Pregnancy and Parenting Resources on Campus

Feminists for Life’s nationwide study of student awareness of pregnancy and parenting resources on college campuses

Perception IS Reality

Pregnancy and Parenting Resources on Campus

Feminists for Life’s nationwide study of student awareness of pregnancy and parenting resources on college campuses

April 2008

Prepared by Cayce D. Utley, MA Public Policy

 

Introduction

In November of 2007, Feminists for Life launched its first-ever nationwide Pregnancy Resources Survey™. The goal of the survey was to determine students’ perceptions about the availability on their campuses of resources and support for pregnant and parenting students.

A number of colleges and universities have some on-campus resources, and others are taking steps to create a supportive academic environment for pregnant and parenting students. Yet basic resources often go unpublicized, and students remain unaware of the services available to them in the event they face an unplanned pregnancy.

For these students, the perception that they have no resources or support is their reality.

The responses to this survey reveal hard truths about the situation for pregnant and parenting students on campus; either there is a genuine lack of resources on campus, or there is ignorance about existing resources even among student activists who are most vested in supporting services for pregnant and parenting students. In either case, it is clear that Feminists for Life’s efforts to help administrators develop on-campus resources, as well as educate students about the supports already in place, are vitally important.

 

Background

In 1996, a board member of Feminists for Life shared her experience of facing an unplanned pregnancy while in college. “Without housing, daycare, and maternity coverage, it doesn’t feel like you have much of a free choice,” she told the board. FFL President Serrin Foster realized that, as she lectured to college audiences across the country about feminist history, she had never seen a visibly pregnant woman.

In January of 1997, Foster moderated the first Pregnancy Resource ForumSM in the country at Georgetown University to evaluate resources on and off campus and help administrators and students create a blueprint for progress. Since then, Foster and other FFL moderators have hosted similar Forums at colleges across the country.

Building on the success of the Pregnancy Resource Forums, FFL developed a Pregnancy Resources Survey. Student leaders were asked in advance of FFL events to look for existing resources on and off campus.

During the Forums, Foster and other FFL moderators confirmed that basic resources were often unavailable. In addition, few schools had policies about pregnant and parenting resources. Resources were not communicated effectively or at all to students, and there was rarely a place for students to find help.

Through the Forums, moderators also learned that the perceptions of student activists were frequently incorrect. Student activists (both pro-life and pro-choice) who were the most aware of resources, including those students who diligently looked for specific resources in advance of the event, could not find them listed in student handbooks, on websites, by asking resident assistants or residential advisors (RAs), or even by calling administrators’ offices. Information about services for pregnant and parenting students was not shared during student orientation.

The Forum moderators learned that help was often available if the proper person was asked, but even the professionals lacked information. Administrators in one department, as well as peer counselors, were often unaware of services in other departments or off-campus resources. With few exceptions, a central place on campus was needed to deal with splintered services.

As a result, pregnant students and parents make important decisions about their families, educations, and their futures without the information and services they need.

FFL wanted to know if this was a widespread problem for colleges across the country.

 

Methodology

Feminists for Life’s Pregnancy Resources Survey was adapted as a web-based survey using SurveyMonkey’s online data collection tools.[1] The survey was distributed to student leaders on campuses across the nation using a database of FFL’s leaders on campus and with the help of Students for Life of America. Students were given one month to evaluate their campuses and respond to the online survey. Respondents had the opportunity to leave the survey and return to fill in any questions that required more research. Respondents were also invited to give comments and provide anecdotal information about the issues raised in the survey. Those comments are available in the appendices to this report.

The final section of this report evaluates the differences in responses based on the type of school. An analysis of the data yielded only eight questions that showed a statistically significant difference in response among students at state, religious, and private institutions.[2] Those analyses are incorporated into the relevant sections of the Survey Outcomes.

 

Respondents

Feminists for Life’s nationwide Pregnancy Resources Survey had 165 respondents from 117 different colleges and universities.

Eighty-five percent of the student respondents were undergraduates, 8 percent were graduate students, and 3 percent were alumni. Fewer than 1 percent of the respondents were faculty members. The majority of schools represented were state schools (58%), with equal representation of private and religious colleges (21% each).

