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Grant to help low-income UMass students with children

  • Students pass the Old Chapel on the University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst. AP photo



Thursday, October 11, 2018

AMHERST – The University of Massachusetts has received a $1 million federal Department of Education grant to subsidize child care costs for low-income college students who have dependent children.

The grant covers four years.

In 2017, 86 colleges were awarded grants, ranging from $14,000 to $427,000, with an average award of $174,000. The program serves about 5,000 students nationwide.

The UMass Amherst program will significantly increase the amount of financial aid, coaching and parenting resources offered by the university’s Office of Student Parent Programs to qualified low-income undergraduate and graduate students, the university reports.

Sally Linowski, associate dean for off-campus student life, said the funds will go directly into the hands of qualified students to subsidize their child care expenses and to hire a full-time program coordinator to provide student success coaching, parent-child learning events, parent support groups and resources.

“We are excited to launch this new program in spring 2019 and to remove some of the financial and personal barriers to degree attainment for a growing population of non-traditional, first generation and low-income students who come to college with kids,” she is quoted as saying in a university press statement.

A 2014 report by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found in Massachusetts a single mother needed 60 percent of her income for child care, and the burden was heavier in the Amherst area, where the cost was the second highest in the country.

The university says that without child care support from family, friends or child care assistance, it is nearly impossible for a low-income parent to attend college.