From The Gainesville Sun comes an interesting report:
We sometimes have too simple a picture of college life. At the University of Florida, student parents are a growing population. Many graduate students are married, or have second jobs to support themselves in a tough economy. More are having their children during their academic career. All these factors are stresses on family life, for those students. It’s more complex than we often imagine.
Since graduate students are working part time (formally), they don’t qualify for nationally-mandated FMLA benefits. But their duties, which span teaching, research, writing, and a side variety of responsibilities, often result in them putting in far more hours than they are paid for. Organizations like PhdMoms, at UF, are working to bring those needed changes.
Being high achievers in their academic fields, graduate students are reaching for future opportunities, by sacrificing their time and talents in pursuit of their goals. They have options, and those with families will go to those grad schools which provide the best environment for their families.
Student parents are subject to the same concerns as any family, including issues of paternity, child custody, relocation and divorce.
A busy family can use sound legal advice, especially when navigating the academic bureaucracy. Whether the grad students themselves, their parents or other concerned parties, be sure you seek out an experienced attorney who specializes in your area of concern.