Oh, snap. Pregnancy was not on your list of things to do before senior year. But two pink lines are staring you in the face as your stomach begs you to relaunch your cafeteria breakfast.
A million questions swirl through your brain. The most pressing of all—what does this pregnancy mean for your future as a student? For the career, you are studiously pursuing?
There are a couple of things you need to know if you are pregnant in college:
You’ve Still Got a Bright Future.
Pregnancy doesn’t mean your diploma and career have to go down the toilet. It may alter the way your college journey looks, but it doesn’t mean your future is over.
Millions of women have gone through school while pregnant and obtained a diploma. You are not alone. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, there are about 2 million single women raising kids while in college, about 26 percent of undergraduates.
You Have Rights
The law requires schools to allow you to continue your education while pregnant or parenting. Under Title IX, students who are pregnant or parenting are protected against discrimination on college campuses.
Best Colleges explained, “Your school must also allow you to return to the same academic status you held prior to any medical leave you take. This includes giving you opportunities to complete any work you may have missed while out. Additionally, pregnant students should be offered the same services provided to students with temporary medical conditions, including remote instruction, at-home tutoring, or independent study.”
This also means that your school must allow you to continue any extracurricular activities like sports. You should be treated as any other student, even if the school feels it is unsafe for you to play. They may require a note from your doctor that clears you to continue playing only if other students with other conditions are also given that requirement.
Pregnancy also should not affect your sports scholarships.
According to The Pregnant Scholar, “The Title IX regulations say that school financial assistance programs can’t apply rules that treat students differently because of their sex. That means that you can’t lose your athletic scholarship just because you are pregnant. If you have an athletic scholarship and can’t play because of your medical condition, you must be treated the same as any other student with a temporary disability, including keeping benefits while in recovery, and renewal of your award.”
You Have Choices
Even though abortion is illegal in many states, you still do not have to choose to parent your child. You can travel for an abortion, though it will be expensive and time-consuming. Adoption can be an excellent alternative and can set you and your baby up for bright and fulfilling futures.
However, parenting still might be an excellent option for you, even if you don’t want to trade off kids for your college and career. Consider this:
- Sometimes students can get discounts for child care through government subsidies and state grants.
- You may qualify for additional scholarships like the Pell grant, which helps college students who can prove they have a need–including single mothers.
- Earning your degree is still possible as a parent, though it may take longer.
- Many mothers say their children motivate and inspire them to keep working to finish their degrees and have a brighter future.
You Have Help
Because so many women go through pregnancy in college, there are resources for those in that situation. Our clinic offers free ultrasounds, as well as pregnancy and STI testing. We can answer any questions you may have about abortion, adoption or parenting. We can connect you with other helpful resources.
Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.