Going to College While Parenting – GradPlan


Going to College While Parenting

Whether you’re a parent or expecting, here’s some info to make things easier.

Chase Your Dreams

Did you know that 22% of all college undergraduates are parents?

As a pregnant or parenting student you have rights under Title IX, which bans sex discrimination in schools that get federal funds . This means that it is illegal to exclude students who may be, are, or have been pregnant.

This is your time as much as it is anyone else’s.

Systems of Support

There are lots of supports for young parents on college campuses, including financial aid, housing and childcare arrangements for young families. When you arrive on campus be sure to ask at the Student Services office what supports your college offers to students with children.

In the meantime, here are three key pieces of information to help you get started.


Financial Aid

When it comes to your financial aid application (FAFSA), you can (and should) claim your child as a dependent if you provided over 50% of the child’s financial support.

If you claim your child as a dependent and are selected for financial aid verification, you will be asked to provide documentation to verify the financial support of your child. Documentation may include W-2s, daycare receipts, a SNAP benefits award letter, and itemized receipts for basic needs.

It’s a good idea to organize these documents when you apply to see what you have and what might be missing. If you cannot provide documentation, you may have to revise your financial aid application before receiving funding for school.

Review FAFSA “Household Size” information page to learn more about dependent children on your application.


Unique Housing Options

Many college campuses have specific housing supports for students with children who are intending to live on campus. These can include:

  • Apartments or residences reserved for young families.
  • Access to furniture for children such as high chairs, playpens or cribs.
  • A residential advisor (R.A.) who is a parent themselves who can provide guidance and support when needed.

If you are having difficulty finding the benefits for students with children on your campus, call your Campus Housing office and ask.


Finding Childcare

Some schools have on-campus childcare, while others have recommended off-campus businesses they refer students to for that service. Check to see if the school you wish to attend has childcare by looking on their website under the Student Services section. You can also call the Student Services office if you can’t find that information online or if you just want to talk to someone about your situation and how the college supports students to find childcare while they’re in classes.

Childcare Options for Illinois Regional Colleges

Highlighted Options in the City of Chicago:

Highlighted Illinois options outside of Chicago:

Recommended Resources


Special Circumstances

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist