OverviewWith the Academic year 2014-15, the Associated Students of Southern Oregon University (ASSOU) chose to offer students a child care subsidy in order to assist students who have children who are pre-school age or younger to attend classes at SOU. This subsidy is funded from the incidental fee that all students pay when they enroll at SOU. Prior to this subsidy, the students supported students with young children by providing financial support to the Schneider Children's Center at SOU, which in turn offered a reduced rate to SOU students. That support has been redirected to fund the subsidy and Schneider no longer offers students a reduced rate. However, students who qualify for the subsidy can use that to offset their child care charges to the same effect as the previous reduced rate.
With the change to a direct subsidy to students vs. supporting the Schneider Children's Center has necessitated some changes. The subsidy is included in a student's full financial picture and can impact other financial aid the student would have otherwise received. Because of this, the subsidy is administered through the Financial Aid office at SOU.
Understanding the ASSOU Child Care Subsidy (FAQ)
Q: How do I apply for the Subsidy?
A: There is an application, available here. Hard copies can also be obtained in the Student Life office at Stevenson Union and at the Schneider Children's Center office. The subsidy will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, for all applicants who meet the criteria for the subsidy. Completed application packages should be submitted to either the Schneider Children's Center, or the Student Life office in the Stevenson Union. Included with your application, students must submit the following documents:
- Cover Letter: In order to gain a better understanding of the circumstances student parents face, we require a cover letter accompany every application. Please tell us a little about yourself and your family, as well as any changes that are taking place, (pregnancies, adoptions, illnesses, divorces, child care changes). Should you feel the numbers on your application don't fully represent your situation or you do not meet all eligibility requirements; the cover letter is your opportunity to describe the unique circumstances of your family. Please restrict your letters to one page, single spaced. You may also use the back of this page should a computer not be available to you.
- Complete and signed application form
- Copy of class schedule for funding term
- Proof of Financial Need: Priority of subsidy funding will go to students with demonstrated financial need; proof of need can be in the form of proof of Pell Grant or Federal Work-study eligibility or other official documents demonstrating financial need.
Q: what are the requirements to qualify for the subsidy?
A: Applicant must be a currently enrolled student at Southern Oregon University.
- Applicant must be the parent or legal caregiver of a child.
- Applicant's child must be currently enrolled in a DHS approved child-care program such as the Schneider Children's Center -
- Note, at present, the Community Preschool at SOU is not state licensed and enrollment there would not qualify for the subsidy.
- Applicants must be registered and maintain at least 8 on-campus credits while receiving the subsidy.
- (Copy of class schedule must be attached to application)
- Applicants must be in 'good academic standing' and making adequate progress toward graduation.
- If you have significant expenses affecting your household, please address them in the cover letter (Examples: medical bills, attorney fees, commuting costs) and include documentation (copies of bills, etc.)
- The subsidy is awarded per term – however, despite being awarded in one full amount at the start of each term, eligibility must be maintained for the entire term in order to earn the full subsidy. Failure to maintain eligibility either through student enrollment status, child care enrollment status, or other will lose eligibility and may require repayment of all or part of the subsidy previously awarded.
- Applicants who report fraudulent information will be disqualified from the subsidy pool and may have a debt to the University for any subsidy funds received.
Q: How much is the subsidy for?
A: The maximum amount of the subsidy is calculated at $400 per month, for a maximum of three months per term, for a maximum of three terms (Fall, Winter, and Spring only). This is a subsidy of $1,200.00 per term and $3,600.00 annually. Regardless of how it was calculated, the award is by term, not by month, therefore the subsidy is a by term award at $1,200 per term. Students who do not maintain eligibility for the entire term, for any reason, may be required to repay the subsidy. If a student's documented child care costs are less than the maximum subsidy, the subsidy will be reduced appropriately. Otherwise, the subsidy is not pro-rated based on the number of applicants or a student's total need.
Q: When are applications due for the start of a term?
A: When first applying, the full appilcation is due the evening prior to the start of each term to meet the priority deadline. All applications after that will not be given priority and may miss out on the subsidy until the following term. If your application has already been accepted by the committee, then each proceeding term for the same academic school year you must submit your most child care invoice and a copy of your next term scheudle, due by the evening before the first day of term. The committee is expected to meet and make decisions on applications within the first few weeks of each term.
Q: DO I have to have my child already enrolled at a center to apply for the subsidy?