 

Academic Alternatives

Pregnant and parenting students are a unique demographic that often requires flexibility in course scheduling. Most of the survey respondents indicated that their schools offer some kind of alternative class scheduling options. Seventy-eight percent of respondents reported that their school offers flexible class times (evening, weekend classes). Fifty-three percent said their school offers telecommuting or distance learning opportunities. On the campuses surveyed, alternative scheduling is the most prevalent resource known or perceived to be available to pregnant and parenting students.

An analysis of the data based on the type of school showed that the students at state schools showed that students at state schools were more likely to indicate that their school offers flexible class times than students at private schools.

The analysis also revealed that students at state schools were more likely than students at private or religious colleges to answer that their school offered telecommuting or distance learning opportunities.

 

Housing for Pregnant and Parenting Students

Respondents were asked to evaluate housing availability for pregnant and parenting students. The largest group of respondents (46%) said there is no housing available on campus for these students. The second highest percentage of respondents (31%) said they did not know if such housing is available.

Twenty-two percent of those surveyed answered that housing is available on campus for pregnant and parenting students. Of these respondents, 89 percent said such housing is open to graduate students, and 87 percent said it is available for undergraduates. On those campuses where housing was believed to be available, 73 percent of respondents said foreign students on an education visa would be eligible for residential housing.

When asked about affordable off-campus housing nearby, 74 percent of respondents indicated there is such housing available near campus, and 15 percent of respondents said they did not know.

An analysis of the responses showed that students at private schools were less likely than those at state schools to indicate that their campus had housing for student parents. Students at private schools were also less likely than students at religious colleges to affirm that their school had housing for student parents.

 

Childcare On and Off Campus

Childcare is one of the most vital resources a college campus can provide for pregnant and parenting students. The largest group of survey respondents (45%) said that their colleges do not offer on-campus childcare. Thirty-one percent said their school offers on-campus childcare, 2 percent said plans were underway, and 22 percent said they did not know if childcare is available.

Another barrier to access to childcare for pregnant and parenting students is the issue of infant care, which entails additional staffing and other requirements. Only 27 percent of the respondents who affirmed that on-campus childcare is available said infant care is also available. Most of the students (68%) did not know whether or not their on-campus childcare center would accept infants. Five percent stated that the childcare center has an expressed policy against accepting infants. Several respondents were able to find information about the costs of childcare on campus.[3]

Students who said their school offers on-campus childcare reported that some campus populations have more access to this resource than others: faculty (87%), administration and staff (83%), graduate students (79%), undergraduates (77%), and foreign students on an education visa (55%). Most students (66%) surveyed did not know if their school provides referrals to off-campus childcare.

An analysis of the data showed that students at state schools were more likely than students at private and religious colleges to indicate that their campus offered childcare.

When asked if the college connects parents to volunteer or paid babysitters, 55 percent of respondents said they did not know. Another 27 percent said the college does not facilitate connections between student parents and babysitters. Seventeen percent said their college issues some kind of list of babysitters or otherwise facilitates connections between student parents and babysitters.

Further analysis revealed that students at private colleges were more likely than students at state colleges to indicate that their schools helped connect students with babysitters.

 

Healthcare for Pregnant and Parenting Students

According to a 2006 study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the average cost of childbirth in the US is $8,300. The cost of delivery by cesarean section averages $11,500.[4]

A pregnant woman needs insurance coverage for prenatal care, delivery, and postpartum care. Without adequate healthcare coverage, a pregnant student will likely fear the cost of carrying a pregnancy to term. The majority of the survey respondents (77%) did not know if their student health plan offers maternity coverage. Of those who did know, 16 percent said maternity coverage is not available. Only 7 percent of respondents indicated that maternity coverage is offered as part of the student health plan.

Additionally, respondents were asked if insurance riders are available to cover the children of students. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they did not know. Fourteen percent said students cannot obtain riders to cover their children. Again, only 7 percent said the school offers riders for student parents to obtain healthcare coverage for their children.

