Missing childcare alert

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“Ask The Experts” is written and provided by Scholarship Media. It does not reflect the views of The Collegian or its advertisers.

I am raising a child while attending college. Am I granted any special legal or financial protections through the school or government?

We chose this question because over 26 percent of U.S. undergrads have a child.

The salient issue for student parents is childcare – where to find it and how to afford it. Funding for childcare varies by State and college policy. While nearly 85 percent of all California colleges have childcare facilities, that does not guarantee availability.

A common complaint is all the daycare spots are taken by faculty and staff, leaving a long wait list, says Naomi Erlich, blogger on Parenting Pod: advice and product safety reviews.

Your “right” to childcare is limited by government funding, which has been declining during this decade.

Nearly every State has other qualifications for childcare aid. These include work requirements, satisfactory grades and minimum course load.

Your option for independent childcare must be subsidized by grants and loans. Student parents average over 10 percent more debt at graduation. The additional debt going for childcare.

There are childcare tax credits for students even though you are not working.

Your student-parent legal rights are granted under Federal Title IX, Education Amendment. There is no provision for childcare. You have protections related to pregnancy and child care; this includes excuse from school without penalty and a workable environment.

Without more rights, there is self-reliance. Colleges often have support groups for students with children. We also found many colleges offering special purchase discounts for student parents and child coverage at your student health facility.

Our legal and financial support system for student parents gets a failing grade across the Country. Sadly, only 1 in 3 student parents receives a diploma.

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