Challenges Encountered by Student-Parents at Bestlink College of the Philippines: Its Effects on their Academic Performance
Keywords:student-parents, higher education, challenges
Student-parents are students who are still pursuing higher education while having their own families. These are the people who prioritize family life first rather than studying and now trying to mend their decisions by taking steps in achieving their dreams. Some of these individuals have been given an opportunity again by their family or partner to fix their broken aspirations. For people who are pursuing education despite the responsibilities on their shoulders, coming back to school serves as a starting point for life improvement and a foundation to attain success in life. The researchers used purposive sampling technique to select 30 student-parents under the College of Teacher in Education at Bestlink College of the Philippines. Results showed that the main common challenge among the participating student-parents is the lack of time to manage their roles as students and parents. After rigorous reading and data analysis, the following three themes emerged from the data: (1) challenges of student-parents, (2) effects of the challenges on their academic performances, and (3) motivation of pursuing their studies. These themes were used as a guide to understanding what student-parents go through when faced with these responsibilities. The majority of the student-parents are females aged 26–30 years old. Most of these student-parents are single and have one child. The challenge that affects the respondents’ academic performance the most was the financial factor because they prioritize their children’s needs. Time management is also a huge issue for student-parents because they have difficulties in choosing their priorities while attending to their two roles. The results of the survey showed that the respondents often experienced family issues and concerns in terms of budgeting their expenses and childcare because not all of them have a support system. A relationship is the highest factor, while health is the least of their concerns under personal issues due to having dual roles, which make them tend to forget that their health is also important. As the result, the challenges that are encountered by student-parents considerably affect their academic performance. There should be support groups for student-parents on campus to alleviate the isolation and stress associated with studying and parenting roles. Financial and time management is a major problem student-parents encountered. Through this research, student-parents will have an idea of how to manage and budget their time and finances.