An analysis of the data yielded no statistically significant differences in the responses from students at state, religious, or private colleges on the questions pertaining to healthcare options and availability.

 

Physical Accommodations

Creating a campus that is friendly toward pregnant and parenting students requires some physical accommodations. Respondents were asked to evaluate several nontraditional elements that are helpful to these students.

When asked if their campus is accessible for parents using strollers as well as people using wheelchairs, 87 percent of students said their campus has elevators, ramps, etc., while 7 percent said their campus is not physically accommodating to those transporting children.

An analysis of this section showed that students at state schools were more likely than students at private schools to deem their college “stroller-accessible.”

Ninety percent of respondents said their campus does not offer designated parking for pregnant women or parents with infants. Only 1 percent said they had seen such designated parking on campus.

Respondents were also asked if diaper-changing stations are available in restrooms on campus. Twenty-three percent said they are, while 61 percent said they had not seen diaper changing stations in restrooms. One respondent said her campus has plans to install stations. When asked if there is a private place for women to nurse or pump breast milk, 77 percent of respondents said “no.” Only 3 percent of respondents said they knew of such a location on their campus. A significant proportion of respondents (20%) did not know if their school provides a private place for nursing mothers.

 

Financial Affairs

The financial affairs portion of the survey proved to be the most difficult for respondents to answer. When asked if loans or scholarships are made available specifically to parenting students, 69 percent of respondents answered, “I don’t know.” Twenty-five percent said there are no such financial supports available. Only 6 percent said they knew of special loans or scholarships for parenting students.

When asked if loans or scholarships are made available to pay for family housing on or off campus, 67 percent of respondents said they did not know. Twenty-three percent said that no such loans or scholarships are available, and 9 percent said there is such financial support. Respondents were also asked if student loans or scholarships are available for childcare costs. Seventy percent said they did not know, and 26 percent said there is no financial support for students seeking childcare. Only 3 percent of respondents indicated there are loans and scholarships available to cover the cost of childcare.

An analysis of the questions regarding financial aid showed a significant difference in the responses of students at state versus religious colleges on the availability of financial aid for family housing. Students at state schools were more likely than students at religious schools to indicate that there were scholarships/loans available for family housing.

Respondents were asked if the athletic department has a protective “redshirt” policy for students on athletic scholarships who become pregnant, allowing them to avoid activities as needed for the duration of the pregnancy and still retain their scholarships. Seventy-nine percent of students said they did not know if there is such a policy. Four percent said the “redshirt” designation is applied to pregnant students, while 16 percent said pregnant athletes are not protected from loss of scholarship if they become pregnant.

 

Education

One of the goals of the survey was to uncover what students know and do not know about resources on their campus. Part of that discovery was asking questions about how administration educates students about resources for pregnant and parenting students.

When asked if there is a person or central office on campus responsible for helping pregnant and parenting students, half of the respondents said they did not know. One-third (33%) said there was no central place for pregnant and parenting students to seek assistance. Only 16 percent said there is a person or office in charge of assisting these students.

When asked how they could find information about resources and support for pregnant and parenting students, respondents indicated there are few sources for such information. Forty percent said they could not find these resources on their campus website, and another 48 percent said they did not know if these resources are on the website. Sixty-two percent said there had been no mention of pregnancy and parenting support in their first-year orientation.

Respondents were asked if resident assistants or residential advisors (RAs) were aware of the scope of pregnancy resources available on and off campus. Thirty percent of respondents perceived the RAs to be unaware. Another 57 percent said they did not know if their RAs receive any information or training in this area.

When asked about their student handbook, 45 percent of respondents said resources for pregnant and parenting students are not in the handbook, and another 45 percent did not know.

Educational materials and brochures are the most likely sources of information about resources and support, but only 17 percent of respondents said those sources were readily available on their campus. Forty-two percent did not know if their college provides educational handouts or brochures to pregnant and parenting students. Thirty-eight percent said their university does not use educational materials and brochures.

The next most likely source of information about resources is ads and signs on campus. Only 15 percent of respondents said they had seen ads or signage on campus that provided information and support for pregnant and parenting students. Fifty-six percent said they did not believe these materials are used on their campus.

