You, your child and your school: Finding parental support on campus

June 18, 2012

Returning to college means course selection, trips to the bookstore and countless hours in classes and in front of a computer - and on top of all that, college-bound parents have to balance their children's schedules. But many universities are now offering childcare programs and support for mothers earning their degrees. Here are some services to look for:

Family Housing
Some colleges now provide housing for parents and their children on campus. These apartments often include kitchens to make it easier for mothers to control nutrition and avoid dining halls. Endicott College in Massachusetts has taken a different approach by offering a special meal plan option for parents. The plan grants students five meals a week in the dining halls while their children eat free.

For when your schedule becomes too hectic and you can't find a daycare or babysitter, schools from Colorado College to Delaware State University offer on-campus childcare services so you can attend class worry-free.

Knowing that you have a mentor you can always talk to is reassuring, and many university programs now have advisors available for parents whenever they have a question or concern. Misericordia University in Pennsylvania, for example, has a counseling center that aids students in the shift to college life and provides advice on parenting.

Course Options
Moms know best how to juggle a million activities at once, but now colleges are making it a little easier for them to fit school into their lives. Since living at college and enrolling as a full-time student may not be an option, schools like the University of Massachusetts Amherst have created online and blended degree paths. This way, parents can choose when they want to travel to campus and when they'd rather learn at home in their pajamas. Other schools like Bronx Community College offer parenting skills courses to help moms and dads learn about raising a child as they study trigonometry functions and iambic pentameter.

Financial aid
Schools like St. Catherine's University in Minnesota have loans and grants specifically for students with children, so make sure to ask if your college has financial aid for mothers. If it does, your school might be able to help make your education easier before classes even begin. 

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