According to a 2011 report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), there are nearly 4 million student parents currently enrolled as undergraduates in U.S. colleges and universities; this represents roughly one-quarter of all undergraduates.
A large number of higher-learning institutions have adopted child care programs. EducationDepartment.org notes more than 1,500 colleges, universities, and vocational schools that offer child care for not only students, but also faculty members (and in many cases, community residents) with children. However, some schools have gone to greater lengths than the rest to further support their student parent population.
This list from BestColleges ranks 50 colleges and universities that provide a specific set of amenities for students with children, while still managing to be relatively inexpensive in terms of tuition and administrative fees. Our goal with this list is to provide a resource for parents of young children who would like to enroll in an accredited college program, but are unsure which campus will provide the best fit for their families.
During the fall and spring semesters, the school's Panther Cubs Child Care offers childcare services to all enrolled students and faculty members who have toilet-trained children between the ages of two and seven; the standard rate is $2.25 per hour for the first child and $1.50 per hour for additional children. Purdue North Central's weekend course programs include the 'Saturday MBA' and more than 150 two- and three-bedroom off-campus housing units are available for students with families.
In 2005, the University of Michigan's president launched a 'Child Care Initiative' aimed at "increasing the capacity" for infants and toddlers of students and faculty members, as well as improving on-campus childcare facilities. In addition, the university offers Kids Kare in-home services for children who are sick, or whose nannies are unable to provide childcare that day; classes for young child care and expectant parents are also available.
The MTSU Child Care Lab provides services for children between the ages of three and five. The current rate for a standard week of childcare (Monday to Friday) is $135 for students, $145 for faculty members, and $155 for individuals who are not affiliated with the university. Womack Lane, where a handful of off-campus housing units are located, also hosts a day care center.
Baby Gator Child Development Centers provide services for children between the ages of six weeks and five years; this program is maintained in part by assistance from the Baby Gator Alumni Association, which enlists in former students and faculty members to get involved with Baby Gators services and events. Students who live with a spouse and/or dependents automatically qualify to reside in Family Housing units with two or more bedrooms.
UF received an "excellent" rating from The Economist in a 2010 comparison of distance MBA programs.
Students who have earned an undergraduate degree in business may be eligible to enroll in the accelerated Internet MBA track.
During weekend campus visits, students take exams and meet with their instructors.
The University of Washington's Student Parent Resource Center strives to provide educational services and financial assistance to enrolled students with children. In addition to on-campus child care, as well as sick child and emergency back-up services, the university's website includes resources for securing off-campus childcare. Five different residential communities offer housing units specifically reserved for students living with spouses and/or dependent children.
The CSC Development Center Laboratory has provided services for students and faculty members at Chadron State for more than 40 years. The CDC serves as both a functional childcare facility for boys and girls between the ages of two and nine, as well as an educational resource for students. Family housing units with one, two, and three bedrooms are available at respective rates of $462, $502, and $561 per month; refunds for family housing units are prorated.
The University of Montana Western Babysitters network enables students to care for the children (and pets) of their peers and faculty members at the university. UMW also makes available 16 family apartment units (10 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom) on a first-come basis; students interested in residing in these units may apply online.
The UNO Children's Center is open to students and faculty members with children between one to five years old; the center also hosts the Petite Privateer Pals Summer Enrichment program for children between the ages of four and seven. Enrollment costs $25, and students who use the center for 40 hours or more per week will pay an additional rate of $1.75 per hour; those who use the center less than 40 hours per week pay $2.25 per hour.
The EWU Children's Center offers child care services for boys and girls between the ages of six weeks and ten years old. The university is also home to EWU Mons Who Bond, a Facebook-based network of female students and faculty members with children of any age. Married couples with children automatically qualify for housing units in three different off-campus residential communities.
The TAMUC Children's Learning Center is a four-star, accredited program accommodates children between the ages of six weeks to twelve years old. A typical day at the center will include story time, hands-on education in subjects like math and science, and two meals. Forty off-campus apartments are specifically reserved for students living with a spouse and/or dependent children.
As hybrid programs, over half of the courses for both programs are available online, but some of the requirements must be fulfilled on campus.
Both degrees from the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems require the completion of 120 semester hours for graduation.
Myrna's Children's Village at NMSU's main campus offers childcare services and educational opportunities for students, faculty members, and community residents with children between the ages of six weeks to five years. The university also offers weekend and evening courses for students unable to attend class during the day due to child care obligations (as well as other commitments, such as full-time employment).
East Central University offers daytime child care services, as well as residential home care, an on-campus preschool, occasional "drop-in" services for children at their homes, and summer camps for young boys and girls. On-campus family housing units (accompanied by an outdoor jungle gym and sandbox) are available to students living with children.
