Previous research from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) has reported that Black single mothers carry more debt than parents and nonparents of any other racial/ethnic background. This new paper from IWPR builds a policy case for economic justice based on research.

“College students with children are twice as likely to drop out before graduation than students with no children. With limited financial resources, lack of access to affordable childcare, and the struggle that comes with balancing work, family, and school obligations, Black single mothers are disadvantaged compared to other college students.

For Black single mothers, a lack of financial resources is one of the major barriers preventing them from attaining a degree. Black student mothers and fathers were more likely to take out loans to attend and complete college and are slightly more likely to struggle with loan repayment than student parents overall. Alleviating financial barriers to degree attainment for Black single mother students, including mounting student loan debt and the unaffordability of college tuition, would mean that they are able to create a better life for themselves and their families.

Policymakers must push toward national student debt relief, as this will have a direct impact on student parents and will alleviate a portion of the financial strife that prevents them from advancing economically.”