Married Students: What Rights, Benefits Should Schools Provide Their Spouses? (@UWBrandingIron)

In a letter to the editor published in a recent issue of The Branding Iron at the University of Wyoming, a UW senior relates her “concern and irritation with the lack of support for married students on campus.”


As she writes, “I am a married student going into my final year of my undergrad. When I got married, I assumed there would be some benefits for my spouse also.  But there are not.  There is no health insurance option (and as students this is hard to get when jobs or schools do not provide it or some help for it), there is no gym discount, and the married student housing is lacking in number. This seems like a problem to me. It is frustrating, because I have heard of many other schools that offer these and more to married students.  You have to ask yourselves: how many of your students are married?”

Bottom line: The letter should serve as a reminder about the subset of students within higher education today who are balancing marriage and a full course load.

Questions for a Related Report

How many students at your school are married?  What is life like for these married students, on campus and off?  And even more interestingly, building off the Branding Iron letter, what is life like for their spouses?  Separately, what is your school’s stance toward married students?  Are there any health insurance options, special housing or other benefits for the spouses or life partners of students?  Any related student groups or marriage and family classes?  Are married undergraduates treated any differently than married graduate students?  What does your school’s non-married student majority think about married student rights and benefits?  And what are the perspectives of leading family and social advocacy groups?

Multimedia Options

1) A narrative photo slideshow providing a glimpse into the daily life of a married student, on and off campus.  2) A separate site featuring a headshot collage of married students, with their basic demographic info, backstories, and opinions on married student rights available when their photos are scrolled over or clicked.

Offbeat Options

1) A profile of the spouse or child of a married student.  2) Arranging and telling the story of a non-traditional married student staying in the dorms or going Greek for a week.  (Or maybe too much?) :)

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