Starting University as a Parent

Collaborative Post¦ Most people start their undergraduate degree when they’re around 18 or a little later. By this time, some may already be parents, but the majority of people aren’t. However, the older you get, the more likely it is that you’re going to have children. So if you’re contemplating university a little later in life, or you’re already a parent in your late teens, you might need to consider how you would fit studying around being a parent. Juggling going to university and parenting responsibilities is no easy feat, but it could be well worth the effort to boost your education and your earning potential.

Can You Afford to Study?

For many parents, the first question is going to be whether you can afford to go to university. Whether you study full-time or part-time, you might need to reduce your working hours. Fortunately, there is a lot of support available for parents who want to go to university. In addition to tuition fee loans, you will be considered an independent student for maintenance loans, meaning you will receive a higher amount. You might also be eligible for a Childcare Grant and a Parents’ Learning Allowance. If you’re studying a healthcare course, there might be additional funding available for you too.

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What Support Is Available?

As well as financial support, it’s important to know what other support might be available to you while you’re studying. Universities can offer a range of resources and types of support, ranging from academic support to childcare facilities and health and wellbeing support. When you are looking for the right university, check what they can offer parents and how they can help you to not just complete your studies but make sure that you’re able to do well. Different universities may offer different levels of support so it’s a good idea to check reviews too.

Should You Move?

One of the big questions you might ask yourself is whether you should move to attend university if you’re a parent. If you don’t, you have the option of a local university or distance learning. However, being willing to move can open up more opportunities. Finding student housing might be a little trickier if you need somewhere to live with your child or children. Some universities or private halls have limited family accommodation, but it’s more likely you might find somewhere private to rent. Of course, moving also becomes harder if you have a partner who would need to come with you.

Balancing Parenting and Studying

Having two big responsibilities on your plate, parenting and studying, is difficult to manage. On top of that, you might also be working and have other obligations. You’ll need to think about your schedule and your children’s schedule. How many contact hours are needed? How do they line up with school or childcare? What can you do if you need to be absent from a lecture or seminar?

Going to university as a parent is harder, but in the long-run, it can improve things for you and your family.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

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