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Human Resources
University of Mississippi

Student Parents at UM

Lots of college students are also parents — 1 in 5 nationally! At the University of Mississippi, we want to support student parents wherever they are on their educational journeys. Read below for information on resources available to UM students who are expecting and parenting.

During our series of 2022 Student Parent Roundtable Conversations, students who have children shared their experiences parenting while being a UM student, including barriers, resources, and needs. These conversations are already shaping the efforts of the Work-Life Resources program. To offer your feedback about being a student parent at UM, please use this short form. We really do want to hear from you. Any other ideas or questions? Contact Lynn Wilkins at lwilkins@olemiss.edu.

Upcoming event: Child Care Help Sessions

Need help paying for child care? Find out more about the Mississippi Child Care Payment Program, and whether you’re eligible to participate, by dropping in to chat with Ms. Zaffron King of the MS Low Income Child Care Initiative on October 19 or November 16. In these Child Care Help Sessions, you can have a private conversation to see whether you’re eligible, and even receive help filling out your application. Walk-ins are welcome, but you may also reserve a time slot that is convenient for you. See here for more details. Help sessions are also available by appointment for those unable to attend on October 19 or November 17: lwilkins@olemiss.edu

New Student Parent Association at UM!

The UM Student Parent Association works with the University to make sure student parents are heard and supported. They’re just getting started and invite you to join up with other parenting students at UM.

Follow the UMSPA on Instagram and join the GroupMe list for occasional announcements about family events and other UMSPA activities.

Resources for Student Parents

Food and baby supplies: In addition to food, Grove Grocery often has items for babies and small children: diapers, wipes, baby food, snacks, etc. Due to limited hours during the summer months, it’s best to shop online via their online order form. All UM students and employees are welcome, and everything is free. Get more information at GroveGrocery.olemiss.edu.

Need some meal swipes? Swipe Out Hunger is a short term assistance program that can allocate up to 30 meals per semester to students and staff in need during the fall and spring semesters. If you need meals, or would like to request them for a friend, apply to the Grove Grocery Meal Swipes program.

Paying for child care: The State of Mississippi pays for child care through its Child Care Payment Plan. Any parent with an income of up to about $38,000—regardless of gender or marital status—can apply, including parents who are also UM students. (Note: $38,000 is the cap for single parents with one child; it is higher for larger families.) Find information about eligibility and income caps here.

A program called Employment Equity for Single Mothers can help single moms get connected to the Mississippi Child Care Payment Plan and offers additional resources and support, as well.

If you are a military family, explore their information on finding and paying for child care, and definitely check in with Veteran & Military Services on campus (915-2045).

Lactation spaces: Are you a nursing parent? There are lactation spaces scattered around campus where you may go to nurse or pump in privacy. Find the locations of lactation spaces here, as well as information about whom to contact if the space you need is locked. All UM nursing parents, whether student, faculty, or staff, are welcome. If you’d like to suggest an improvement to any of our lactation spaces, let us know!

Mom squad: Have a question and want to ask a group of UM parents for their feedback? Check out the UM Working Mothers Support Group on Facebook. You can find loads of friendly advice and ideas there. And  www.oxfordmomsandtots.com lists lots of child- and family-friendly activities and resources in our area.

Expecting the best: If you are pregnant, congratulations! Understand your rights as a pregnant member of the UM community by checking in with our Title IX office (662-915-7735). If an unusual medical situation is affecting your pregnancy, you may find help at Student Disability Services (915-7128). ThePregnantScholar.org offers support and resources.

If you’d like to talk things through and discuss how to organize things for when the baby comes—regarding child care, for example—we’re here for that. If you need help staying on the path to graduation and that degree, please contact us. UM has lots of student parents making it work, and we’ll help you make it work, too.

Financial Aid: Are you maxing out your financial aid because you’re at the limit of your Cost of Attendance? Consider whether your COA includes your child care expenses. If not, you can fill out this form to ask the Financial Aid office to recalculate your COA with your child care expenses included. More information about Cost of Attendance can be found here.

And if you have an expense or situation that is interfering with your ability to do school, check in with the good folks at UMatter. They can help in moments of crisis by offering specific support, assistance, and referrals to help with a range of basic needs and mental health/safety issues. Reach them at umatter@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7248.

Reach out

Have a question or concern? We’ll do our best to help! Contact Lynn Wilkins at 662-915-1295 or lwilkins@olemiss.edu.