Opinion: Most Single Moms Who Enter College Don't Finish; Here Are Four Ways to Reverse This Shocking Trend

"More single mothers are enrolling in college but most of them aren't graduating. This is sobering news. And it justifies the kind of investment in social programs that lifts up these vulnerable women in education," Robyn Young writes for The Hechinger Report.

"In my work as a scholar, a student and a campus professional, I have identified four policy solutions that stand to favorably impact single mothers in college.

Another view also informs my assessment: that of my former position as a mother and domestic-violence survivor living in poverty.

... In the school where I work, one mother of seven children learned that her federal student aid loan refund had disqualified her from receiving food stamps.

Understanding and evaluating how welfare and social program benefits can impact student aid is critical. Students should not be penalized in the benefit system for receiving loans. Title IV funds should not be counted as resources across the board. (Housing and Urban Development, Supplemental Security Income and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children all carry this policy. However, the state of Maine hasn’t caught up yet.)

Many barriers exist between college access and degree completion for nontraditional students and single moms. Competing priorities, family responsibilities and the economic structure of jobs and social services all contribute to the contexts in which many women need to navigate their own higher education journey, often with little help and no information.

As a woman who is finally on the other side, I know that many single mothers do not possess the acumen and resilience required to do it alone, and many institutional barriers are designed to bring us down — and keep us there."

NASFAA's "Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.

 

Publication Date: 10/13/2017

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