services for Parents on a College Campus

Student parents are no longer a small subset of so-called non-traditional students. The number of college students who are raising children reached 4.8 million in 2011, making up more than a quarter of the entire undergraduate population. But they face heavy odds, as nearly 70 percent have low incomes, and, by and large, are less likely to complete their degree or certification within six years.   

A failure to provide resources for student parents—like childcare and transportation—could impede a disproportionate number of women of color, who are the most likely undergrads to have children, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Colleges that hope to see equity in the race and gender of their successful students require a firm understanding of the demographics and obligations of enrolled parents, according to Barbara Gault, the vice president and executive director of IWPR.