Parenting students work hard every day to pursue their goals, juggling caregiving, course work, and sometimes multiple jobs to build a better life for their families. Because of the obstacles they face, parenting students are nearly twice as likely to leave school for preventable reasons: lack of child care, conflicting course and work schedules, and even convenient transportation.
Removing the barriers parenting students face helps them continue on education pathways to living wage employment, which changes their lives as well as their children’s lives. In fact, a $3,000 difference in parents’ income while a child is young leads to a 17% increase in that child’s future earnings.
That’s why United Way for Greater Austin partners with Austin Community College to provide parenting students, ages 18-29, with incentives to accelerate their post-secondary education.
Students in our program receive:
- $500 monthly stipend
- Peer networking/engagement
- Leadership and advocacy opportunities
- Academic counseling
- Child care scholarships
- Other wrap-around services
“This program has been extremely helpful for my family and I. It allows me to focus all of my attention on nursing school and make sure I stay on track and graduate.”
– Deja, program participant
From Fall 2021- Fall 2023
- Supported families. The Parenting Students Project supported 76 students and 103 children.
- Academic success. 38% of students have earned a degree or certification as of the end of Spring 2023, with an additional 38% intending to continue in the program.
- Financial stability. The Parenting Students Project awarded each student an average of $2,038 each semester and awarded a total of $329,000 for all
Feedback from our parenting students:
- 79% of parenting students agreed that the program’s peer group is a support system for them.
- 51% of parenting students took on more credit hours a semester than they would have otherwise.
- 59% of parenting students received an ACC child care scholarship.
“I can focus more on school and being a parent. It’s been very nice to have that extra income coming in that I can delegate to bills or expenses. It’s also been nice to have that support system there and hear what other parents are going through and help each other.”
– Tommy, program participant
The Parenting Students Project is spearheaded by Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Expanding Opportunities for Young Families initiative, and is supported by Advance Together, and American Rescue Plan Act funds from the City of Austin.
Learn more about the Parenting Students Project.