Academic achievement at any age impacts other areas of a person's life from likelihood of getting involved in criminal activity to adequate health care. For women, academic achievement has particular significance for closing the wage gap that exists between men and women; however, it is not simply enough for women to pursue an advanced degree in a field traditionally dominated by women like nursing or teaching. Women of all ages must begin to examine careers in high-wage fields traditionally populated by men such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The American Association of University Women has extensive and valuable research related to women, girls and education.

Check out information regarding degrees conferred, drop-out rates, higher education staff salaries, and course enrollment among other data specific to females in Iowa.

Title IX says that schools must give all students who might be, are, or have been pregnant (whether the student is a parent or not) the same access to school programs and extracurricular activities that other students have. Knowing and enforcing the rights of pregnant and parenting students in school is an important step in dropout prevention.

Your Education

In planning for your higher education, it is important to begin exploring the potential careers that your education will make possible.

It is also worth educating yourself about a variety of issues related to higher education. Again, the American Association of University Women is an excellent resource for this purpose.

If you intend to pursue your education at one of the State of Iowa's institutions, it's never too soon to look at what they have to offer:

Your Daughter's Education

Like yourself, it is important to encourage your daughter to explore non traditional aspects of her education. Although Title IX made it illegal to discriminate in education based on gender, young women still have to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them now that weren’t as readily available to their mothers and grandmothers.

It is a commonly held belief that Title IX is about athletic opportunity. On the contrary, it is much broader in scope and includes all sexism in education.

It is important to get involved directly with your daughter's education whether it be through helping her with homework, meeting her teachers, helping her pick classes or attending school board meetings. Learning about some of the safety issues she may be facing is vital.

Sexual harassment in educational settings can seriously impact your daughter's education. The American Association of University Women has done extensive research on this topic including its groundbreaking report, Hostile Hallways.

Technological advances have made "cyberbullying" by school peers as well as predatory behavior by others via the internet a real concern for parents as well. The National Crime Prevention Council has a list of resources that can help you and your daughter learn simple tools for staying safe online.

On a wider scale, the Iowa Department of Education can provide information about a broad range of topics.

Paying for Education

How you pay for your higher education is one crucial piece of your planning. There are many sources for student AID: