Target: Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
Goal: Increase nationwide support for higher education students with children.
A student at a university has to deal with a multitude of expenses during his or her time in college: tuition, housing, textbooks, and transportation among them. Often these costs are so expensive that the student is barely able to afford to feed him or herself. If the student has a child, their cost of living almost doubles. Ask the Secretary of Education to increase support for higher education students with children.
Caring for a child during school is a difficult task. Suddenly the student has two mouths to feed, two sets of clothes to buy, and essentially two lives to have to keep track of. This whirlwind of a life often results in student parents needing to drop out of school due to a lack of time or money, and significantly damages their future given that they will have fewer qualifications and more financial burdens than most at their age. This is why universities need to recognize the needs of their student parents and offer more support to them.
Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, has taken a step in this direction that should be emulated: they have doubled the budget of their Resource Center for Students With Children and have also expanded the faculty and office space. Other universities should take note and follow in these steps.
There are several steps universities can and should take. Universities should actively be trying to create new housing options for student parents, provide them with more personalized paths to graduation, include specialized advising, and increase on-campus childcare options, among many more things. All of this can lessen the burden on student parents and help them to live happy lives with their young ones instead of stress-filled lives. It is necessary for such changes to be made soon, lest universities risk losing much potential academic talent that could be had in the form of single parents.
Call upon Arne Duncan to take action on the national level.
Secretary of Education Duncan,
Your universities are full of struggling young parents who need more help to get by in this world. The life of a student is stressful enough; the life of a student who also has to worry about another life is stress that nobody should have to handle without aid.
You need to ensure that students parents receive the help necessary to keep them from losing their place in both school life and life in general. Encourage universities to initiate increased spending for student parent issues such as on-campus childcare, financial aid scholarships for student parents, specialized graduation paths, and the like. Find ways to make the lives of student parents easier.
You may lose out on many potentially great minds in society if these people are not helped. Encourage increased help for student parents and help them to get their education in an environment that does not cause them advanced and unhealthy stress.
[Your Name Here]