Editorial

McCook in good position to help lift single moms out of poverty

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Fighting poverty is a complex process, involving family structure, economic development, education, support systems and many other factors.

As home to a community college, McCook has a chance to play a part in this important cause, according to a new report.

The Institute for Womenís Policy Research found that according to the latest data available, 2016, only 13 percent of single mothers who have a bachelorís degree live in poverty.

That compares to 41 percent with only a high school diploma or 32 percent of single mothers with some college experience.

If they obtained an advanced degree, the number of single mothers living in poverty declined to 8 percent.

Single mothers have their work cut out for them; 24 percent of them age 25 or older have an associate or bachelorís degree, compared to 27 percent without children and 37 percent of married mothers.

Race plays a part as well, with only 15 percent of Hispanic, 20 percent of Native American and Black single mothers holding undergraduate degrees, compared to 35 percent of Asian and 30 percent of white single mothers.

Single moms make more than 11 percent of college students now, up from 7.8 percent in 1999, but since 1974, single mothers have been six times more likely to live in poverty than married couple families.

Motherhood is a tough job, but couple that with trying to raise a child on your own while holding down a job (or two) while attending college, and itís easy to see why more such women donít achieve a college degree.

Online and physical institutions like McCook Community College, coupled with a local economy offering flexible employment opportunities, plus friends, family, churches and other organizations providing support systems, can help lift single mothers out of the daily grind of poverty.

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