Front lawn of Brenau's Ganiesville Campus

Grant to help student-parents with child care costs

Nov 19, 2019
Kristen Bowman

Current and future Brenau University students can now receive assistance with child care costs as they finish their degrees thanks to the Child Care Access Means Parents In School program.

CCAMPIS, a U.S. Department of Education program, supports low-income parents as they complete their postsecondary education through the offsetting of campus-based and community child care services. Brenau received a grant of $42,120 annually over the next four years through the program.

“As an institution, Brenau is concerned about the total lifecycle of our students,” said Crystal Toombs, assistant vice president for student services. “We realize that family and children are a large part of student-parents’ motivation toward successfully completing college. This grant will not only make a difference in the lives of our students, but it may be used to influence the academic and economic trajectories of Brenau alumni for generations to come.”

Preference will be given to full-time students who maintain a 2.5 grade point average. Parents of children in the Brenau University Child Development Center on the Gainesville campus or in any other accredited child care centers in any state are eligible to receive assistance. Students from the undergraduate through the doctoral levels on any of Brenau’s five campuses or in its online degree programs may apply and will have to submit proof of their Pell eligibility status during the application process.

“This is for all Brenau student-parents,” Toombs said. “It was important to us to make sure this opportunity is offered to all Brenau students regardless of location, degree program or modality. For graduate students, they simply need to complete a FAFSA to indicate if they are Pell eligible.”

Grants Writer Stefan Schulze said the assistance students will receive will depend upon that Pell status.

“The more need there is, the higher the subsidy they will receive,” he said. “The program as a whole has a great deal of flexibility. We can support parents who take advantage of before school or afterschool programs. There are very few limits to which parents we can help.”

According to a 2014 study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, roughly 4.8 million college students had dependent children in 2011, about 26% of all college undergraduates. These student-parents may also face greater financial challenges than their non-parent classmates, according to Toombs, making success in college difficult. In 2018, 13% of Brenau students reported having at least one dependent in their household.

Toombs said she hopes the grant will assist as many parents as possible.

“If a parent is already receiving a subsidy and is just paying a small portion of the total child care costs at their center, we could even help with that small portion,” she said. “And that means we’ve helped them, while additional funds are still open to help others. We hope to do as much as we can with the funds we’ve been given.”

For more information about the CCAMPIS grant at Brenau, contact Toombs at

“We think this is an awesome opportunity for all of Brenau,” Toombs said. “We have a huge population of post-traditional students, and this grant will help with retention in giving them the support they need to complete their degrees. We strive to build community through all of Brenau and to show that this is truly an institution that cares about all of its students.”