University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Life Impact Program Is a Godsend for Student Parents

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Life Impact Program is geared to helping single parents navigate the difficult task of juggling college, work, and family life. The program provides financial assistance, academic guidance, counseling on parenting, and a monetary aid fund for life’s emergencies. While single parents can be men or women, the vast majority are women.

The program began in 2005 with a $2 million grant from the Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation and has since been supported by additional funds from the foundation and grants from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation.

Natalie_Reinbold2014-1Natalie Reinbold, Life Impact’s program manager, stated that “because we know that children who have parents that go to college are more likely to go to college themselves, we can have a huge impact on a family by helping student parents. Student parents have amazing strengths, such as the ability to juggle multiple responsibilities and a high level of motivation to graduate.”

To date, the program has helped 172 student-parents. Participants in the program have an average grade point average of 3.1 and 86.2 percent graduation rate, both considerably higher than for the university as a whole.

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