The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type

Starred Paper



Degree Name

Child and Family Studies: Family Studies: M.S.


Child and Family Studies


School of Education

First Advisor

Frances Kayona

Second Advisor

Brittany Sullivan

Third Advisor

Amy Christensen

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

child care, student parents, Minnesota, financial aid, parenthood


Over one quarter of students enrolled at postsecondary institutions are student parents (Institute for Women's Policy Research, 2018) with needs unique to the rest of the student body (United States Department of Education, 2022). These students’ stressors often include balancing a hectic schedule, multiple roles (parent, student, employee, etc.), and financial concerns (Dill & Henley, 1998). Due to these additional demands on attention and time, student parents are more likely to take longer to earn a degree or to leave school all together prior to graduation (Institute for Women's Policy Research, 2018).

The necessity of providing numerous supports, including child care, to strengthen student parents’ determination for educational attainment is the main topic of this paper. Although there are nearly four million undergraduate student parents in the United States (Cruse, Holtzman, Gault, Croom, & Polk, 2019) trying to accomplish educational advancement, too often challenges prevent degrees from being received. With the necessary supports and resources, such as financial aid and child care (Hess, Krohn, Reichlin, Roman, & Gault, 2014), some of the complexities can be untangled and students can focus on the important things, like family, homework, and progressing toward graduation.