When asked about child support, 46 percent of respondents said students are not generally aware of paternity establishment and child support enforcement laws that give fathers rights as well as responsibilities. Another 45 percent said they did not know if students are educated about these issues. Fifty-four percent said they did not know if women on their campus are aware of the information they need to establish paternity if the father resisted his responsibilities, while 41 percent said women on their campus are aware of this information.

In evaluating the differences in responses among students at state, religious, and private colleges, students at state schools were more likely than students at private or religious colleges to indicate that their school provided information for pregnancy support services on the college’s website.

 

Conclusions

Whether there is an actual lack of basic resources for these students, or the available resources are simply not well communicated, the result is the same for students’ perspectives. For pregnant and parenting students, perception is reality; they do not see themselves as welcomed or supported on most college campuses.

According to this survey, flexible class scheduling is far and away the best-known resource for pregnant and parenting students. This resource is useful to traditional and nontraditional students alike, and most respondents indicated that online, evening, and weekend courses are available on their campuses.

While respondents were often able to find information about housing, many were confused about the scope of childcare options. The overwhelming impression of the respondents was that members of the faculty and staff have priority in access to the on-campus day care center. Undergraduates and foreign students are considered to be at the bottom of the list.[5]

Respondents were also overwhelmingly unaware of policies regarding financial aid, healthcare, and education about resources and support. Financial aid and healthcare are among the most complex and demanding components of student life — even more so for pregnant and parenting students. The fact that many respondents did not know how to find information on healthcare and financial aid suggests a serious gap in the way college administrations educate students about their most basic resources.

Responses in the financial aid section suggest that students have not been educated about the range of options available to pregnant and parenting students to secure federal financial aid for housing, tuition, and childcare costs. Additionally, students are woefully uneducated about paternity establishment and the rights and responsibilities of fathers. Both of these elements are crucial for establishing the financial security of a pregnant or parenting student.

Similarly, while posters and brochures have been staples of health and resource educators in the past, many of these resources have gone unseen by students responding to the survey. There is no doubt that some campuses have information on pregnancy resources posted around campus — but is this the best way to reach students? When primary sources like first-year orientation, student handbooks, and even RAs are lacking or perceived to be lacking in information, pregnant and parenting students have nowhere to turn for answers.

The variation in responses about where to find information about resources points to the need for a central office or staff person to handle queries about pregnancy and parenting on campus. Feminists for Life has advocated for such an innovation in its Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act.[6] There is also a demonstrated need for resources to be available in more than one visible place on campus, including the school website, handbooks, and RA training materials, as well as widely disseminated printed materials (posters, brochures, etc.).

Without resources and support, pregnant and parenting students may be forced onto a life path with little or no college education, reduced employment prospects, and possibly poverty. Pregnant and parenting students deserve better. They deserve equal access to opportunities in higher education.

Feminists for Life believes that colleges and universities should not only mirror the advancements for women and parents that we have seen in recent years in the workplace, they should be models for resources and support. If they are not, they risk losing the contributions that pregnant and parenting students on campus today are making in their schools and in their communities.

Feminists for Life encourages all colleges and universities to evaluate the resources available for pregnant and parenting students on their campuses as well as how they educate students about these resources and begin to implement changes to better meet their students’ needs. Feminists for Life is committed to helping schools realize these goals and will continue to advocate for support for pregnant and parenting students across the nation.

Appendix A

Respondent Data Based on Type of School

All respondents (N=165; 117 schools)

