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Insights from Student Veterans Who Are Single Parents

Financial strain, schedule overload, and psychological stress are just some of the struggles single parents can face when returning to school. But what do those challenges look like if the single-parent student is also a veteran?

To date, many studies on higher education access have focused on challenges faced by the civilian population. Indeed, there are many obstacles that people face when seeking to enter certificate- and degree-granting programs, including affordability, inequitable admission standards, and family and work demands on their time. Veterans, however, have access to G.I. Bill benefits, which are aimed at supporting veterans interested in attaining education and training after service. In previous decades, many veterans could depend on a partner — typically a wife — to care for their children while they attended school after service. However, gendered opportunities and constraints are changing; in fact, women are the fastest-growing population in the veteran community. Because women are more likely than men are to raise children without the support of a partner, the number of veteran single parents will likely rise as veteran demographics change. The G.I. Bill has historically succeeded in helping many veterans train for new vocations, but can the G.I. Bill continue to support veterans as family structures change?

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