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ERIC Number: ED556733
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Apr
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
Single Student Parents Face Financial Difficulties, Debt, without Adequate Aid. Fact Sheet #C394
Miller, Kevin
Institute for Women's Policy Research
Parents with dependent children were nearly one quarter of students enrolled for credit at American postsecondary institutions in 2008. These students face significant challenges to remaining enrolled and graduating, including limited access to affordable child care, difficulty balancing the demands of school with the demands of work and family, and financial limitations that make it difficult to remain enrolled. Student parents are more likely than traditional students to say that financial difficulties are likely to result in their withdrawing from college (Miller, Gault, and Thorman 2011). Single parents are particularly likely to need financial aid to enroll in postsecondary education. 62 percent of single student parents have an expected family contribution (EFC) of zero, indicating that the federal government considers them to be unable to contribute financially to their educational expenses, compared to 20 percent of postsecondary students without children and 18 percent of married student parents. Single student parents are more reliant on student loans than are other students, possessing between 20 and 30 percent more student debt one year after graduation than other students. Student parents are also more likely than traditional students to drop out of school, which means that they are more likely than traditional students to possess student debt without the benefit of a postsecondary degree (Department of Education 2002).
Institute for Women's Policy Research. 1200 18th Street NW, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-833-4362; Fax: 202-785-5100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR)