In days gone by students were youngsters who lived at home and all they required was a dorm-room, but things have changed, and colleges have realized that they now need to provide college housing for single mothers.
A quick survey of colleges today will reveal that there are more and more older students attending college, from those attending for the first time to graduates, and there are also many single parents attending college. These older students are more discerning and require more from the colleges than the shared dorm-room of old.
According to a study done by Miller, Gault, and Thorman in 2011, one in four students pursuing higher education in the US are single parents. Single parents face many challenges in the pursuit of higher education, and many single mothers spend more than fifty percent of their income on housing for them and their offspring.
Colleges have noted the changes in the demographics and have listened to the increased demands and today, as a direct response to this, there are currently in excess of 200 colleges nationwide that provide alternative accommodation for the non-traditional student, including single parents. This is a blessing, especially to single parents, as it allows them to attend college in order to improve their lot in life without having to farm their youngsters out to family members whilst they study. In the past students had to struggle to find off-campus lodgings or apartments that they could afford, and all that accompanied living off-campus with a family.
Schools that offer these facilities also have a very supportive and caring community which includes day care facilities and nearby playgroups, which takes a load off the shoulders of the parents, as they can go to class without having to worry that their offspring are not being well looked after, and they also do not need to source babysitters or nannies themselves. There are also many activities that are organized by the campus with the family-student in mind.
Colleges That Offer College Housing for Single Parents
The following are some of the institutions that offer housing resources and programs for single student parents:
Buckner International, Texas
Buckner International has been in existence since 1879, and is a non- profit organization that has various programs that provide assistance to single parents. Their programs are specifically designed for single-parent students and include education, child care, transportation and college housing for single parents. The programs include My Father’s House, located in Lubbock, Texas; Family Pathways, located in Dallas, Texas; and Buckner Family Place, located in Amarillo, Conroe, Lufkin and Midland, Texas.
Buckner operates with an endowment, supplemented by other funding sources such as private donors, grants, and also state, federal, and local government funding. It provides safe and affordable housing to single parents in order to allow them to enroll in vocational-tech or educational programs. They also provide other assistance such as a case-workers and scholarships.
The requirements are that the single mothers must attend a community college full-time and they must attend classes and one-on-one mentoring to work toward self-sufficiency. You can find out more about these programs by visiting their website.
Crossways Community, Inc., Kensington, MD
Crossways Community, Inc. seeks to create social change and reduce poverty in Washington DC. Single mothers in the Crossways Family Leadership Academy live on-campus can receive support to help them succeed in the workplace, education, and the global economy. The program requirements are that the single mother must have a GED or high school diploma and must agree to live on-site for at least three years, and must attend school and/or work for a minimum of 35 hours per week. Crossways has a partnership with the University of Maryland, University College.
Another requirement is that the student attends Life-skills seminars on the FLA campus at least twice a week. Childcare is provided by the Crossways Montessori Program. Crossways provides all the services through a combination of Crossways’ fundraising and private donations. You can find out more about this program by visiting their website.
The Jeremiah Program, Minneapolis, MN
The Jeremiah Program incorporates quality early childhood education, life skills education, and safe and affordable college housing for single mothers into a comprehensive program. The program is aimed at single parents and provides them with the means to gain a higher education in the form of residential apartments and child development centers which are located in safe communities close to community colleges and vocational-tech training schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota. More centers are being planned in other communities nationwide.
To be eligible for the Jeremiah Program you need to be at least 18 years old with a child under the age of five. There are two facilities available; the one containing 38 apartments and the other has 39, and preschool/child care is available on site. Participants pay a sliding-scale fee for housing and child care, and other funding comes from fundraising, private and corporate donations, and endowments.
The program includes Life Skills classes, career development, parenting and child development, economic independence and various other classes and also includes job placement support. You can find out more about this program by visiting their website.
Mothers Living and Learning Community
The College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska offers an unusual form of college housing for single motherss called Mothers Living & Learning. It is a residential option for single mothers who have up to two children younger than 10 years of age. This program houses up to thirty-five women and their children and the accommodation is located on two floors of Walsh Hall. Accommodations are similar to the traditional residences, except that each floor contains a playroom for the children and areas in which mothers can do homework.
This program is great for younger single moms because it is aimed at them and thus includes independent living classes, parenting information and other resources which students can make use of in order to connect with community resources and develop the necessary skills required as a new independent single mother. CSM has many campus organizations and activities which they encourage all students to join and become involved in.
The rooms come in three different sizes and each room is unique due to much remodeling that has been done. Each mother is assigned their own bathroom and shower stall within the community bathrooms, although they may have to share with one other mother and offspring. The community areas are kept clean by a full maintenance team, and a meal plan is included in the room and board costs.
The SPROUT Program
SPROUT stands for Single Parents Reaching Out for Unlimited Tomorrows, and it is a program which provides college housing for single parents of between 18 and 23 years of age and their children. This program was started in 1990 at Baldwin-Wallace to prevent the ever-increasing dropout of single-parent students.
SPROUT offers mother and child year round, on-campus housing in a group living environment. Four families share a large home, with each mother and child having their own room and sharing communal areas. Baldwin-Wallace assists the mothers to obtain funding for child-care via grants, scholarships and social welfare programs.
Developmental assistance in the form of mentoring, counseling and internships, and financial assistance are also offered, as is academic assistance via a writing laboratory, a computer center, a learning center, and tutors. More information can be accessed by contacting the Director of SPROUT, Julia Candela on 440-826-2130
Other Websites to Access for Information
You can find out more information regarding whether a certain college offers single parent accommodation or not and also how to access it via various websites:
- The College Board website is a wonderful resource where you can find college planning and preparation tools to help you succeed in your quest for further education.
- The FAFSA website is also a good resource for funding, including helping you to ascertain whether you will be able to get financial assistance for your accommodation.
- The Colleges.com website is a great place to do a college search, and it offers excellent insight into college rankings, scholarships, financial aid and various other education resources and tools for the adult college student.
There are also various other programs and colleges which you can access in order to study further where you can also gain access to institutions that offer college housing for single mothers, and you can find all the information on the Internet.