GAO: More Than Half of Student Parents Drop Out, Data Is Lacking on the Program That Helps Them – NASFAA
As of 2009, more than half of students with children dropped out of higher education before earning a degree — compared to one-third of students without children — as the federal program designed to help them afford child care and stay enrolled is lacking crucial data, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
GAO found — in a report released Thursday by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) — that in 2015-16, 22% of undergraduates (4.3 million students) had children, and of those, 55% were single parents, 44% worked full-time while enrolled, and 64% were enrolled part-time. About half of those students paid an average of $490 per month for child care.
While there are a few federal programs that help student parents pay for non-tuition costs, the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program is “the only one designed specifically to support the participation of low-income parents in postsecondary education by funding [child care] services,” GAO wrote. In 2015-16, CCAMPIS helped 3,300 student parents pay for child care for 4,000 children, with another 4,200 children on the waitlist.