  1. Does college/university offer flexible class times?
    1. Private schools were less likely to offer flexible class times as compared with state schools (68% vs 85%; OR=0.29, p<0.02).
  2. Does college/university offer telecommuting/distance learning opportunities?
    1. Private schools were less likely to offer telecommuting opportunities as compared with state schools (35% vs 66%; OR=0.26, p<0.01).
    2. Religious schools were also less likely to offer telecommuting opportunities as compared with state schools (36% vs 66%; OR=0.22, p<0.01).
  3. Is on-campus housing available for parents and children?
    1. Private schools were less likely to have on-campus housing available for parents as compared with state schools (3% vs 27%; OR=0.07, p<0.02).
    2. Private schools were also less likely to have on-campus housing available for parents as compared with religious schools (3% vs 28%; OR=0.09, p<0.03).
  4. Does the college offer on-campus day care?
    1. Private schools were less likely to offer on-campus day care as compared to state schools (21% vs 39%; OR=0.30, p<0.02).
    2. Religious schools were also less likely to offer on-campus day care as compared with state schools (19% vs 39%; OR=0.25, p<0.01).
  5. Does the college list/connect parents to volunteer or paid babysitters?
    1. Private schools were more likely to connect parents to babysitters as compared with state schools (27% vs 11%; OR=2.96, p<0.09).
  6. Is campus accessible to parents using strollers as well as those in wheelchairs?
    1. Private schools were less likely to be stroller-accessible as compared with state schools (81% vs 91%; OR=0.19, p<0.04).
  7. Are student loans/scholarships available for family housing?
    1. State schools were more likely to have loans/scholarships available for family housing as compared with religious schools (14% vs 3%; OR=10.29, p<0.04).
  8. Are policies/services regarding pregnancy resource/support found through the campus website?
    1. Private schools were less likely to have policies on their website as compared with state schools (3% vs 16%; OR=0.11, p<0.05).
    2. Religious schools were also less likely to have policies on their website as compared with state schools (7% vs 16%; OR=0.22, p<0.07).

Appendix B

Respondents’ Comments on Academic Alternatives

Currently have evening classes, select weekend classes to begin next semester.

Our college offers evening classes, but not weekend classes. Also, I know for sure that we have some classes available online, but I do not know about classes on TV.

It is mostly on-campus college, there are some internet classes and the like offered, but the choices are limited.

The majority of the learning has to be done on campus.

I think it is pretty flexible but I haven’t done any substantial research. I know there are evening classes, not sure about weekend and the have limited distance learning underway already.

Classes are offered via internet and during evenings, but not many. Some requirements are only at limited times.

I am in the relatively small occupational therapy program and the schedule is tight, but the professors are very accommodating when the students need to be absent. One woman actually was pregnant for the first part of the program and was able to take a week or two off when her baby was born. But now she’s back in classes like the rest of us.

Free tutoring, disability services (i.e. note taking).

The lectures for the DO classes are recorded on MP3 and scribed.

There are many academic resource offices and places to go to get help and assistance for any class.

Even though the class times are mostly flexible, there are some classes that are needed for the following semester but are offered every other semester or year.

Classes are five days a week, no classes on Sat. There are not classes online, or TV, except for one, and maybe a few more. Most classes are between the times of 8-4 Monday to Friday.

Appendix C

Respondents’ Comments on Housing

The “family” housing complex is currently the center of some controversy as it is kind of dilapidated, but it is currently undergoing review to increase the budget to renovate. Although it is technically on-campus, it’s on the outskirts of it.

Family Housing is available, but the waiting list is over a year long, and preference is given to married (i.e. older) students, rather than single mothers.

Any housing available near campus is in a heavily populated student area that would not be considered family-friendly.

Affordable off-campus housing is not necessarily the safest housing.

There are two apartment complexes for students what are married and have children, or are pregnant, etc.

Freshmen and sophomores are required to life on campus, but students with children are not allowed to have their children in the dorm.

When a past classmate of mine got pregnant, I asked her if she was “allowed” to live on campus with the baby the next semester. She told me that the resident director said the baby could live with her in the resident apartments if her other roommates agreed that it was OK.

Most of the off-campus housing near the university is fairly expensive for college students with limited budgets. However, it is less expensive than the on-campus housing. Traditional undergraduate freshman and sophomores are required to live on campus, unless they live nearby with their parents. Graduate and evening degree program students do not live in on-campus housing; I’m not sure if this is due to university policy or personal preference.

Depends on how each individual rates “affordable.” Maybe not all single moms could afford the housing options. Very little room for married couples on campus; very limited married student housing; have not heard very positive things about it.

The housing available for parents and children is not actually on campus, but it is right across the street and it is affordable.

