During college, many students start growing up and learning the finer points of how to care for themselves. For those with children, this task is doubled, in that parents must hold themselves up as adults and academics while imparting knowledge and taking care of a child.
In 2011, U.S. News and World Report created a listing of colleges with child-friendly programs. These schools displayed below offer programs that can help alleviate some of the stressors of being a parent. Parents will find that many colleges and universities, particularly the ones that made the list, recognize the difficulties of paying for school while feeding a family, navigating course schedules around childcare openings and finding housing for both parent and child.
Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, offers a program called the <a href="http://www.wilson.edu/admissions/women-with-children-program/index.aspx" target="_hplink">Women With Children</a>, which features year-round on-campus housing. Women and their children are allowed to live in two-bedroom suites in Wilson's on-campus residence halls. Photo Credit: Cathy Mentzer
Beverly, Massachusetts' Endicott College allows students' children to eat in its on-campus dining halls and even, at times, sit in on classes. Calling it's program "<a href="http://www.endicott.edu/Student/SingleParProg-Student.aspx" target="_hplink">Keys to Degrees: Educating Two Generations Together</a>," the college sets out to help parents live a true college experience with support through mentorships and other programs. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Center_for_the_Arts,_Endicott_College,_Beverly_MA.jpg" target="_hplink">John Phelan</a>
Students at <a href="http://www.misericordia.edu/misericordia_pg_sub.cfm?sub_page_id=649&subcat_id=129&page_id=352" target="_hplink">Misericordia University</a> in Dallas, Pennsylvania, volunteer each week as babysitters for student moms. The campus writes on its site that its Rasmussen House and Pauly House "are large homes with considerable common space for families to share; including, play rooms, kitchens, dining rooms, study rooms and laundry facilities." Women and their children are set up in two-bedroom suites, as well. Photo Credit: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MisericordiaArchSpring2.jpg" target="_hplink">ABBAMU</a> Moms enrolled at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa., get a weekly break to study, grocery shop, or simply find time to take a shower, as other students on campus volunteer to babysit their children.
Under the <a href="http://www.bw.edu/stulife/reslife/halls/sprout/" target="_hplink">Single Parents Reaching Out for Unlimited Tomorrows </a>[SPROUT] program, students ages 18-23 can receive housing on Baldwin-Wallace College's campus for them and their children. The school also assists young parents in finding daycare for their children, as well as pointing them towards an on-campus childcare service. SPROUT also assists mothers in finding financial aid and offers academic tutors. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Student_Union_BWC.JPG" target="_hplink">IronGargoyle</a>
<a href="http://www.mills.edu/campus_life/housing/residential_options.php" target="_hplink">Mills College </a>offers family housing in its Underwood Apartments, and parents with children receive priority housing for these spots. According to its site, the building complex offers a total of 12 two-bedroom apartments in three separate buildings, all with wonderful views--and only a five-minute walk from the center of campus. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mills_College_Sign.jpg" target="_hplink">Daniel Olsen</a>
St. Catherine University
In addition to helping mothers find financial aid, St. Catherine University also aids mothers in discovering inexpensive childcare on or near campus through its <a href="http://minerva.stkate.edu/offices/administrative/access.nsf" target="_hplink">Access and Success</a> program. The school also boasts its own Early Childhood Center and Montessori Program. The school also offers a program called the By Your Side program, which pairs single student-parents with a volunteer mentor. Photo Credit: <a href="File:2009-731-MN-StKates-OurLadyofVictory.jpg" target="_hplink">Bobak Ha'Eri</a>
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Though the wait list is often lengthy (usually around 16-18 months), the University of Minnesota <a href="http://www.cehd.umn.edu/childdevelopmentcenter/" target="_hplink">Child Development Center</a>'s infant and childcare program offers young parents an opportunity to have their child watched right on campus. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Burton_Hall_University_of_Minnesota_5.jpg" target="_hplink">AlexiusHoratius</a>
University of Iowa
The University of Iowa offers <a href="http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/famserv/lactation_location.html" target="_hplink">lactation rooms</a> that can be reserved for regular use. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:University_of_Iowa_Hospitals_and_Clinics.jpg" target="_hplink">Ctjf83</a>
St. Paul's College, Virginia
St. Paul's College in Virginia offers a <a href="http://saintpaulsnet.com/?page_id=538" target="_hplink">Single Parent Support System Program</a> (SPSS), which provides parents with childcare. According to the school's site, it also offers parents "specifically designed seminars ... that focus on academic success, transition to college, career planning, and parenting." Participants also meet with a mentor monthly. Parents must be full-time students, on track to graduate within three or four years and must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA.
<a href="http://www.judsonu.edu/" target="_hplink">Judson University</a> offers courses and seminars to parents on parenting and child development. Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150615728986396&set=a.10150615728966396.378463.96396291395&type=3&theater" target="_hplink">Judson University</a>
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has a major feature that young parents love - online courses. UMass' <a href="http://www.umass.edu/uww/" target="_hplink">University Without Walls</a> program, which appeals to a wide variety of student types, has proven to be convenient for many young mothers and fathers, allowing students to get their degrees without having to step foot into a classroom. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UMass_Amherst_Campus_Center_1.jpg" target="_hplink">Lion Hirth</a>