Hundreds of thousands of California’s public higher education system are student parents—which include pregnant students, students on parental leave, and others with dependent care responsibilities.
- Have greater financial need than their non-parenting peers
- Are less likely to persist from year to year or earn a degree or certificate
- (The majority) intend to enroll in a community college, rather than a public four-year or private university
Steps need to be taken to ensure that student parents can achieve their educational goals. Therefore, prioritizing their needs and carving a pathway to and through higher education, specifically community colleges, would not only benefit the parents, but improves their child’s success, and strengthens California’s economy, creating more vibrant communities.
As such, it is imperative that California addresses the needs of student parents through four main strategies:
- Increase the availability of affordable and quality dependent care
- Increase higher education affordability for student parents
- Advance student-parent friendly institutional design
- Collect and share data on student parents
Tipping Point supported California Competes to produce a series highlighting a policy agenda to expand pathways for student parents.