Jan 282008
Authors: Cece Wildeman

CSU organizes many programs throughout the year to make families feel welcome, and financial aid, on-campus childcare and campus housing are some of the more prominent ways in which the university appeals to families.

Financial aid, available to any half-time CSU students, is used by approximately 12,000 students, both single and those with children. Financial aid is offered in the form of work-study, loans and grants.

“(Financial aid) is important because it can make a difference as to whether or not a student goes to school,” said Christie Leighton, associate director of Student Financial Services.

Undergraduate students with children, if eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, are able to receive additional financial aid to pay for childcare, if they utilize the services of on-campus childcare.

“If students need help paying for school and they have kids, then they can come see us,” Leighton said.

CSU’s University Children’s Center is owned by Sunshine House, a national organization for early child education, and contracted by CSU to care for and educate children. The office offers a variety of programs for children who are six weeks to six years old.

UCC has been established for nine and a half years and provides services to the children of faculty, staff and students.

“It gives families a sense of security, knowing they can stop in,” said Dawn Becker, UCC director.

Another family friendly service that is heavily utilized at CSU is campus housing.

Students have the choice of living in the residence halls or in the two campus apartment complexes if they choose to live on campus.

CSU’s apartment complexes, Aggie Village and University Village, offer approximately 720 apartments to students who are enrolled for six credits or more. The apartments are a mixed community of families and undergraduate students.

Apartment Life coordinators work to promote academia in the apartment communities. Their live-in staff assists in building community awareness and providing residents with information and CSU resources.

Apartment Life also organizes programs to facilitate conflict resolution as well as programs involving the children living in the apartments.

Robina Ali, who lives with her husband and two sons at University Village, said the children’s programs are one of the big appeals of the campus apartments.

“Usually when you live outside (of campus) it is harder to communicate with neighbors,” she said. “We have a lot of friends and the kids have a lot of friends. They make friends at the programs.”

The family feels safe at the campus apartments and will be staying there for a while, she said.

Senior Reporter Cece Wildeman can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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