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A Portrait of Student Parents in the California Community Colleges

PUBLISHED: Mar 04, 2021

The path through college is challenging for many, but the challenges are especially acute for students who seek a credential or degree while also raising children. Existing research documents students juggling academic demands and parenting. Little is known, however, about the number, characteristics, and outcomes of college students with dependent children. The following research offers the most comprehensive look at this issue to date, including topline findings:

  • 1 in 10 students in California Community Colleges is also parenting
  • ~13% of those who file for financial aid in the state are student parents

This brief by UC Davis Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research, in partnership with Tipping Point Community, offers a portrait of an important student population whose goals matter not just for themselves, but for their children. This brief is a foundational step to better understand how higher education can provide access to support for students pursuing higher education while parenting.


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