Undergrads with children are not allowed to live on campus. There are a variety of graduate student housing options and apartment buildings, but living in the area is pretty expensive in general, and the options Harvard provides are not significantly cheaper.

It is against the rules for women to be pregnant and live on campus (unmarried) and no married housing is provided.

Appendix D

Respondents’ Comments on Childcare

We frequently see parents with children on campus, and several professors I’ve had stated on the syllabus that parents with infants and childcare issues could bring their kids to class if necessary.

We have programs on campus for children through our literacy community service group. There are story hours in the bookstore periodically.

The on-campus (not free) childcare moved a few miles away from campus. Though still affiliated with the school, students’ children do not have priority over the general community. Also, I don’t know how well they advertise this or refer students since I was here for three years before I knew it existed.

There is a widely known organization called the Playgroup that baby-sits for parents in the area.

I think the major flaw in the child care system is that it only takes children up to 5 years old!

The education department often receives e-mails asking for students to baby-sit.

Day care is only provided for children over 2-years-old last time I checked.

The on-campus daycare may be for faculty only.

Our student organization on campus is in the process of trying to organize and on-campus child care of some form…as needed.

There are not really opportunities for students with children, but very near campus (walking distance) there is a place that offers childcare, where college students are caring for the children of professors and staff.

Day care resources are over capacity and not accessible to undergraduates.

There is a very good child-care center on the Health Sciences Campus, which is where I study (not at the main undergraduate campus).

The student handbook mentions something about parking places for day care employees, but I didn’t find any other information about the day care in the handbook or on the school’s website.

Usually child care is offered only to University employees, and even then it is expensive and hard to get.

The most I’ve seen are flyers people post around campus, offering their services as babysitters, or asking for such help.

I wish they would offer child care and be more supportive of breastfeeding.

The babysitters requested are for the parent teachers. There was supposed to be a day care on campus, but rumors are that the school had mysteriously refuted the grant for the supposed and needed day care.

The professors have students baby-sit their children sometimes.

There used to be a child care center on campus, but it is no more.

There are students who offer to baby-sit and churches around that offer babysitting services, but nothing is coordinated by the school.

There is a student-run Babysitter’s Club in the works and it’s fairly easy to find babysitters in general, but there are no referrals through the university administration.

The campus used to provide day-care on campus, but again, the President got rid of it.

(I’m not sure if these are the weekly costs-but this is what is listed) Infants-Toddlers: $1235 Two Year Olds: $1080 Three and Up: $870

Depending on the facility and the age of the child, the weekly cost is between $250-350.

I’m not sure…and I know that the childcare is for faculty for sure; I’m not sure about other groups.

I have no idea what the cost is.

Again, I don’t know, but I don’t believe it offers child care, especially for undergrads.

Between $133.00 and $210.00, depending on the child’s age (older costs less, younger costs more) and on family income (higher incomes spend more money) NOTE: For more than one child, there will be a 10% discount per week on each additional child per family. (This does not include the first child).

Appendix E

Respondents’ Comments on Health Care

Our Student Wellness Center has an OBGYN and a fertility specialist on staff, and there is also an elementary and preschool on campus for young children.

I do not know about health care for pregnant and parenting students on my campus. The health plan at my college covers abortion.

It would be nice if they would provide some.

I don’t know if there is maternity coverage, however I seriously doubt it. I don’t really know anyone who actively uses their student health care plan for anything other than getting cough drops and condoms from the school nurse. The health care facilities that are available (for “real” things) are off campus, about 30 minutes away.

Students are on their parents’ healthcare programs.

All student insurances specifically state that they will NOT cover pregnancy. No help is available to students applying for alternative forms of insurance.

From what I’ve heard about it, it’s your typical, run-of-the-mill “health” center. The only real option I’ve heard of for pregnant girls is to prescribe birth control or to refer them to abortions.

Appendix F

Respondents’ Comments on Physical Accommodations

We are located in the middle of a nice neighborhood, so we often get families who walk, bike, and do nature trails on campus. Although it is not due to administration, it is nice to SEE mothers and fathers pushing their children in strollers around campus.

There are changing tables in the main buildings not classroom buildings.

