WASHINGTON — Today, Higher Learning Advocates and 29 partner organizations sent a letter to Congress to applaud the Senate’s recent passage of S.Res. 362, National Student Parent Month. The resolution expresses the Senate’s support of the contributions and achievements of student parents and designates September 2021 as “National Student Parent Month.”
The letter, led by Higher Learning Advocates, specifically thanks Senator Duckworth (D-IL) and Senator Moran (R-KS) for championing the resolution. In addition to recognizing September as National Student Parent Month, the resolution recognizes the unique challenges student parents face while attending postsecondary education, including lack of affordable child care and balancing work responsibilities. Despite student parents having higher grade point averages than their non-parenting peers, student parents are 10 times less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree within 5 years than students without children.
Nearly 4 million of today’s students are parents. Women are disproportionately represented in the student parent population, with single mothers making up 43 percent of all student parents. Additionally, student parents are more likely to be students of color, first generation, military-connected, and have incomes below the Federal Poverty Line. Even before the pandemic, student parents faced high rates of food and housing insecurity.
The resolution’s designation of September 2021 as National Student Parent Month gives student parents a well-deserved round of applause for their hard work, commitment, and achievements in higher education. Additionally, it calls attention to the supports student parents need in order to be successful both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Higher Learning Advocates is a bipartisan non-profit organization that advocates for solutions to break down systemic barriers and support the success of today’s students in their pursuit of education and skills development beyond high school. We advance federal policies that create transparent pathways to success, incentivize innovation, protect students and taxpayers, and improve student outcomes.