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Time demands of single mother college students and the role of child care in their postsecondary success

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Cruse, L. R., Gault, B., Suh, J., & DeMario, M. A.
Publication Date: 
10 May 2018


The following briefing paper highlights specific time management stresses that are faced by single mothers who are also students attending college. The paper reports that students with access to campus child care were three times more likely to graduate on time. Recommendations were made for more government funding for campus child care.


Single mothers enrolled in postsecondary education face substantial time demands that make persistence and graduation difficult. Just 28 percent of single mothers graduate with a degree or certificate within 6 years of enrollment and another 55 percent leave school before earning a college credential (IWPR 2017a). The combination of raising a family on their own, going to class, completing coursework, and holding a job can place serious constraints on single mothers’ time that can force them to make hard choices about their pursuit of higher education. Expanded supports for single mothers in college would allow more women to consider and complete college degrees and enjoy economically secure futures.

Entered Date: 
11 May 2018
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