Discover programs perfect for studious Solo Moms
Going back to school as a Solo Mom is intimidating. Tuition costs, day-care costs, and being the breadwinner are among the many reasons that Solo Moms often put off their higher-education pursuits. With more than 13 million single parents in the United States, the 84% who are Solo Moms have a lot to juggle. Here are some great higher-education options.
Traditional learning environments often are preferred, and Solo Moms can reap the benefits of these 15 schools. Many offer child-care options and on-campus study areas, and most offer housing specifically for families.
1. College of Saint Mary (Nebraska). The Mothers Living & Learning Program provides a residential option for Solo Moms with up to two children. There are playrooms, community kitchens, and 24-hour security in these family-residence areas.
2. Wilson College (Pennsylvania). Women with children 20 months and older are eligible for year-round, family-friendly, on-campus housing with child care.
3. Champlain College (Vermont). The school’s Single Parents Program offers a very supportive atmosphere for Solo Moms. Workshops, resources, and even a scholarship for single parents are available.
4. St. Catherine University (Minnesota). Financial assistance, child care, and housing are available through this university’s Access and Success Program. There are also designated rooms for breastfeeding and child-friendly study spaces with playrooms attached.
5. Berea College (Kentucky). In the Ecovillage, Solo Moms can live on campus for free, provided they satisfy the work requirement, which includes craft making, farm work, academic positions, or working in Boone Tavern, the on-campus hotel owned by the college.
6. Texas Woman’s University. The Student Pioneers Also Raising Kids organization is designed to help parents complete their educational goals by providing scholarships and encouraging child-care partnerships among students.
7. Baldwin Wallace University (Ohio). The Single Parents Reaching Out for Unlimited Tomorrows (SPROUT) program provides year-round residential options for Solo Moms and their kids in a group-living environment. Assistance with child care is also included in the SPROUT program. Parents are supported professionally, personally, and with financial aid.
8. Endicott College (Massachusetts). The Keys to Degrees program helps Solo Moms find a balance between school and life responsibilities. Students can live on campus year-round.
9. Mills College (California). Solo Moms get priority to live in the Underwood Family Housing apartments. School-aged children of Mills’s students can also attend the on-campus schools. Emergency loans are available for Solo Moms during times of financial crisis.
10. University of Iowa. This family-friendly campus really goes above and beyond for Solo Moms. The support provided includes more than 30 places on campus to breastfeed, complete with hospital-grade pumps and scheduling options.
11. Purdue University (Indiana). Child-care services are available for an extremely reasonable price for students with potty-trained children between the ages of two and seven during the fall and spring semesters. Weekend courses (including Saturday MBA) and more than 100 off-campus housing units are available for Solo Moms as well.
12. University of Florida. Family-housing units with two or more rooms are available for Solo Moms. The Baby Gator Child Development Centers provide child care for children ages six weeks to five years. The program is supported by the alumni and encourages former students and faculty alike to get involved with Baby Gator events.
13. University of Washington. In addition to providing educational and financial assistance to Solo Moms through the Student Parent Resource Center, the university also has specific housing units reserved for Solo Moms within different residential communities. Perhaps the best part is the on-campus child care that includes sick-child and emergency backup services!
14. University of Montana Western. The babysitters network within the university system enables students to coordinate care options for and from their peers and faculty members. Also available for Solo Moms are 16 family apartment units.
15. University of Michigan Ann Arbor. The U-M Child Care Initiative launched in 2005, in part to improve on-campus child care. The university offers the Kids Kare at Home program for Solo Moms, which provides an in-home service for children who are sick or backup child care. Classes for expectant Solo Moms also are available through the university.
Online and hybrid programs
Online courses often are preferred for those Solo Moms who are also working full time or who are not able to relocate to another area for a family-friendly college. Those schools that offer a hybrid of online and in-person classes are also an option for Solo Moms. Here are five great options:
1. American Public University System. With more than 190 programs ranging from associate’s to master’s degrees and including certificates, there is something for everyone. Classes are either eight or 16 weeks, which fit well with any schedule, and tuition is affordable.
2. Texas A&M University—Commerce (TAMUC). With 40 off-campus apartments reserved for Solo Moms, there is plenty of room. In addition, the TAMUC Children’s Learning Center is an accredited education program that includes two meals and accommodates children six weeks to 12 years old.
3. East Carolina University. For more than 60 years, this university has been a leader in distance education with over 75 certificate and degree programs, including business, education, and health care. Traditional full-time students can attend both in-person and online classes, if desired.
4. Appalachian State University. The online program for undergraduate students is designed to be completed in two years, as it is full of only advanced courses. This is perfect for Solo Moms who are returning to college after a break. The university offers 19 undergraduate programs, 13 master’s degree programs, and three education specialist programs.
5. University of Illinois at Springfield. Offering a variety of online undergraduate, graduate, and certification programs, the university also has partnerships with other colleges that benefit Solo Moms who are transferring their credits. Small classes are another perk of this online program.
Solo Moms can find the perfect match for their educational and family needs at any of these schools. Education is important, and these colleges and universities help Solo Moms set an example for their children that nothing will get in the way of their dreams.
Rebecca Alwine is a freelance writer, army wife, and mother of three. Her writing experience includes military-family topics, research pieces, guest blogging, and much more. She’s a contributing writer for ARMY magazine and a regular contributor to several online publications, including the Homefront United Network, PCSgrades, and ESME. She also has been published in Ms. magazine and the Atlantic. You can follow her online at www.whatrebeccathinks.com and on Twitter and Instagram.