26% of American undergraduates are raising children

In the 2011-12 school year, 4.8 million undergraduate college students in the US had dependent children, according to a report from The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, based on US Department of Education data.

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About 71% of college students who are parents are mothers; about 43% of student parents are single mothers; 2011-12 is the most recent year for which figures have been analyzed.

These numbers include students at any post-secondary institution, including two-year institutions like community colleges, as well as for-profit colleges, and programs that are shorter than two years.


In four-year colleges, 1.1 million students—about 15%—are parents.

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