Higher Education

LISTEN: Why most single moms in college don’t finish

In the past decade, the number of single mothers in college has doubled.

When Robyn Young was growing up, she never thought of herself as college material. She says when she graduated from high school, her classmates applied for college, and she applied for food stamps. By the time she was 21, she had a baby, and was in and out of jobs and living on friends’ couches. She enrolled at a for­profit college, but she had a hard time paying for childcare. When she wasn’t at school, it was hard to balance studying, working and taking care of her daughter.

In the past decade, the number of single mothers in college has doubled. Today, close to one in five women on college campuses are single mothers. But most of these women won’t graduate. As part of The Hechinger Report’s partnership with APM Reports, the national documentary and investigative unit of American Public Media, Hechinger Report higher-education reporter Meredith Kolodner discusses why this is happening, on this week’s episode of the Educate podcast.

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