To the best of my knowledge, we do not have designated parking for pregnant/parenting women.

Because there is a strong education program here, many of the students are very welcoming to children and pregnant women. It seems those specific professors are understanding, but not all.

A friend of mine who was pregnant last semester was not allowed to park in lots near her academic buildings, despite her pregnancy and inclement weather.

There are elevators in some buildings on campus, but not all. I only know of one dorm that has an elevator. The Student Center/Medical Center also has an elevator. I don’t know how many ramps there are for people with strollers or wheelchairs. I also do not know of any changing stations in restrooms. I do not know if the students or women are aware of any pregnancy help information.

Our group is trying to work with the blueprints for the up and coming buildings. There are many buildings/restrooms that can accommodate changing tables and/or couches in the bathrooms for mothers to have the privacy to breastfeed.

There are only diaper changing tables in one building that I know of, the Student Union, where the general public go, but in no other place on campus are there diaper changing stations.

Appendix G

Respondents’ Comments on Financial Aid

Our school requires unmarried students to practice abstinence. An unmarried girl who got pregnant would be sent home. A married girl who got pregnant would probably retain her scholarship, but would not be expected to continue going to school unless she provided her own child care. The financial aid office discourages students from getting married and having children while in school because the academics here are so rigorous. Students are aware of crisis pregnancy centers where they could get help if needed.

We have started the “College Parents Fund” where pregnant and parenting students can apply for a small grant to receive funds to help. Very limited though.

Several women have lost their athletic scholarships because of pregnancy. There was an article about it recently in the school newspaper.

I don’t know anything about the financial aid for pregnant and parenting students on my campus.

I do not believe that there is any financial services of any sort available for pregnant/parenting students.

There are no scholarships available for being a parenting student or for family housing or child care.

While loans or scholarships are not available for parents, we did find out that the unborn child counts as a dependent for the mother. Thus, she can change here FAFSA status and may be eligible for more financial aid.

The financial aid depends on various factors, including income, family size, and special conditions. A parenting student would be offered additional money due to their overall need, not specifically due to the fact that they are a parent.

Appendix H

Respondents’ Comments on Education about Resources

There is supposedly a Pregnancy Center on campus now but I have not seen their presence around.

I went and asked my RA and she told me that they trained them about what resources are available.

There is a lack of pregnancy resources at my campus.

My organization has started researching the resources available for students in crisis pregnancy situations. We plan to create a brochure with all this information to distribute on campus.

RAs are not made aware of all services OFF campus.

The Director of Counseling & Health Services has agreed to work on equipping the campus with these resources. He said he recognizes the need for specific pregnant and parenting resources, but affirms that the campus does try to help women and men by an assessment and referral process currently.

There is very little communication about all of these topics.

I rarely see people pregnant women or people with small children on campus, so I doubt any of these services are easily accessible, if at all available.

I looked around the school websites for this information, but I couldn’t find any answers.

Appendix I

Respondents’ Comments on Overall Pregnancy and Parenting-Friendliness

Campus is not child friendly (or student friendly for that matter).

Ours is very much a pro-life campus, but I’m afraid our weakness lies in being a small, private college; the fervor of the pro-life attitude is unfortunately stronger than being pro-mother.

The school has a lot of improvements to make.

The idea of parenting or pregnant students is a completely foreign one at my university.

Pregnant students have been served on campus.

Like I mentioned, I don’t think there is any general help for parenting or pregnant students, but there are also not any pregnant students, as far as I know.

Pregnant students and and students with children are not allowed to enroll at my school.

Unwed mothers are not allowed to attend my university because it is a very conservative school.

For the most part, it feels like an unspoken rule at my school that if you do get pregnant, your college experience here is over.


[1] SurveyMonkey.com http://surveymonkey.com/

[2] Appendix A

[3] Appendix D

[4] Merrill, Chaya MPH and Claudia Steiner, MD, MPH August 2006. Statistical Brief: Hospitalizations Realted to Childbirth, 2003. http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb11.jsp. Accessed on January 7, 2008.

[5] Appendix D

[6] Feminists for Life. Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act. http://www.feministsforlife.org/ECS/