The Lumina Foundation and Imaginable Futures Advocate For Student Parents
From displacement to unemployment to not getting to walk the stage, college students across the country are reeling in the wake of the pandemic, and for student parents, a group that is frequently overlooked in the best of times, they now need support more than ever.
Four million college students are parents, which is about 25% of the current college-going population. These students already face high stress levels from parenting duties and costs on top of their schoolwork. And in this recent article Lumina Foundation advocates for the continued support of parent learners through this crisis.
Student parents are more likely to experience financial insecurity and stare down challenges like childcare that can cost more than their tuition depending upon the state. Lumina Foundation stresses the importance of federal funding for childcare for these students. While state funding exists, states can individually decide who has access and who does not, and eligibility guidelines can be murky. The existing federal funding is lacking, currently only serving 1% of the parent learner population according to the foundation.
This is why Lumina Foundation and Imaginable Futures have partnered to create the Rise Prize, which will award out 1.5 million dollars in funding to projects that promise innovative, helpful solutions to student parents. Creating a better future for these students together means more options for parent learners and more accessible paths to education.
We must be supporting all of our college students through these unexpected, turbulent times – especially those that are already vulnerable. Standing with our student parents now means better futures not only for themselves, but also for the next generation. They are the future of our nation, and they are worth investing in.