The IU Children Center celebrates its 36th anniversary in 2014. The center provides child care services for students and faculty members. Children between the ages of three and twelve years are welcome to attend from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday; the daily schedule includes two meals and a snack, hands-on activities, and outdoor recreation.
The Cox Children's Center at UI Springfield is a state-licensed, accredited facility open to children between the ages of six weeks and twelve years old. Family-oriented events offered through the center include an annual book fair and a handful of field trips throughout the year. Students living with spouses and/or children automatically qualify to live in off-campus family housing units.
Entrance and exit exams are not graded; they are used only to measure students' abilities and to determine if the school is teaching them well.
The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science requires 120 credit hours for graduation; applicants who already have an associates degree may enroll as transfer students to complete their degree.
All computer science courses must be taken for a letter grade.
The Early Chi program at Langston University is open to students up to five years in age; the facility can serve no more than 60 children, so boys and girls will be admitted on a first-come basis. Langston is also home to the Early Childhood Laboratory. Students living with spouses and/or dependent children are encouraged to apply for on-campus family housing at Langston Commons.
The Gingerbread House at Adams State is an early childhood care center open to students and faculty member with children between the ages of two and a half to ten years. The center is open Monday to Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and offers specialized services for infants and toddlers. Two- and three-bedroom apartment units are offered to students living with spouses and/or children; rental rates for these units includes all utilities, cable, and wireless Internet.
In addition to the UNM Child Care Center, which provides services for children between the ages of nine months and eleven years old (and, according to the website, is 'temporarily closed'), the university offers a list of online resources specifically aimed at female students who are also mothers. Roughly 200 off-campus apartment units are specifically reserved for 'Student Families'.
The APSU Child Learning Center offers daytime care services for children between the ages of two and a half to five years, as well as evening care for children between the ages of two and a half and twelve years (specifically aimed at student parents enrolled in night courses). Students living with a spouse and/or children are urged to apply for residency at Emerald Hill Apartments, which feature a laundry room and playground area.
Utah State provides three types of student and faculty member child care: Family Care (offered at the residence of a certified child care provider), Center-based Care, and Nanny Care (at the child(ren)'s residence). Web users can review the list of licensed 'Aggie Care Providers' employed by the university. Three residence communities (two of which are located on-campus) are available for student families.
Cedar Apartments (located just a few minutes from the Bemidji State campus) features 28 units specifically reserved for students living with a spouse and/or children. The school also maintains a network of nannies, tutors, and summertime care providers through Care.com.
In addition to the Arizona State Campus Children's Center (which admits children between the ages of one and five years), ASU also provides the CCAMPIS Child Care Subsidy and CAMPIS Child Care Emergency Fund for student parents in need of financial assistance. The school's Breastfeeding Support Committee has successfully introduced lactation stations and other amenities for nursing mothers throughout the campus.
Arizona State University is ranked #4 by the U.S. News and World Report on Best Online MBA Programs.
Founded in 1990, WorkLife Programs are designed to assist Ball State students and faculty members who must juggle childcare and academic obligations. The university's website also features a link to the Child Care Development Fund, which is designed for low-income families with child care needs. Students living with dependent children automatically qualify for residence in one of BSU's off-campus apartment communities.
The New Beginnings Child Development Center at FAMU admits children between the ages of two years, six months and five years; annual rates are $375 for students and $500 for faculty members. Additional costs include $75 per year in registration, miscellaneous supply fees, and a one-time $20 application fee. Evening care services are also available. Students living with dependent children can apply online for residency.
Southern Oregon hosts two child care facilities: the S.O.U. Schneider Children's Center for boys and girls between the ages of six weeks and five years; and the Community Preschool at SOU for children between the ages of three and six years. The university's family housing community, Old Mill Village, includes apartments and townhouses that collectively accommodate more than 200 adults and children.
Tot's Place Child Development Center, located on the Ferris State Campus, provides care services for children between the ages of one month and twelve years; in addition to daytime care for young boys and girls, the center hosts an after-school program between the hours of 3:30 and 5:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Students with children are invited to apply for residency at the West Campus Townhouses, which include units specifically geared toward families with disabled adults or children.
Located on the MSU Billings campus, the Child Care and Enrichment Center serves children aged zero to five years on both a full- and part-time basis. Child Care Scholarships are also offered to eligible students. Students living with a spouse and/or dependent children can apply for residency in a two- or three-bedroom apartment unit (priority will be given to student families).
The Children's Institute at Eastern Michigan University provides daytime care for children between the ages of eighteen months and six years; part-time and evening care services are also available, as well as the annual Flight of Imagination summer camp program. Daily fee rates for enrolled students will vary between $37 and $52 (depending on the age of the child(ren)).
