By: Shaquitta Dent, Graduate Student, School of Health and Human Sciences
As a soon-to-be Grad Jag parent, navigating the Ph.D. life has been a positive and manageable experience. One of the key factors contributing to my pregnancy/academic journey is surrounding myself with a support team. In addition, advocating for my needs as a student parent has alleviated the stress of potential parenthood.
Indiana University-Indianapolis (IU-I) recognizes the unique challenges faced by graduate students who are also parents and has developed a range of resources to support them in achieving a balance between their academic and family responsibilities. The IU-I Graduate Office offers a Grad Parent Network, which connects graduate students who are parents with each other for mutual support and resource-sharing. This network provides a platform for parents to discuss strategies for managing academic demands while raising a family, fostering a sense of community among those facing similar challenges. The Grad Parent Network meets monthly and will resume their meetings in January https://graduate.iupui.edu/support/student-organizations/gpn.html
Moreover, IU-I ensures that there are facilities and services catering to the needs of student parents. The campus includes lactation rooms equipped with amenities to support breastfeeding mothers. Additionally, campus offers Childcare Resources and Referral services to assist graduate student parents in finding suitable childcare options, offering guidance on reputable local daycare centers and resources for financial assistance. This service is designed to alleviate the stress of balancing academics and parenting by helping students secure reliable and affordable childcare solutions.
Financial support is also available for graduate student parents at IU-I. The Division of Student Affairs provides information on grants, scholarships, and financial aid options specifically tailored to the unique needs of student parents. This includes assistance with navigating the application process for family-oriented financial aid programs and understanding the various resources available to help alleviate the financial burden associated with pursuing advanced degrees while raising a family. Overall, IU-I is committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for graduate students who are parents, recognizing the importance of addressing their specific needs to facilitate a successful academic journey. https://studentaffairs.iupui.edu/advocacy-resources/emergency-support.html