Washington, DC — U.S. Representatives Lucy McBath (GA-07) and Deborah Ross (NC-02) have introduced the Understanding Student Parent Outcomes Act of 2023. This legislation will collect critical data on barriers to graduating college for pregnant students, student parents, and caregivers and establish best practices for institutions of higher education to improve graduation rates and help Americans stay in school.

“Education is one of the most significant investments one can make along their journey to economic success, and caring for a family should never put a limit on one’s aspirations,” said Congresswoman Lucy McBath. “Our bill seeks to better understand and assist in alleviating the stress Americans face when pursuing higher education and raising their families. I thank my colleague, Congresswoman Ross, for her partnership as we strive to better support the leaders of tomorrow and parents of future generations.”

“Every student deserves equal access to education and the opportunities that come with it, but far too often the challenges of pregnancy or parenting can derail a student’s educational path,” said Congresswoman Deborah Ross.  “The Understanding Student Parent Outcomes Act will help identify those barriers and work to close gaps in graduation rates for student parents so they can unlock a better and brighter future for themselves and their families. I’m grateful for the partnership of Congresswoman McBath on this critical issue and promise to keep working to support the education of all students." 

In the United States, about 22% of undergraduate students are parents. A recent study found that responsibilities related to parenting led to high dropout rates among students, and fewer than 2% of young teen mothers were able to attain a college degree by the age of 30. Given the power of a college education to unlock opportunities, it is crucial to address the obstacles that hinder student parents, particularly young mothers, from pursuing a higher education.

Full bill text is available here.