The Early Childhood Education Center is located on the K-State campus at the Hoeflin Stone House, and provides full-time care services for children between the ages of six weeks and five years. Another on-campus facility, the K-State Center for Child Development, accommodates children from six weeks to fifth grade (typically 10 or 11 years of age). The university also provides after-school and summer care programs.
The USC Child Development and Research Center accommodates up to 200 children between the ages of six weeks and eleven years, who are admitted on a first-come basis. The center is a 28,000-square-foot building funded by a grant from USC Foundations. Two off-campus residential communities, Carolina Gardens and Cliff Apartments, give priority to student applicants who live with dependent children.
The Early Learning Center at Idaho State is designed to serve children between the ages of six weeks and eleven years. Student parents who wish to enroll their child(ren) at the center must have a current course load of at least six credit hours. After-school and drop-in care services are also available to Idaho State students and faculty members.
Western Oregon University's Teaching Research Child Development Center provides care for children of students and faculty members who fall between the ages of thirty months and six years. A small percentage of the fees for all parents who enroll their children in the center will go toward students with childcare needs. The off-campus communities of Knox-Street and Alder Apartments feature units designed for students living with dependent children.
Established in 1999, the Early Childhood Institute at Mississippi State University administers the Aiken Village Preschool program for children between the ages of three and five years; monthly tuition is $465 per child, and funds are directly received from the student or faculty member's MSU account. Other MSU campus-based child care programs include Excel By 5 and the Delta Early Learning Project.
Students get to choose six-credits of elective courses during their MBA studies.
This MBA program is designed to be completed within two years, however students have a maximum of eight years to finish the required courses.
Founded in 1972, the Hilltop Child Development Center is located on the University of Kansas campus. Care services are available at the center for children as young as three months, while there are also two programs specifically geared toward children of elementary school age. Residential units in Jayhawker Towers and Stouffer Place are designed for students living with dependent children.
The WMU Children's Place Learning Center is designed to accommodate children between the ages of eighteen months and nine years. The facility can serve up to 38 children at any time throughout the day; enrollment is awarded on a first-come basis. Four apartment communities (one of which is located on-campus) include units specifically geared toward students living with a spouse and/or dependent children.
Elmhurst College students and faculty members with children can enlist in campus child care services at respective rates of $6 and $7 per hour. A half-day summer camp program is also offered every year during the months of July and August. The Elmhurst Terrace Apartments include more than 150 one- and two-bedroom units designed to accommodate student families.
The Child Development Center (CDC) at Kent State features two classrooms for toddlers (between the ages of eighteen months and three years), four classrooms for preschoolers (three to five years), and one classroom for kindergarten (five to six years). Enrollment is open to any parents in the Kent community, but priority is given to Kent State students and faculty (online applications are available).
Admission requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
Capstone portfolio of student's best work required to graduate
The Emory Child Care Network offers financial assistance and enrollment priority for the children of Emory students and faculty members at more than 175 different child care facilities, including several on-campus establishments. Additionally, the Clifton School (located at the main campus) is specifically designed to serve children of Emory students and faculty members.
Founded in 1929, the Child Study and Development Center at the University of New Hampshire currently offers full-time care programs for infants-toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners. The off-campus Forest Park complex features nearly 100 studio, one- and two-bedroom units designed for student families, as well as a laundry room and several indoor and outdoor recreation areas.
All 54 colleges and universities on our list meet the following criteria:
Each entry is a not-for-profit school with four-year programs
On-campus child care services are available to students
Evening and weekend courses are offered for students who cannot attend daytime classes
A certain number of on- and/or off-campus housing units are specifically geared toward student families
The net cost for students earning a degree is below the national average of $48,000 per year.
Speaking to the last data point, net cost refers to the school’s sticker price (the amount of money spent on tuition, books, administrative fees, and other academic costs) minus the amount of financial aid (scholarships, grants, etc.) that the student will not be required to pay back after graduation.
If the annual cost of earning a degree is $60,000, for instance, and the student incurs $10,000 in non-repaid financial aid, then the net cost would be $50,000. The schools on this list are ranked in ascending order of their annual net price; this was the only data point that influenced the sequence of the list.
Data pertaining to family housing was curated from each respective school’s website; all other data was obtained from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, which is managed by the National Center for Education Statistics.
How to Interpret the Data
It should be noted that only five private institutions made our list of 54, including the last two entries; the highest-ranked private school, Elmhurst College, placed 47th. However, this should not indicate that private colleges and universities are lacking in child care services ― only that their annual tuition tends to be higher than public universities.
Another important consideration is the city in which a given college or university is located. If a certain school did not make our list but the campus is located in a major metro area, then it’s more likely students will be able to secure reliable off-campus child care than those seeking out the same services in a small town or rural community.
Finally, please note that any on- or off-campus child care facilities you are considering should be licensed by the state in which they are located, and staffed by certified child care providers.