FAQs (Child Care Subsidy)

Does the U-M Child Care Subsidy Program require that I use a child care provider licensed by the State of Michigan?

Yes. This required for several reasons. Using a licensed Michigan provider allows the University to readily verify and assess a provider’s qualifications and whether the person or facility has up-to-date licensing with the State of Michigan. Using licensed providers also sets a higher standard for child care and provides some liability protection to the University.

How is financial need determined for the Child Care Subsidy?

The child care subsidy is a need-based award.  Eligibility is based on a formula including a student’s Cost of Attendance (including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies and personal and miscellaneous expenses) less contributions from income and assets and other sources of financial aid. All income and assets are documented on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which is used to calculate financial aid awards.

Why are Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) appointments and fellowship awards treated differently when determining financial need?

The GSI stipend is considered regular income, whereas a fellowship stipend is considered financial aid, so the two are treated differently in the formula. Earnings are reported on the FAFSA and used to calculate a student contribution, allowing certain offsets for living expenses based on federally established standards. Financial aid, such as GSI tuition waivers and fellowships, reduce financial need on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

What is the impact if I receive additional assistance after the child care subsidy is awarded?

This might include graduate students receiving grants for travel and dissertations or undergraduates receiving a scholarship. These resources could affect eligibility and should always be reported to the Office of Financial Aid. However, many graduate students may have additional, related costs that can lessen or eliminate this impact. Document these costs and submit them to our office for review. Be proactive by reporting any grant to our office and carefully document expenses relating to it.

Why does the university require spouses to be enrolled in a college degree program or be employed in order to qualify for a child care subsidy?

If a spouse is not working or enrolled in school, it is the expectation that this person would be available to care for a child or children. The funds for this program are limited, so they are always awarded as a matter of policy to families with both parents enrolled in school, or those that have one parent in school and one working (or a combination of being employed and in school).  Financial aid staff verifies the spouse's employment and/or enrollment as part of this program. The U-M Community has resources available to assist with child care and other family issues. These include the U-M Work-Life Resource Center’s website http://hr.umich.edu/worklife/childcare and the U-M Health System’s "YourChild" program which can be found here: www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/famlife.htm.

What does it mean to have a spouse that is gainfully employed?

This can include full- or part-time employment in a traditional vein, including both working at an employer's site or telecommuting in a flexible work situation. It can also include self-employment that brings in a living wage for the family.  Our office may require substantiation from an employer as to an employee's unique work situation or copies of tax returns to verify self-employment income. The final determination of an employment situation will be made by the Office of Financial Aid during application review.

What about summer camps? How are they handled?

The purpose of the subsidy is to assist with licensed child care costs; it is not intended to pay for participation in education or enrichment programs. Summer camps licensed or administered by a licensed day care facility or provider meet the requirements; the subsidy does not cover children's participation in competitive sport programs such as soccer or baseball teams. 

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