Wondering if you’ll lose your scholarship or get kicked out of college because you’re pregnant? Title IX protects your rights as a pregnant college student.
Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Consult a legal professional for advice.
Title IX is a federal law in the United States that protects parenting and pregnant college students, and imposes obligations on educational institutions in matters of recruitment, admissions, financial assistance, and more. Title IX prohibits sex-based discrimination in educational programs and activities that receive federal funding, including colleges and universities.
Title IX prohibits colleges and universities from discriminating against pregnant students. You have the right to continue your education and participate in all aspects of college life, including classes, extracurricular activities, and housing, without being treated unfairly because of your pregnancy.
Your college must provide reasonable accommodations if necessary to ensure you can continue your education. This could include things like excused absences for pregnancy-related medical appointments, flexible deadlines, or adjustments to class schedules. It may also include reasonable adjustments like allowing frequent trips to the restroom or ensuring you have elevator access to your classes.
Though Title IX doesn't specifically require colleges to offer parental leave, many schools have policies in place to allow students to take a temporary break from their studies for childbirth or other parenting responsibilities. You should not be penalized for submitting assignments past the due date if you missed the deadline because of pregnancy or childbirth, and there should be allowances for making up participation, attendance credits, and coursework. You should also not be penalized for following your doctor’s guidance, especially when you’re able to provide doctor’s notes. Be sure to check your college's policies regarding parental leave and understand your options.
If you believe you are facing discrimination due to your pregnancy, you should report it to your college's Title IX coordinator or designated official. They are responsible for addressing Title IX complaints and ensuring compliance with the law. If you’re concerned about retaliation or confidentiality, you should know that colleges are required to keep your complaint and related information confidential to the extent possible. However, they must also take steps to prevent and address discrimination, which may involve some disclosure.
Many colleges offer support services for pregnant and parenting students, such as childcare facilities, lactation rooms, and counseling. These services can help you balance your academic responsibilities with your parenting responsibilities.
Familiarize yourself with your rights under Title IX and your college's specific policies related to pregnancy discrimination. Your college's Title IX coordinator or office should be able to provide you with information and guidance. If you believe your college is not adequately addressing your concerns or you face ongoing discrimination, you may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in Title IX cases. It's important to remember that Title IX protections extend to all aspects of your education, not just pregnancy-related issues. If you have concerns or questions about your rights as a pregnant college student, don't hesitate to reach out to your college's Title IX coordinator or seek legal advice to ensure your rights are protected.
If trying to navigate college while also dealing with an unexpected pregnancy feels impossible and overwhelming, text us today at (720) 386-6009. Our team at The Avi Project is dedicated to helping students just like you, and we’re available 24/7.
Title IX FAQs
Can you be pregnant in college?
Yes, it is entirely possible to be pregnant while attending college. Many students become pregnant during their college years. If you are a pregnant college student, it's important to be aware of your rights, resources, and support systems available to you, as well as to plan accordingly to manage your academic and personal responsibilities.
Can colleges kick you out for being pregnant?
Title IX prohibits sex-based discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funding. This includes protection against discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Colleges must provide reasonable accommodations to ensure that pregnant students can continue their studies. If a college were to attempt to kick you out solely because you are pregnant, it would likely be in violation of Title IX and could face legal consequences. It's essential to speak with your college's Title IX coordinator or designated official so that they can address your situation and ensure compliance with the law.
Can you go to college pregnant?
Yes, you can absolutely go to college while pregnant. Being pregnant does not disqualify you from pursuing higher education. Many pregnant individuals continue their college education, and colleges and universities are generally supportive of pregnant students in their academic pursuits. Remember that many colleges are committed to helping pregnant students succeed academically, and they have policies and support systems in place to accommodate your needs. Don't hesitate to reach out to your college's student services, counseling center, or academic advisors for guidance and assistance in navigating your college experience while pregnant.
Should I tell my professor I’m pregnant?
Telling your professor that you are pregnant can be a personal and potentially sensitive conversation. Remember that professors want to see their students succeed, and they may be willing to work with you to ensure that your academic needs are met during your pregnancy.
Will I lose my scholarship because I got pregnant?
Title IX ensures that pregnant students have the same educational opportunities and benefits as non-pregnant students. This includes the protection of scholarships and financial aid. Scholarships should not be revoked or denied solely because of pregnancy, as this would likely constitute discrimination under Title IX. If you believe your scholarships are being threatened or unfairly impacted by your pregnancy, it's essential to seek guidance from your college's financial aid office or scholarship provider and, if necessary, consider legal recourse to protect your rights.
How do I contact my Title IX coordinator?
To get in touch with your school’s Title IX coordinator, check your college’s website and look for the “Title IX” or “Equity and Inclusion” section of the website, or use the search function. If you cannot find contact information, contact the Dean of Students or the Student Affairs Office, and they should be able to direct you to the appropriate person. Once you have the contact information, you can either send an email or call the Title IX coordinator directly.