Ascend at the Aspen Institute and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research hosted a webinar highlighting the importance of understanding and prioritizing the needs of college students with children during the ongoing pandemic and in the following period of recovery. Student parents face heightened financial insecurity that makes them particularly vulnerable to the current economic downturn and unprecedented spike in unemployment. As colleges, service providers, policymakers, and advocates prepare relief and recovery measures, the unique needs of students with children must be considered to ensure they are supported now and in the coming months and years, as student parent enrollment in higher education is likely to increase in response to the economic recession.
Hearing from a series of speakers who serve student parents, as well as a student parent currently navigating the effects of the pandemic, participants gained insight into the factors they must consider to adequately support student parents and their children now and in the coming months. The webinar also provided time for participants to ask questions of the speakers and each other, creating a space for sharing innovations and lessons for supporting student parents in crisis.