According to a new report, students with children are missing out on money that could help them with childcare expenses.
Some schools do not disclose federal funding, and the Department of Education does not encourage schools to advertise the subsidies, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Regulatory officials said Thursday that 40 of the 62 unidentified university websites did not consider including childcare benefits in the calculation of financial support.
According to the report, schools are not obliged to disclose the possibility that students can use the funds, but still why the omission especially when student parents could benefit from childcare services that could release more credits for them to pay for their studies with.
Federal student assistance can be an important tool to help parents who have less money than other students enroll in school, but only if students are aware of the possibility of increasing support to cover the cost of childcare, the GAO report says, noting that parents with children are more likely to leave school early.
Representatives of the Department of Education should encourage the schools to inform students about the program as per their final report.
However, Education department officials believe that it would be inappropriate to encourage all schools without discrimination to encourage all student parents to be granted additional loans, regardless of the individual financial situation of each, the above report says.
The Agency has just responded early to allow student parents enough time to inform themselves about what their options are.
This Access to Childcare means that parents at school program has helped about 3,200 students to pay for childcare in the 2016-2017 school year. According to the report, the average monthly payment was $160.
The cost of childcare can be a significant financial burden, even for those who graduate. The average month of childcare in a daycare center today is around $850, and prices continue to rise, according to recent studies.
Parents accounted for 22% of all higher education enrollments in the 2015-2016 school year. Parents on campus are generally older and on average 33 years old compared to their childless peers who are on average 24 years old. The report notes that almost three quarters (71%) of the student parents are mothers.
Just over half of the students’ parents (52%) dropped out of school in the 2003-2004 school year, compared with 32% of childless students who did not.
The GAO report gave no reason for why so many schools choose to omit to mention childcare money. However, it was found that those who do not advertise for funding do not pay much for childcare. GAO Personally interviewed staff from seven universities that do not advertise but only two of them reported that they have provided any childcare help in recent years.
The regulatory agency also found other gaps on these college campuses. Earlier this year, a GAO report said that about two million students may not know they may qualify for food stamps.