An unplanned pregnancy does not have to change your college plans. With the right information about your pregnancy and your rights, you can continue to pursue your college dreams. Today, we’re answering some common questions about navigating college and pregnancy!


Can I go to college and be pregnant? 

Even if these years look differently than you pictured, you can be pregnant and still obtain the degree of your dreams. Millions of women finish school while pregnant and go on to do amazing things.


What is Title IX?

Title IX is a law that prevents professors and faculty from discriminating against you due to your pregnancy. It requires schools to give pregnant students the same protection and treatment that any student with a temporary medical condition would receive. This ensures that you have the same educational opportunities as your peers.


Schools that receive federal funding fall under Title IX. However, some schools have religious exemptions from Title IX and refuse federal funding. Your school’s handbook should have information regarding Title IX.


Will I lose my scholarship because of my pregnancy? 

Per Title IX, you cannot lose your scholarships or financial aid because of your pregnancy. This includes a need-based, merit, or athletic scholarship. The school cannot reduce your scholarships just because you are pregnant.


Are there scholarships for pregnant students? 

A few extra scholarships exist for pregnant college students so that they can finish college. FASA may provide more grants or tuition breaks. Meet with your financial aid counselor at your college to discuss your situation and the financial aid you may qualify for!


How can I keep my grades up while pregnant? 

Per Title IX, your professors must provide you with the opportunity to make up any work you missed while being out, even after you deliver the baby. The work they provide must be comparable to the work that other students completed. Plus, you should be reinstated to the same academic status you had before you left to deliver your baby.


Do I have to change my major if I’m pregnant? 

No one can force you to change your mind regarding your college education and your pregnancy. Administrators and/or professors cannot force you to change your degree program.


What if I miss class for a doctor’s appointment for my pregnancy? 

If you miss class for a medical reason related to your pregnancy, such as a doctor’s visit, bed rest, childbirth, or recovery, the professor must give you opportunities to make up the work you missed. The professor cannot punish you for missing class, regardless of their absence policies. The only reason your school should require a doctor’s note from you is if they also require one from other students. Keep meticulous records about your pregnancy-related medical appointments.


Will I get kicked out of my dorm for being pregnant? 

Per Title IX, you can remain in your campus housing until the birth of your baby. Then, after birth, you can decide where you want to live off-campus. However, some schools have family housing on campus.


What happens to pregnant college athletes? 

Athletic directors or coaches cannot kick you off of the team or bully you into a pregnancy choice.  Plus, the decision about your participation in the sport will be up to you and your OBGYN, not your coach. The coach must modify workouts and training to keep you and your baby safe, just like they would with any other athlete with acute medical needs.


Who is the first person I should talk to at college if I just found out that I’m pregnant? 

Every school should have a Title IX Coordinator who can help you navigate your pregnancy in college. They will let you know what rights you have and what that will look like practically in the classroom. Be sure to keep meticulous notes about any harassment or problems you experience.


Who do I talk to if my college is discriminating against me because I’m pregnant? 

If anyone is harassing you because you are pregnant, or if you feel that you are being discriminated against because of your pregnancy, speak with the school’s Title IX Coordinator. They will know what steps need to be taken next. If your school does not have a Coordinator, then you can file a complaint against your school with the US Department of Education, or even in court.


What tips do you have for a pregnant college student? 

Take advantage of a flexible school schedule. Try to schedule classes for afternoons if you’ve been nauseous in the mornings or opt for online courses. Buy a rolling backpack so that you don’t have to bend over. Prioritize your physical and mental health to manage the stress of college, for your own sake and the sake of the baby.


If you feel that you need other accommodations like a larger desk, frequent access to the restroom, or the ability to ride the elevator, speak to your school administrators or Title IX coordinator.


Support for Pregnant Students in Northern New York

After you’ve confirmed your pregnancy, find someone to walk through this journey with you. Resources exist to ensure that you are not alone during your pregnancy in college. At Care Net of NNY, we want to empower you to make the best decision for you. We can help you with information about your pregnancy and with the resources you need to be successful! Contact us or call us today at (315)782-5433.