A profile of undergraduate student parents in Canada




van Rhijn, Tricia
Smit Quosai, Trudy
Lero, Donna S.

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Canadian Journal of Higher Education


Student parents are a significant minority population on Canadian post-secondary campuses. As research exploring this population has been extremely limited to date, this study provides the first national profile of Canadian student parents. We explore student parent enrolment patterns over time and examine current demographic characteristics. The data for this study were drawn from two datasets collected by Statistics Canada: the Labour Force Survey 1976–2005 and the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics 2004 cross-sectional data file. Student parents accounted for between 11% and 16% of all post-secondary enrolment between 1976 and 2005. Further analyses explore participation patterns based on type of institution (college/university), study status (full-/part-time study), age, gender, and marital status. Future research directions and implications for policies and institutional practice are discussed.



student parent, mature student, nontraditional student, post-secondary education, higher education


van Rhijn, T., Smit Quosai, T., & Lero, D. (2011). A profile of undergraduate students in Canada. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 41(3), 59-80.