Colleges Could Do More To Help Student Parents Pay For Child Care, Watchdog Says

When Lesley Del Rio goes to the library to do her college math homework, she often has a study buddy: her precocious 8-year-old son, Leo. Del Rio is working on her associate degree; Leo is working on third grade. And Del Rio is not alone: More than 1 in 5 college students in the U.S. are raising kids. That’s more than 4 million undergraduates, and they are disproportionately women and people of color . Of those students, more than half will leave school without getting a degree. That’s all according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog. The report, first obtained by NPR, found that schools often aren’t giving student parents information that could help them access untapped federal money to pay for child care. Melissa Emrey-Arras, who led the GAO’s review, says, “These parents have a lot going on in their lives in terms of school and young children, and we think it’s important to make information easily available for them about financial aid