skip to content
  • Get Ready!
  • SELF Loan
  • SELF Refi
  • Minnesota College Savings Plan
Minnesota Office of Higher Education

Home > Measure Up > Undergraduates with Children

 

Undergraduates with Children

Undergraduates with Children decorative image

 

Did you know that last year nearly 32,000 undergraduates (20 percent) were parents with dependent children? Not all undergraduates are young recent high school graduates. Often older undergraduates and especially those with children get overlooked when we think about "college" students. Many students with children are - in addition to college students - parents, spouses and employees.

Minnesota Undergraduate Family Type, 2014-2015

Minnesota Undergraduate Family Type, 2014-2015

Source: Minnesota Office of Higher Education


Undergraduates with Children are Older

The median age of all undergraduates was 22 years, but the median age of married students with children was 34 years and 29 years for unmarried students with children.

Undergraduates with Children Mainly Attend Two-Year Colleges Part Time

Students with children face additional burdens so it only makes sense they are more likely to enroll less than full time and in college programs requiring two-years or less of full-time study to complete. Besides student commitments and parenting duties many also work adding more constraints to their life. Getting into the workforce faster with newly minted academic credentials helps them reap the financial benefits their degrees offer. Since many students with children are also older (in their 30s) attempting to complete a bachelors degree might not be feasible or practicable. Only 17 percent of students with children; however, attended college full-time for a full-year so even obtaining an associate degree or less will take them much longer than two years to complete their programs.

Of the 12,526 married students with children; 81 percent attended two-year colleges (state colleges or career schools). These students were seeking an associate degree (70 percent) or a one-to-two year certificate or diploma (30 percent).

Of the 18,866 unmarried students with children; 87 percent attended two-year colleges (state colleges or career schools). These students were seeking an associate degree (77 percent) or a one-to-two year certificate or diploma (23 percent).

Demographics of Married Undergraduates with Children, 2014-2015

Demographics of Married Undergraduates with Children, 2014-2015

Source: Minnesota Office of Higher Education


Demographics of Unmarried Undergraduates with Children, 2014-2015

Demographics of Unmarried Undergraduates with Children, 2014-2015

Source: Minnesota Office of Higher Education


Undergraduates with Children Have Lower Family Incomes than Parents of Dependent Students

Forty-six percent of students with children had an income less than 100 percent of the poverty line; 22 percent who were married and 62 percent who were not married. Only 17 percent of dependent undergraduates had a family income less than 100 percent of the poverty line.

Marital Status and Adjusted Gross Income of State Grant Eligible Undergraduates with Children, 2014-2015

Marital Status and Adjusted Gross Income of State Grant Eligible Undergraduates with Children, 2014-2015

Source: Minnesota Office of Higher Education


Family and Income Profile of Minnesota Undergraduates by Family Type, 2014-2015
Family Type Number Percent Average Household Size Median Age Median Family Adjusted Gross Income Average Family Adjusted Gross Income Percent with Income Less than 100% of Poverty
Dependent102,15664%4.1021$72,800$85,50017%
Married with Children12,5268%4.2534$46,800$52,20021%
Unmarried with Children18,86612%2.8529$16,900$19,30062%
Independent Married without Children4,2133%2.0030$43,100$48,50016%
Independent Unmarried without Children22,49614%1.0027$16,900$19,30044%
Total All Undergraduates160,257100%3.4722$48,600$66,30026%

Source: Minnesota Office of Higher Education

About the Data

This analysis identified Minnesota resident undergraduates who completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in 2014-2015 and were eligible for a Minnesota State Grant. Approximately 72 percent of Minnesota resident undergraduates in fall 2015 completed a FAFSA. When applying for financial aid, students are either dependent or independent.

Independent students are undergraduates meeting one or more criteria (age 25 years and older, married, have dependents/children, veteran, active duty military, homeless, former foster care youth, or other eligible circumstances). Students age 24 and younger and not meeting the criteria for independent status are classified as "dependent."

The financial aid application data on income and family status was matched to enrollment records to include additional demographic characteristics and enrollment activity.