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A college graduate supported by Generation Hope poses in cap and gown with her two sons.

Generation Hope Supports College Success for Student Parents

Project Overview

Of the approximately 4.3 million undergraduate students in the U.S. who are parents, more than half will drop out of school before earning a degree. And while all student parents face systemic challenges when pursuing a post-secondary education, students of color and those from low-income backgrounds are disproportionately impacted.  

Generation Hope, a nonprofit founded in 2010, is working to help student parents overcome the odds through its two-year technical assistance program FamilyU. The program will help higher education institutions develop a stronger support system for the student parents they serve, ultimately improving retention outcomes and ensuring more of these students persist through college graduation.  

Generation Hope is incredibly proud to work with these institutions to accelerate student parent success. By investing their time and resources in the FamilyU Cohort, these schools are communicating their commitment to transforming higher education into a place where all students can persist and thrive.

Generation Hope Founder & CEO Nicole Lynn Lewis

How it Helps

After more than a decade working with student parents from low-income backgrounds, Generation Hope recognized most colleges and universities do not track student parent data and have little knowledge of the challenges facing these students or how to boost their persistence. To identify the best ways to support institutions and the student parents they serve, Generation Hope hosted a series of virtual focus groups throughout 2020.

Generation Hope met selected partner institutions for its first two-year FamilyU cohort in June 2021. The program is focused on increasing institutions’ knowledge of their student parents through data collection, helping institutions analyze and amend their policies to alleviate barriers, and fostering a welcoming environment for student parents.

FamilyU kicked off in July of 2021 and will serve three two-year cohorts of institutions through July 2025. As part of the FamilyU program, institutions will do the following:

  • Participate in regular cohort meetings and individualized coaching sessions
  • Collect and aggregate data based on students’ parenting status, marital status, race and gender
  • Report on the persistence outcomes of students at six months, one year, and two years after they’ve completed the program

About 40% of Black women in college are mothers, and Black fathers are more likely to drop out of college than any other student parent group. As part of the Foundation’s partnership, Generation Hope has recruited two Historically Black Colleges & Universities, Norfolk State University and Virginia State University, to participate in FamilyU.

Generation Hope estimates the FamilyU program will aid institutions in boosting the college success of 16,500 student parents by July 2025.

Foundation Project Lead