In order to further understand the pressures of pregnant and parenting students, we need to be aware of the common perceptions of young people about abortion and pregnancy. These perceptions shape attitudes and reactions to these situations, and so often they put pressure on the woman’s decision. Surveys have also identified that schools offer limited resources for their pregnant and parenting students. Moreover, students are unaware of the resources available to them.
The results of these surveys further emphasize the need for college campuses to expand their resources and to better advertise them. However, in order for this to happen, we need to have young people making a concerted effort to make these changes. Contact your Regional Coordinator if you want to start making changes on your campus and in your community.
Let Others Know
Share our “Did You Know” graphics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms to inform your community about parenting students.
Did You Know?
- Over 2 million college-aged women (ages 18-24) become pregnant each year.
- Unintended pregnancy rates are highest among poor and low-income women, women aged 18–24, cohabiting women and minority women.
- About 26% of undergraduate students are parents.
- 4.8 million undergraduate students are raising dependent children.
- Of the total student parent population: 71% Women (3.4 million), 29% Men (1.4 million).
- 43% parenting students are single mothers (2 million); 11% are single fathers (533,000).
- 32% of college women are raising dependent children.
- 13% of students are single parents.
- Almost 5% of students have a child under the age of 1.
- 12% of students have at least 1 child under the age of 5.
- Less than 1 in 10 students with children complete a bachelor’s degree within 6 years of college entry.
- 61% of women who have children after enrolling in community college fail to finish their degree, which is 65% higher than the rate for those who don’t have children.
- Unplanned births account for nearly 1 in 10 dropouts among female students at community colleges, and 7% of dropouts among community college students overall.
- Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 4.8 Million College Students are Raising Children, http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/4.8-million-college-students-are-raising-children
- Facts on Unintended Pregnancy in the United States, http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FB-Unintended-Pregnancy-US.html
- Yesterday’s Nontraditional Student is Today’s Traditional Student, http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/publications/files/Nontraditional-Students-Facts-2011.pdf
- Managing to Make It: The College Trajectories of Traditional-age Students with Children, http://www.wiscaid.org/documents/APPAM_ParentPaper_WISCAID.pdf
- Unplanned Pregnancy and Community Colleges, http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/resources/pdf/briefly-unplanned-pregnancy-and-community-colleges.pdf
Other Recommended Research:
- Finding Time: Millennial Parents, Poverty, and Rising Costs, https://www.luminafoundation.org/files/resources/finding-time.pdf
- Education Pays 2013: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and for Society, https://trends.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/education-pays-2013-full-report.pdf
Persons with higher educational achievement are more likely to be employed and to receive higher weekly earnings.
- U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics), Employment Projections, http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm
What College Students Are Saying
Here are some of the results of recent surveys of college-aged students conducted by Students for Life of America and Feminists for Life…
- 44% believe that abortion is not okay
- 45% believe that abortion is okay
- 58% do not know where to refer a friend that wants to keep their child.
- 48% do not know that Planned Parenthood offers abortions
- 79% did not know if their student health plan offers maternity coverage
- 46% said that there is no housing on campus for parenting students
- 45% said that their college does not offer on-campus childcare
- 62% said that they had not seen diaper changing stations in restrooms
- 77% said that there was no private place for women to nurse or pump breast milk
- 91% said that their college campus does not offer designated parking for pregnant women or parents with infants.
- 78% said that their college offers flexible class times (e.g. evenings, weekends)
- 40% could not find pregnant and parenting resources on their school website
- 45% said that pregnant and parenting resources are not in the school handbook
- Only 15% said that they had seen ads on campus that provided information and support for pregnant and parenting students
What do Young People Think About Abortion?
In May 2012, SFLA commissioned a poll of 800 18-24 year-olds, a large sample for a small demographic because we wanted to have a practical, non-political conversation with this generation on the big issues.
- For more information on the results of this survey, please see Kristan Hawkins’ summary of the poll results.
Can I Stay in School and Have the Baby?
Feminists for Life asked students about available pregnancy resources on their campus. What is available to pregnant and parenting students on college campuses? Where can students find help? How aware are students of the resources available to them? For more information about this study, contact Feminists for Life.