Oregon State University-Cascades has provided student parents financial help toward childcare for the past five years and this year will be distributing $21,700 to qualifying applicants. The student-implemented program has helped many parents out from under the crushing weight of paying for child care in that time, according to Andrew Davis, coordinator of Student Life at OSU-Cascades.
“It’s not uncommon for childcare to be $1,000 a month,” Davis said. “It can be extremely expensive.”
To help tip the scales in favor of students, OSU-Cascades takes student fee money and puts it into the Associated Students of Cascades Campus’ system. Kent Vernon, ASCC programs coordinator, then distributes the money based on how many children and other factors.
“Depending on what you qualify for,” Vernon said, “we can give you anywhere from $50 to $300 a term. We can’t pay for all of it, but we can really help.”
Wendy Castillo, president of ASCC and a recipient of the subsidy, said that whatever she is given is significant.
Castillo was told about the childcare subsidy by a classmate.
“I tried at one point paying for all my childcare,” Castillo said. “I couldn’t afford it.”
Castillo has a three-year-old daughter at home and is completing her bachelor’s degree in business administration.
“A lot of the students here are non-traditional students, trying to fulfill the financial obligations of childcare while trying to get a bachelor’s degree,” Castillo said.
The subsidy has not only allowed Castillo to keep coming to OSU-Cascades: It’s improved her college experience immensely.
“I feel that I can just take a deep breath,” Castillo said. “I’m very thankful [for the subsidy]. It helps me focus and relieves my stress. …It balances me.”
The subsidy has never reached its limit before, and Vernon wants to get the word out about student aid.
“We always have money left over,” Vernon said.
Students wanting to receive aid can get applications from the ASCC office, Cascades Hall 105C.