Here are three reports you should know about this month.
- Colleges need to do more for students who are parents, Generation Hope says in a new report. According to a survey conducted by the community-based nonprofit focused on college completion and early childhood success, one in five undergraduate students – and one in four (26 percent) of community college students – is a parent. The largest share of student parents, 42 percent, attend community colleges, the report said. And 40 percent of student parents overall feel isolated on campus. However, most institutions don’t have sufficient policies or facilities to serve parents, according to the report. Some recommendations include better collecting and tracking the parenting status of students; applying a parenting-student lens to the college’s diversity, equity and inclusion work; and designating a staff position to champion the needs of parenting students across the institution.
- A Pew Charitable Trusts report looks at how the coronavirus pandemic could alter government spending on higher education. While state dollars for postsecondary institutions have fallen since 2000, federal funding has risen. But, according to the report’s writers, there’s “a great deal of uncertainty, and the actions of both state and federal policymakers will shape the amount and type of public support for students and institutions going forward.” State higher education spending fell sharply in the wake of the Great Recession, dropping by 29% per student — adjusted for inflation — COVID-19 could present a greater threat to state budgets. Already, a few states, including Nevada and Ohio, have acted, or considered plans, to cut higher education spending. “Although the outlook for states appears ominous, policymakers don’t yet have the data they need to know the depth of the revenue holes they face,” the report’s writers said.
- Part-time students don’t have the same success rates as full-time students, according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. While the national six-year college completion rate continues to increase, students who first enroll part-time in college face obstacles that can impede their goal of earning a credential, according to the report. Among all first-time, degree-seeking students who began college part-time in fall 2013, one in four left in their first year, and by the end of spring 2019 more than half left college without earning a credential, the report said.