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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Pregnant and parenting students deserve resources

Illustration+by+DJ+Ross
Illustration by DJ Ross

Raising a child is never a simple task, but navigating parenthood while striving for a college education is something that can be extremely daunting. Texas State must keep students who are raising children in mind and offer them helpful resources.

Texas State should offer things such as scholarship opportunities, reasonable rates at the Texas State Child Development Center and comfortable nursing rooms in Alkek Library. Pregnant and parenting students make up a demographic that is largely overlooked and whose resources are few.

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, over 22% of all undergraduates are parents. Though so many from this number are overcoming the obstacles, no person should feel like they must choose between their child and education.

According to Unplannedpregnancy.com, over two million students aged 18-24 get pregnant each year. A study from the Journal of American College Health done on parenting students within this age range reported that 43% experienced “running out of food and not having enough money to buy more in the last year.” With statistics this jarring, are helpful resources available and is the student body aware of them? The answer is both yes and no.

The Student Health Center offers accurate pregnancy tests and pamphlets titled “Next Steps,” which advise scheduling a doctor’s appointment where a patient can have blood work done and receive prescribed prenatal vitamins. The Student Health Center is one of the first places that a student may go if they suspect they could be pregnant. Beyond the test and brochures, however, there’s nothing more offered by the health center.

Naturally, finances become the next point of interest for new parents. J.C. Kellam is home to the Financial Aid Office on campus, where anyone at Texas State can meet with an adviser to discuss aid opportunities available to them. This can lighten the load, but as of now, there are no specific aid options for pregnant or parenting students, and that should not be the case.

Research from a National Center for Education Statistics shows that 27.8% of female students who were high school sophomores in 2002 dropped out due to pregnancy. There are a multitude of reasons behind this, but lack of support was most prevalent.

Last year, Baylor University introduced a scholarship created by Bears for Life that would aid pregnant and parenting students. The scholarship is $1,000 per semester and is open to anyone in need of assistance and resources. This scholarship should serve as an example for Texas State University.

One resource for Texas State students is the TruChoice Pregnancy Resource Center bus that parks in the lot of Our Lady of Wisdom University Parish. Though not directly affiliated with the university, TruChoice offers assistance to any student in any pregnancy situation.

The resource center offers pregnancy tests, STI screenings, ultrasounds, diapers and clothes, counseling and more. Experienced professionals are available to speak one-on-one with students about each of their options. By the end, students are better informed and can take the next strides with confidence.

Resources like these empower students to achieve an education against any odds if that’s what they want to do. Each resource should be built upon and thoroughly communicated so that each student knows they don’t have to walk alone.

While there are some resources available to pregnant and parenting students, the student body, faculty and San Marcos community must remember this overlooked demographic so we can all achieve greater things, together.

-Maddie Hanraads is a journalism junior

The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor-in-Chief and Opinions Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

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