While families usually provide significant emotional support to students, many students have family responsibilities that can create or exacerbate financial challenges while in school. Institutions often do not have good data on how many of their students are parents or guardians or financially supporting family members.
- Respondents at 2-year institutions report that it is important that they support their families financially while in college at higher rates. (Q53)
- More than half of 2-year respondents (54 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that it is important that they support their family, compared to 31 percent of respondents at 4-year institutions.
- Respondents at 2-year institutions were more likely to provide support for parents, children, spouses, and other family members. (Q40-43)
- Nearly a third of 2-year respondents (32 percent) provide financial support for a child or children while in school, compared to 10 percent of 4-year respondents.
- Fifteen percent of 2-year respondents and 12 percent of 4-year respondents support parents or guardians financially.
Q53: It is important that I support my family financially while in college.*
Q40-43: Do you provide financial support for any of the following individuals? Respondents who answered ‘Yes’
Awareness of the ways in which students bear financial responsibility for other family members has led many institutions to conceive of financial wellness in broader terms.
As a result, schools are improving advising, making offices available at more convenient times, and adjusting cost of attendance calculations.