Top Colleges for Students with Children

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The Colleges Make Learning and Childcare Easier

If you’re a parent who wants to start college, then you have more considerations than the average student. They say that raising a child is itself a full-time job. And while most parents can balance their jobs with looking after their children, attending college has its own unique challenges. You have less spending money. You may be moving your family to somewhere new. You may need to get your own job on top of studying and child raising. And you have to hope for good child care facilities in the local area.

The above are just a few of the concerns facing parents who are returning to college. But many parents that want to return to the world of education are doing it precisely for their children. It’s to get a better job, with better pay that will help their children up until and during their own college years. If this is what you want, then going to college should definitely be something that you’re dedicated to.

And, ideally, the responsibility of child care should be something that the college helps with. College is expensive, and you’re paying for the best education that you can possibly get. Included in this fee should be services that allow you to learn without worrying about your child. Also, some colleges will naturally be in more child-friendly places than others. So which are the ones that both help students with parenting and are located in the ideal place for you? This list will highlight the 30 best in America.

Hopefully, at least one of the colleges below will be your perfect choice for college attendance. Whether you’re a single parent, are married, are male or are female, the colleges below let everyone have a high-quality education and do things to make students’ children happy throughout. However, even if none of the choices below is the right fit for you, this list should still be helpful, as it will show you some of the things that you have to look for in your own college choices. If the place that you’re thinking of attending doesn’t have any comparable programs in place for parents, then you can address this to them, and see if they can provide similar assistance.

Methodology

There are a range of sources online that discuss studying as a parent. Our list has thoroughly analyzed those lists and compiled a consensus of opinion. We’ve chosen to highlight this for you by sorting the best performers into a descending ranking of the 30 most impressive parent-friendly colleges. The colleges with the most references across sources and with the demonstrable best student parent services perform the highest on our list.

The sources that we’ve used are as follows:

US News, Child-Friendly College Programs for Parents: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2011/03/23/child-friendly-college-programs-for-parents

Single Mother Guide, Child-friendly Colleges for Single Parents: https://singlemotherguide.com/colleges-for-single-parents/

NPR, When The Students On Campus Have Kids Of Their Own: https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/11/18/502003007/when-the-students-on-campus-have-kids-of-their-own

Nation Swell, 5 Ways Colleges Help Single Parents Earn Degrees: http://nationswell.com/5-ways-colleges-help-single-parents-earn-degrees/

Study.com, Best Schools for Student Parents: https://study.com/articles/10_Best_Schools_for_Student_Parents.html

Higher Education Today, Building Family-Friendly Campuses: Strategies to Promote College Success Among Student Parents: https://www.higheredtoday.org/2017/06/12/building-family-friendly-campuses-strategies-promote-college-success-among-student-parents/

Christian Post, The 20 Best Colleges for Single Parents: http://m.blogs.christianpost.com/guest-views/the-20-best-colleges-for-single-parents-12448/

Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Prepping Colleges for Parents: https://iwpr.org/wp-content/uploads/wpallimport/files/iwpr-export/publications/Support%20for%20Student%20Parents%20Paper_MAIN_6%2017%2015%20clean.pdf

Center for American Progress, The Imperative to Support Single Mothers in College: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education-postsecondary/news/2018/07/19/453783/imperative-support-single-mothers-college/

Learn How To Become, Support Guide for Single Moms in College: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education-postsecondary/news/2018/07/19/453783/imperative-support-single-mothers-college/

On top of ranking the strongest performers on the above lists, we’ve also performed our own research into the parent-friendly activities that the colleges have implemented to ensure that what each article states is the truth. Overall, this must be the internet’s most comprehensive list of parent-friendly colleges to date.

Our ranking is below:

Rank School Location
1 Wilson College Chambersburg, PA
2 Endicott College Beverly, MA
3 Misericordia University Dallas, PA
4 Saint Catherine's University Saint Paul, MN
5 Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI
6 College of Saint Mary Omaha, NE
7 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
8 Mills College Oakland, CA
9 Baldwin Wallace University Berea, OH
10 University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
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  1. Wilson College
    Location

    Chambersburg, PA

    Eight out of 10 methodology sources highly recommend Wilson College for student parents, meaning that it has the joint highest number of recommendations of any college on this list. The main force that has led this women's college to become so highly recommended is its Women with Children Program. Part of what is included in this program is one of the best free child care systems in the world. It offers children aged up to five amazing activities, such as field trips. NPR also notes that its location is idyllic for children, with a farm on site. However, the college has done much more to enhance the single parent friendliness of their facilities, such as building an entire dorm for mothers with children. And it's been running the Women with Children program for over 20 years, meaning that it's one of the colleges with the most experience at helping student parents. In addition to NPR, US News, Single Mother Guide, Nation Swell, Christian Post, Study.com, Learn How To Become and Institute for Women's Policy Research all recommend the college.

