Report: Colleges Don't Advertise Federal Student Aid for Parents

September 13, 2019

More colleges should provide information about additional federal student aid that is available to student parents, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which was released by Senator Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat and ranking member of the Senate's education committee, and Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat.

The U.S. Department of Education's Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program offers support for low-income student parents through funds for childcare services. The GAO report found that student parents are 20 percentage points more likely than students without children to leave college within six years without a degree or certificate.

While the CCAMPIS program provided subsidized childcare services to about 3,320 student parents in 2016-17, colleges that received the funding said there were more children of parents eligible for the program on waiting lists than there were children being served. Student parents could also be eligible for federal student aid to pay for childcare, but 40 of 62 college websites reviewed for the report didn't include information about the dependent-care allowance.

The report also found the department's data on the progress of CCAMPIS grantees to be unreliable due to calculation flaws. It recommends that data for the program be correctly calculated and colleges be encouraged to provide information via websites about the dependent-care allowance.

The department disputed the report's findings and said it shouldn't force colleges to provide more information.

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