Single Parenting And Going To College…Making The Right Academic Choice
Making the right choice in colleges is much harder when you’re a single mom. It’s no longer just a matter of choosing a school because it offers a program you want. Now, you need to worry about the availability of affordable childcare, and housing that is appropriate for you and your child.
That’s not always a possibility with some of the more traditional colleges and universities.
There is a growing movement in this country. It is becoming more obvious to everyone that in order to encourage single mothers to do well in life, we need to have higher education as a practical option. Therefore, a small but growing number of schools have made residential life on a college campus for single parent household a priority.
Choosing The Right Type Of School
It is important to acknowledge that the local community or technical college might not be the best fit for you, regardless of what others might tell you. If you have friends or family who are willing to watch your child at night while you take classes, or if you don’t need to work and have child-care already established, you might do well there.
Once you have decided what type of degree you would like to have, you will need to find out what schools offer that type of education, and how well you and your child will do on that campus. Assuming that you’ve got whatever financial aid in place that you need, and that you’d like to be able to live on campus, you’ve got a few options available to you.
Baldwin-Wallace College is located only a few minutes away from Cincinnati, Ohio. It is a private, liberal-arts college that is associated with the Methodist church. It provides a variety of educational programs that include bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as some professional or educational certificates.
Single parents at this college are able to receive an enormous amount of support from the school, as long as they meet the requirements to enroll in the single parenting program known as SPROUT.
Single parent students must:
1) Be between the ages of 18 and 23.
2) Have only have one child
3) Be full-time students, with the same academic responsibilities that any other student has
4) Be accountable for their child care and child rearing duties, in addition to other non-academic classes that are designed to improve
5) Ensure that part of the cost of attendance is paid for, through loans, grants, or work-study
Successful applicants receive campus housing all year, nearby childcare, and the necessary support to complete their educations. Additionally, by living on campus, parenting students are able to experience more of the college experience, and the difficulties that a single parent experiences in the pursuit of higher education can be shared with others in similar situations.
Berea College offers apartment-style living to about 40 single parent families. These families live on campus, in what might be considered “green” or experiential living, and receive a variety of parenting classes, as well as access to quality child care.This school is located in Berea, Kentucky and is probably most well-known because of their unique approach to tuition. Specifically, every student receives a full academic scholarship at this facility that is devoted to providing a liberal arts education to deserving, economically challenged students.
Wilson College is located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and has a unusual approach to making housing available to parenting students. Instead of the apartment-styled units that are more commonly seen, these parents share two rooms with their child, on a floor with a shared kitchen, laundry, play, and computer area. This allows parents the privacy that is necessary with children, while still living in shared housing.
Parenting students receive a grant for child care for the time that they are in school, space permitting, and even freshmen are allowed to bring a vehicle to campus. They are not allowed to cook in their rooms, but can have a small refrigerator, and are required to have a meal plan. Their children are allowed to eat on that meal plan for free.
Saint Paul’s College is found in Lawrenceville, Virginia and is currently the only college in Virginia that offers student housing for single parents. Their Single Parent Support System Program began in 1987, and is available for students with no more than two children, both of whom must be at least two months and no more than nine years of age.
Applicants must be full-time, year-round students with at least a 2.5 GPA , and have a graduation plan that is no more than 3-4 years long. Child-care, counseling, mentoring and tutoring services are easily accessible by the individuals enrolled in this program. In addition to the standard parts of a college application, you will be required to supply school and health history if you wish to be considered at St. Paul’s.
Endicott College is home to The Keys For Degrees Program. Appropriate applicants to this program must be:
1) Single parents between the ages of 18 and 24, with young children
2) Seeking A Bachelor’s Degree
3) Well-adjusted individuals and responsible parents
Students who enroll in this program will have the privilege of living in the scenic Beverly, Massachusetts while benefiting from the experiences of living on campus, near other single, parenting students. At the same time, they will be attending a four-year, co-ed, independent college with a heavy emphasis on liberal and professional studies.
Each year, 31 single mothers and their children have the opportunity to live on campus, and in the same building as the more traditional students in this all-girl, Catholic institution. Mothers are allowed to have up to two children, but the oldest child must be nine or under when mom graduates.
These families live above the other students in dormitory style housing, and have access to the same amenities that traditional students do, including kitchens, laundry facilities, and computer labs. In addition, they have access to playrooms for the children, and even access to the physical firness center, as long as the parents ensure adequate supervision. Except for ten days out of the year that the school itself is closed, families are allowed and even encouraged to live year-round in Omaha, Nebraska.
Misericordia University is a university that is affiliated with the Roman Catholic church. They boast a retention of rate of 88%, and about 98% of students receive some form of financial aid.
You will find this school in Dallas, Pennsylvania on a 123 acre campus.
Their” Women With Children” program is available to single mothers of all ages, as long as they are academically acceptable. While in school, families live in two bedroom units in large buildings, that ensure the community living experience. Children musty be at least two years old, and no more than 12 while moms are in school and living on campus. There are several child care centers near campus, and a portion of the cost is subsidized by the college.
Although there are only a few colleges in the country who specifically have single parent programs, there are many that offer family or non-traditional student housing and child-care. If you choose to attend one of these schools, you might not receive the same counseling and mentor-ship that you will in a school that makes more effort with their single parents.
It has been estimated that approximately 75% of all jobs in the future will require some sort of education or certificate. Single moms who have a degree will dramatically increase their salary in their lifetimes, and it could be one of the best things they ever do for their children.