A: No. However, students will be required to verify actual child care costs, at a state licensed children's center, incurred during the term for which the subsidy was received, that at least equal the amount of the subsidy received. Failure to meet these requirements can result in loss of the subsidy and potential repayment of any subsidy received.
As part of a student's application, they do need to demonstrate that they meet the full requirements of the subsidy. That does not necessarily mean the student will have to submit an actual invoice for child care services, but can include a registration form and center rate sheet. However, as stated above, actual documentation of child care costs incurred will be required to remain eligible for the subsidy. An application can be conditionally approved on the basis they find a child care provider and verify costs.
Q: Where can I turn in the application?
The application can be put in the Student Advocate's box located in the Sours Leadership Center in the Stevenson Union (SU 308) or emailed to email@example.com. All questions can also be directed toward this email.
Q: Once i apply and receive the subsidy, can I move my child?
A: Yes, but you will be required to validate that you continue to have child care costs that match or exceed the subsidy. If you move your child to a center that is not licensed or otherwise would not have qualified you for the subsidy, you may lose eligibility for the subsidy and have to repay part or all of the subsidy.
Q: I have two children who need care, can I get the subsidy for both?
A: No. The subsidy is awarded on a Per Student basis, not a per child basis. The subsidy is not prorated based on total child care costs, except in cases where documented costs to not meet the amount of the subsidy, in those cased the subsidy is reduced appropriately. If both parents/guardians of children are SOU students, only one of the Students can claim the children for purposes of both, financial aid calculations and application for the subsidy.
Q: My spouse and I are both students at SOU, can we both apply the subsidy?
A: No. The subsidy is awarded on a Per Student basis, not a per child basis. The subsidy is not prorated based on total child care costs, except in cases where documented costs to not meet the amount of the subsidy, in those cased the subsidy is reduced appropriately. If both parents/guardians of children are SOU students, only one of the Students can claim the child or children for purposes of both, financial aid calculations and application for the subsidy.
Q: When will I know if I have been awarded the subsidy?
A: Because the subsidy is administered through the Financial Aid office, the subsidy will be identified as part of a student's financial aid award and be applied to their student account at the start of the award term.
Q: How will I receive the subsidy?
A: Because the subsidy is treated as financial aid, the subsidy is received similar to any other financial aid award. The subsidy will be included in a student's financial aid award and applied to their student account in the same manner as any other financial aid award.
- In general, charges for tuition, housing, and other similar actions are posted as charges to a student's account. Credits such as financial aid or payments for tuition and housing, etc. are applied against the balance on a student's account. The Child Care Subsidy will be applied as a credit against the student account.
- If their child is enrolled at the Schneider Children's Center, their bill will also be applied to their student account and the student will only have to pay the additional cost by which their child care bill exceeds their subsidy.
- If their child is enrolled at another state licensed child care center, the subsidy will still be applied against their overall charges on their student account and will be part of any refund the student may receive if their aid exceeds their charges. They can then utilize their refund to apply toward their child care costs at another licensed center.
Q: If I receive the subsidy for Fall Term, do I need to reapply each term?
A: While the subsidy is awarded for single terms, it is not the intention that students who receive the subsidy have to apply for following terms, within the same academic year. For stability, qualified students, once awarded, need only verify continued eligibility to continue to receive the subsidy for the duration of that academic year (Fall, Winter, and Spring terms only). They will however, be required to reapply and compete with all other qualified students for the subsidy in future years. New enrollments in Winter and Spring terms will be limited to only filling vacant subsidy awards, either made available from students who lost their eligibility or subsidies never awarded in the previous term. The Student Fee committee will determine the number of subsidy awards available each term.
Contact the Student Advocate for further questionsThe Child Care Subsidy is the responsibility of the Student Fee Committee. The Student Fee Committee proposes guidelines, processing instructions, eligibility criteria, and other program rules to the ASSOU Senate. The subsidy is administered by the Financial Aid office at SOU. The Financial Aid office follows the guidelines as established by the Student Fees Committee and approved by the ASSOU Senate as well as State and Federal financial aid guidelines and regulations. For general and immediate questions on the Child Care Subsidy or on the application process, students could contact the Student Advocate at firstname.lastname@example.org. For specific questions on their subsidy and disbursemnet, once awarded, students could contact the Financial Aid office at SOU.