Finishing High School and Beyond

Finishing high school or achieving other educational goals can feel overwhelming. But there are a lot of resources available to help you finish strong and pave the way to a better future for you and your child. 

Benefits of Finishing High School

 Completing high school can have many benefits, such as: 
  • Having more job and career options, since many jobs require a high school diploma
  • Earning a higher salary
  • Preparing you to attend college, if that’s a goal

Your Education Rights as a Young Parent

 If you are pregnant or raising your child while in school, you have the legal right to receive the same education as any other student under the Title IX law. You cannot be forced to attend an alternative school because you are pregnant (learn more about your educational rights as a young parent). Title IX requires that schools receiving federal funding (which most do) allow you to: 
  • Go to school
  • Participate in extracurricular activities
  • Access the same classes as other students

High School Alternatives

 While you have the right to attend your regular school, some young parents may choose an alternative. Your school counselor will have more information about these options, which can include: 
  • Distance learning. Some high schools may allow students to access class materials online and study from home.
  • Alternative high schools. These often offer flexible schedules based on student needs and can accommodate different student interests and learning styles. Some alterative schools have special programs for parents and may provide on-campus childcare.
  • Adult high school. These programs allow young adults 18 and older to obtain a GED, which is equivalent to high school diploma. (To find a program near you, contact a local job center).

How to Balance Family and School – and Stay Healthy

 Balancing school and family are easier with the right support and future planning. 
  • Find reliable childcare. Try planning your school schedule with your partner or family. States have childcare resources and some offer childcare financial assistance. Also, some states may offer childcare financial assistance.
  • Get organized. Use calendars, phone reminders, and to-do lists to make sure you don’t miss important deadlines. Preparing things ahead of time, like your child’s clothes the night before school, can make mornings easier.
  • Practice self-care. Take time to care for yourself daily, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. For example, treat yourself to a snack or listen to some music. Self-care is important for helping you stay healthy and to continue giving your best to your child.
  • Family planning. You have control over when, and if, you have another child. Understanding family planning and choosing the birth control method can help you to reach goals like finishing high school.

Planning for Beyond High School – Jobs and College

 Young parents are just as capable of getting a college degree or their dream job as anyone else. In fact, many young parents are even more goal-oriented than they were before they became parents. Achieving your goals might just take a bit more planning and a focus on time management. It also might mean taking things a little slower. If you create an account, YUP! can help you plan your goals and take steps to achieve them. If want to start working right after high school and want help figuring out your interests and potential career paths, or if you need job planning assistance (such as creating a resume or having interview practice), talk to your counselor or visit a local job center. YUP! can also help you learn more about job and career planning

Helpful Resources

Local job centers: There are over 2,000 jobs centers across the country that provide free help to look for work. They offer resume help, career counseling, job search workshops, free computer access, and more. Childcare resources: All states have childcare resources and some offer childcare financial assistance. This website has links to local childcare providers, as well as information about available assistance.