Institute for Women's Policy Research

Investing in Single Mothers’ Higher Education

Posted on July 9, 2018

Increasing educational attainment among single mothers is critical to strengthening family well-being and economic security in the United States. Single mothers typically have less education, lower household incomes, and higher poverty rates than other adults. Given that postsecondary education is associated with higher incomes, better health, and improved educational outcomes among children, increasing single mothers’ college attainment can have far-reaching, multigenerational benefits for families and communities. It can also help the United States meet goals for postsecondary credential attainment, help colleges improve student completion and progress toward racial/ethnic equity, contribute to the growing demand for highly educated workers, increase tax contributions, and reduce public benefits spending.

“Investing in Single Mothers’ Education: Costs and Benefits to Individuals, Families, and Society” will analyze the costs and benefits of investing in postsecondary education and related support services for single mothers, in an effort to launch a broader conversation of how supports for single mother families can create more vibrant, successful postsecondary institutions, strengthen local economies, and build opportunity for generations to come.

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