  2. Endicott College
    Location

    Beverly, MA

    Most sources rave about Endicott College's student parent support. The most frequently cited program in these sources is the Key to Degrees program (which Eastern Michigan University and Ferris State University have now adopted.) This program gives individually crafted tutoring to any student with a child, covering subject-specific information and advice on balancing school and family duties, among other things. And the sources also cover other ways that Endicott is aiding students with children in their degrees. For instance, US News notes that the children of students can sit in on classes, and Institute for Women's Policy Research states that student parents can enroll in additional courses in the summer to spread out course requirements.

  3. Misericordia University
    Location

    Dallas, PA

    Five different methodology sources all list a range of different and beneficial services that are on offer for student parents at Misericordia University. US News notes that the college has a system in place where students volunteer to babysit the children of student parents so the parents can study, relax or attend to essential needs. The source also states that women student parents are required to access the college's counseling services. Single Mother Guide highlights that the college subsidizes childcare costs. Nation Swell points out that the college provides a bus line from campus to schools and also provides summer and sports camps for students' children. Christian Post notes that the college gives student parents financial help. Lastly, Study.com notes that the college has very good emergency support should student parents or their children need it. As amazing as all these things are, the student parent support doesn't end there. For instance, women parents and children living at the college stay in free accommodation and eat for free.

  4. Saint Catherine's University
    Location

    Saint Paul, MN

    Five different methodology sources praise Saint Catherine's University's Access and Success program. It's specifically designed to address any and all issues that student parents may have. Its dedicated services include providing free childcare, money management assistance, food support, housing, safety and well being and transportation. One thing that really sets Saint Catherine's University's program apart from other college programs is that it is, "open to any student with a child(ren), regardless of income, the age of the child, marital status, or degree level." The specific sources that recommend St Catherine's University are US News, Nation Swell, Christian Post, Study.com and Institute for Women's Policy Research.

  5. Eastern Michigan University
    Location

    Ypsilanti, MI

    This college has adopted something called the Keys to Degrees Program that several other colleges have been implementing. This allows student parents to access accommodation, child care, mentoring and workshops on the college campus year round. However, Eastern Michigan University has other departments that can assist student parents. For example, it also has the Women's Resource Center, which can assist student parents with getting their child enrolled in the college's early childhood education programs and many other things. Single Mother Guide, Nation Swell, Christian Post and Study.com are the sources that recommend Eastern Michigan University.

  6. College of Saint Mary
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Nation Swell notes that the College of Saint Mary is an ideal option for student parents for multiple reasons. In 2012, it opened a whole building dedicated to single mothers, named Madonna Hall. The facilities include free laundry facilities on every floor, child play areas and areas that integrate study and child play spaces. On top of this, students and children living in this facility benefit from 24/7 security, meaning that they can always feel safe. But incredible facilities are only a small part of what the College of Saint Mary is doing to ensure that student parents succeed. Its Mothers Living & Learning program provides advisors, workshops, leadership opportunities, student groups and more all for the purpose of making single mothers' study years a success. These services are also praised by Single Mother Guide, Christian Post and Learn How To Become.

  7. University of Iowa
    Location

    Iowa City, IA

    Of the four methodology sources that highlight University of Iowa, most state that its family-friendly campus sets it apart from the competition. And most uniquely this includes almost 50 lactation rooms that the college has installed for new mothers. However, the University of Iowa's human resources department also does a great deal to assist student mothers with issues that they may face. This includes accessing child care funding, creating flexible work arrangements and offering a range of new parent resources online. US News, Nation Swell, Christian Post and Study.com are the specific sources that praise the University of Iowa.

  8. Mills College
    Location

    Oakland, CA

    Mills College really puts students with children before all others. It does this by giving them priority spaces in a range of the college's services. For example, student parents are assigned two bedroom apartments that are only a five minute walk from campus. And the on-campus children's school ensures that the children of students can be enrolled. Also, student parents are given their own parking spaces and are allowed to eat meals with their children on campus. US News, Single Mother Guide, Christian Post and Study.com all praise Mills College for these initiatives.

  9. Baldwin Wallace University
    Location

    Berea, OH

    Single Mother Guide names Baldwin Wallace University as the best college for single parents. This is due to its Single Parents Reaching Out For Unassisted Tomorrows (SPROUT) program. US News, Christian Post and Study.com all also recommend this college and state that the SPROUT program is an incredible resource. SPROUT has been running since 1992, and during this time, thousands of single parents have accessed funding and resources for child care, counseling, mentoring, internships, tutoring and other forms of aid.

  10. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
    Location

    Minneapolis, MN

    US News notes that the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is one of several that offers students with children access to on-site daycare. And Study.com notes that the assistance that the college gives to children starts before they are even born. If a student is pregnant, the college will provide them with training in looking after a child. If this weren't enough, Institute for Women's Policy Research notes that the college also has weekly Parents as Students Support (PASS) lunch meetings to help student parents foster useful and friendly social connections. Further research also reveals that the college has a Teen Parent Outreach Program and many other incredible initiatives based around helping young people with children achieve academic success.

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