New analysis conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research suggests that college students who are single parents, or approximately 12% of college students, amass much higher levels of student debt than other students.
According to the report, 62% of single parent students can contribute no money to their educational expenses, compared to 20% of postsecondary students without children and 18% of married students. One year after graduation, single parent students average 20 to 30% more debt than other students, at $28,871; 10 years after graduation, they still average more than three times the debt of non-single parent students, at $5,600.
The study found that student parents who attend for-profit colleges average more annual debt than student parents at other types of schools: $7,053 at for-profit colleges, $4,324 at private four-year colleges, $3,113 at public four-year institutions, and $616 at community colleges.
The study was part of the institute’s Student Parent Success Initiative. Based on the premise that most college students are now “nontraditional” and 27% of community college students have children, the initiative strives to increase the number of students with postsecondary education.
Follow Anna Schumann on Twitter at @ASchumannCMN.