Parenting Student Resource Hub

College students with children make up more than 25% of the college population in the U.S., and need support to help balance caregiving and financial responsibilities with work, study time, and class. At Iowa State University, we have many ways to assist you as a parenting student. We are here to help in identifying resources, locating policies, learning about programs, and connecting to peers.

The information and resources listed below are intended for parenting students specifically; be sure to check out the other parenting resources we have available in our Resource Library. For information about local events and other news, follow us on Facebook.

Cyclone Parenting Student Network (CPSN)

The Cyclone Parenting Student Network (CPSN) offers social events and parenting workshops specifically for parenting students currently enrolled at ISU. In addition to events, the quarterly CPSN newsletter provides insights, resources, and information tailored specifically to the interests of parenting students. To view upcoming events or subscribe to the newsletter, visit the CPSN homepage.

Academic Support

The Academic Success Center is located in the Hixson-Lied Student Success Center and offers individualized and group-facilitated experiences through course-specific and general academic assistance such as academic coaching, Supplemental Instruction, and tutoring services as well as Psych 131: Academic Learning Skills. All of the programs and services are designed to help you learn how to learn and become an independent, self-directed, and self-regulated learner. It's up to you to choose and use those supports that can help you strengthen your learning!

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) is a unit in the Dean of Students Office and supports students who need accommodations to succeed academically, whether due to ongoing disability or temporary health condition such as pregnancy. SAS serves as a point-of-contact for any individual interested in learning about eligibility for services and reasonable accommodations at ISU.

Title IX provides for equal educational opportunities for pregnant and parenting students. It prohibits educational institutions from discriminating against pregnant students based upon their marital status and cannot discriminate against a student because of childbirth, false pregnancy, or recovery from related conditions. A pregnant student should be granted a leave of absence for as long as it is deemed medically necessary for her to be absent. At the conclusion of her leave, she must be allowed to resume the status she held when the leave began. For further guidance, see the "Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students" brochure from the U.S. Department of Education. Although this pamphlet focuses on secondary schools, the legal principles apply to all recipients of federal financial assistance, including postsecondary institutions.

If you have any questions regarding your rights as a pregnant or parenting student, please contact a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

The Pregnant Scholar provides resources for students, postdocs, faculty, administrators, and others in institutions of higher education regarding Title IX's pregnancy-related protections.

The Writing and Media Center (WMC) helps students become stronger, more confident communicators. The WMC is a welcoming and inclusive peer tutoring center where friendly Communication Consultants offer individualized assistance to undergraduate and graduate students working on any form of written, oral, visual, or electronic communication.

Campus Resources

Family housing is available in Schilletter Village (SV), located just north of central campus. SV is typically available to any student who is married or in a domestic partner relationship and/or has custody/visitation rights for dependent children; the student's spouse/domestic partner and/or dependent children.

The mission of the Center for Student Educational Success is to empower first-generation and low-income students to reach their full academic and career readiness potential. Through academic and personal support services, mentorship, financial support, and assistance for family members in understanding and navigating their student’s college experience, the center equips students with the tools and support needed to not only persist academically, but also thrive on campus and beyond the college experience. Book scholarships, group tutoring funding, and senior completion grants may be available.

Student Counseling Services is a unit within the Division of Student Affairs. They are the primary mental health agency for students at Iowa State University. There is no cost to the student for counseling services received at SCS. Counseling is an interactive process of talking with a trained professional. Sometimes the task is to help you see and feel more clearly those things which are preventing you from reaching your potential. Then together you can identify and practice new strategies to reduce the barriers to your progress. Other times, it simply helps to express yourself about painful or hurtful situations that have been “eating at you” from the inside. Your counselor is a neutral and experienced person who will not judge or pressure you but will work with you to move toward the goals that are important to you.

The primary goal of the Dean of Students Office is to empower every Cyclone to thrive at Iowa State University. Whether through their academic enrichment initiatives, programs designed to help all students experience a sense of community and belonging, or support resources DSO provides to help students navigate challenges that sometimes arise during their college journey, they seek to help students experience success in every aspect of their college experience. They also serve as a resource and partner with other campus departments, recognizing that students benefit from a collaborative network of resources.

The Office of Student Financial Aid's Student Employment page contains several resources for students interested in Federal Work-Study, Undergraduate Research Assistantships, America Reads/America Counts, and other general employment questions. The Office of Student Financial Aid also manages the Student Job Board, an online tool that allows ISU students to conveniently search for both on-campus and off-campus job opportunities.

Located in the lower level of Parks Library, the Family Friendly Room is a place where ISU students can bring children to play and learn while they study. The room is large enough for two adults and up to six children and is equipped with two adult workstations with universal docking stations, a black and white printer, whiteboards and markers. For the children there is child-sized furniture, toys, and a computer with educational software. The room is located near the children's book collection on Tier 1. It's also near family restrooms and a lactation room. Reservations are required to use the room.

The Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success develops academic and personal success, community, and leadership for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual, and allied students.

The Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity at Iowa State University is committed to the development of a campus community that promotes gender equity and social justice. Through a feminist lens, the Sloss Center advocates for individuals and groups; provides support and referrals; and offers programming and educational resources for the advancement of gender equity.

The Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity also administers two scholarships for adult and non-traditional students.

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) supports and empowers Iowa State University's students who self-identify as African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi American, Latinx, Native American/Alaskan Native or Multiracial, and advocates for their holistic development across the University.

The mission of the Office of Student Assistance is to help students experiencing difficulties or challenges achieve academic success. In collaboration with campus and community partners, we provide support through connection to appropriate resources and awareness of university processes for students attending Iowa State University.

Policies governing student life at Iowa State University can be found in the Policy Library.

Student Wellness was established to provide leadership on campus in supporting holistic wellbeing of students and implementing critical health promotion and prevention strategies in key areas like power-based personal violence, substance use, mental health, nutrition, body image, and more that affect academic success. From wellbeing coaching to substance use services to self-guided programs, Student Wellness offers a diverse set of programs, services, and resources for students.

The SHOP is a student-run, on-campus food pantry. Any ISU student or staff/faculty member can stop by and take whatever non-perishable food items they need.

TRIO Student Support Services at Iowa State University serves 250 low-income, first-generation students and/or students with disabilities each year with the goal of increasing persistence and graduation rates of these students. TRIO Student Support Services is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

TRIO Student Support Services is a program that provides a variety of individualized services to participants. Students develop academic, social, and professional skills that contribute to a holistic educational experience at ISU and remain transferrable beyond graduation.

Community-Based Programs

Lutheran Services in Iowa coordinates with area child care providers to offer free, short-term child care for families who are experiencing a crisis or emergency. Families must reside in Story or Boone County, be experiencing a crisis (medical, death, domestic abuse, acute parental stress), and children must be between the ages of 0-12. To request services, call the 24-hour crisis line at (515) 460-2423.

Healthy Futures is a voluntary home visitation program offered by Youth Standing Strong (YSS), a community organization located in Ames. Healthy Futures staff provide one-on-one support to parents and children, with the goal of further improving parenting skills, resulting in a happy and healthy family. This program is available to every woman in Story and Boone County who is pregnant and/or parenting children who are age five and younger.

Nest Programs are incentive-based programs offered by Youth Standing Strong (YSS), a community organization located in Ames. Nest Programs offer education classes related to pregnancy, infant care, and parenting; clothing, supplies, and equipment to assist mothers with their babies; and assistance in locating and providing referrals to additional community services.

Lutheran Services in Iowa program, Parents as Teachers, offers personal home visits from an LSI Parent Educator to provide education about child development. This program serves parents from pregnancy up until their child is 5 years old. Families must reside in Story County and be experiencing barriers in raising a healthy family. To learn more, call LSI's office at (515) 232-7262.

Lutheran Services in Iowa People Place program offers support for parents of young children. Child care is provided during many on-site programs and allows kids to play and learn. To learn more, call LSI's office at (515) 232-7262.

United Way of Story County serves as a central hub for connecting members of the Story County community with resources, services, and education to help families thrive.

Financial Assistance

An increasing number of graduate assistants, predoctoral, and postdoctoral appointees are beginning families during their appointment periods. The purpose of Bridge Funding is to provide short-term funding for up to 12 continuous weeks of paid leave for all graduate assistants, predoctoral scholars, and postdoctoral scholars who will be adding a new child to their family through birth or adoption. Leaves may begin during pregnancy, in the time prior to adoption, or after the arrival of the child.

Federal financial aid regulations allow universities to include an allowance for dependent child care expenses in the student's cost of attendance. This may increase your student loan eligibility by allowing you to borrow an additional amount in federal subsidzed, unsubsidized, or graduate PLUS student loans. Additional information about how to request a cost of attendance adjustment is available from the Office Student Financial Aid.

The Iowa Department of Human Services has a number of financial assistance programs for children and families living in the state of Iowa.

The mission of the Office of Student Financial Success is to reduce Iowa State University students' loan debt and improve the overall financial health of Iowa State University students through education and understanding of how to finance their higher education. The Office of Student Financial Success advises students one-on-one to help make managing money easier. Topics include but are not limited to budgeting, spending, credit cards, student loans and repaymnet, and basic personal finance.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a supplemental nutrition program for babies, children under the age of 5, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and women who have had a baby in the last 6 months. WIC helps families by providing healthy foods, nutrition education, and referrals to other health care agencies.