- More than two-thirds of student-parents attending the University of Houston receive subsidies from the institution to help pay for child care, a benefit that received a boost in federal funds recently and that officials at Houston and elsewhere see paying off in higher graduation rates, according to Inside Higher Education.
- The weekly cost of for one child at one of the institution's two centers range from about $200 to $300 per week, but the institution subsidizes a discount of up to 60% for student-parents and hopes soon to increase its share for low-income students.
- The article highlights a 21-year-old mechanical engineering student who is able to attend the university and hold down a part-time job thanks to lower child-care costs at the center, where she brings her five year old.
The federal Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS), which serves an estimated 5,000 student-parents nationwide who have children attending about 85 day care centers on college campuses, is receiving increased funds because of Congress approved greater appropriations in March. The program will grow to about $50 million total.
For the University Houston, the increase will mean in the next four-year funding cycle beginning this year, the institution will get about $185,000 more a year, or about $560,000.
Often the students that colleges increasingly will need to admit and retain from non-traditional segments have a greater need for affordable child care. New research from the Institute for Women's Policy Research indicates that a single mother with an associate degree who works full time earns about $329,000 more in her lifetime than she would if she only graduated from high school. A single mother with a bachelor’s degree earns about $610,000 more over her work life. About 50% of student-parents who began college in the 2003-04 academic year defaulted on their loans in 12 years, according to federal data, and advocates say child care expenses and inconvenience is often a reason they aren't successful.
Yet, early last year one report said the number of child care facilities on community college campuses had declined about 10% over the previous decade, and that the number of four-year public colleges with centers dropped more than 5% during the same period.