101: Single Moms in Higher Education
We met Kimberly Salazar, a single mother of a 5-year-old, last year during Higher Learning Advocates’ National Student Parent Month Fireside Chat. A first-generation student at University of California, Berkeley, and 4.0 GPA sociology major, Salazar was accepted into her school’s honors program for seniors.
She also represents one of the nine in 10 single mother students who live at or near the poverty line.
Higher Learning Advocates’ 101: Single Moms in Higher Education captures the details about today’s single student-mothers enrolled at U.S. institutions of postsecondary education, including racial and ethnic demographics, financial insecurity, basic needs, postsecondary access and attainment, and economic impact.
Facts you might not know about single moms in higher education:
- Nearly 10% – 1.7 million – of all U.S. undergraduate students are single mothers.
- Single mothers with a high school diploma in the U.S. are 1.8 times more likely to live in poverty than when they hold an associate degree, and three times more likely to live in poverty than when they hold a bachelor’s degree.
- Black student-moms account for 31% of the country’s single mother student population and 23% are American Indian/Alaska Native.
- When it comes to meeting their basic needs, more than half report emergencies as a barrier and one-quarter of single mother students have difficulties accessing child care.
- Individual additional lifetime tax contributions from single moms with an associate degree is $71,000 and $220,000 for a bachelor’s degree holder.
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