UC Berkeley announces grant for graduate student caregivers

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UC Berkeley recently announced the Graduate Division Caregiver Grant to provide financial assistance for graduate students who are the primary live-in caregivers of an adult classified as a dependent.

Assistance from the grant will be applicable to recipients’ expenses including housing and living costs, dependent health insurance and tuition, according to the Graduate Division website.

The Graduate Division also stated on its website that classifications of dependents pertinent to grant eligibility are set to be consistent with the state of California’s definition of an adult dependent.

Eligibility for the grant will be evaluated on a variety of factors, including demonstrated financial need, completion of a FAFSA application and progressing within an academic program, according to the website.

Campus demand for a grant specific to graduate student caregivers largely hinged on anecdotal accounts from students themselves caring for adult relatives and elderly parents, according to campus Graduate Division spokesperson Kathleen Aycock in an email.

Aycock said in the email that although the portion of graduate student caregivers remains smaller than the number of graduate student parents on campus, the Graduate Division also wanted to offer support for these students as well.

According to Aycock, the Graduate Division previously focused its primary efforts on supporting graduate students with children.

She said, however, due to some students’ “significant caretaking duties,” the grant is intended to be a companion program to student parent grants already offered by the division.

“The Caregiver Grant can be thought of as an extension of this larger goal: we want to be able to support graduate students who have significant caretaking duties that fall outside of the scope of the Graduate Student Parent Grant,” Aycock said in the email.

In the email, Aycock described the development of the grant as a collaborative process. According to Aycock, it was first drafted by Graduate Division staff, then shared with other campus offices including the Graduate Assembly and the Disabled Students’ Program, which she said “provided valuable feedback that we incorporated into the final program.”

Aycock added in the email that the grant will be funded from Graduate Division financial aid and fellowship resources.

The grant application, which can be found on the Graduate Assembly website, is due July 15.

Contact Hanna Lykke at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @hannaathearstDC.