Students for Life of America, the nation’s largest pro-life youth organization, released this year’s list of Top Colleges and Universities for Pregnant and Parenting Students – Public School Edition.
“Unexpectedly finding out you are pregnant as a college student can be terrifying, lonely, and a huge shock. These students need support and encouragement, and the schools that go out of their way to offer programs, housing, scholarships, and childcare to these students should be commended,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “Instead of sending pregnant students to the nearest Planned Parenthood, these schools have put a premium on offering pregnant and parenting students the resources they need so they don’t have to choose between the life of their child and their education.”
According to a 2014 Guttmacher study, 42% of abortions are performed on college aged-women, ages 18-24. Many students feel the pressure to choose an abortion over parenthood, while others feel the pressure to drop out of school and choose parenthood. The top two reasons these mothers give for having an abortion is not being able to continue their job or education and financial issues. But another study done in 2014 shows that 4.8 million undergraduate students are parents of dependent children, making up more than 26% of college students.
SFLA released its first Top Schools for Pregnant and Parenting Students last year but many of them were private Christian or Catholic schools. This year’s list only consists of public universities, a couple of whom were on last year’s list as well.
“Instead of alienating pregnant and parenting students, these public universities are extending a helping hand and making it possible for students to continue their education and care for their families,” said Beth Rahal, Pregnant on Campus Director for Students for Life of America.
In addition to the list below, pregnant students on campus can find excellent resources at www.PregnantonCampus.org, a unique website that has compiled lists of housing options, material resources, financial aid, and support groups at hundreds of schools across the nation.
“We hope that these universities will set the standard when it comes to an attitude of making campus a pregnant and parenting friendly place. They all deserve recognition and applause for their willingness to help all their students succeed,” concluded Hawkins.
Students for Life of America used the following criteria to determine the list of the top schools that foster an environment of true choice, where students can choose their child and their education:
- The school must have some of kind of support program or network for pregnant and/or parenting students.
- The school has policies in place that specifically welcome and accept pregnant/parenting students.
- The school has scholarships for Pregnant/Parenting Students.
- The school offers housing for students with dependents.
- The school offers additional resources like lactation rooms, diaper decks, child care for students’ children, etc.