Graduate Student Parental Leave Funding

Michigan Tech understands the importance of accommodating the academic and financial needs of a graduate student who becomes a caregiver of a new child or children that join(s) the student’s family through childbirth, adoption, or foster care.  Supporting graduate students who take on parental responsibilities during their studies fosters an inclusive environment that supports personal and professional growth.

Policy Statement

Graduate students who are funded with a graduate student assistantship will continue to be paid the minimum stipend and retain tuition support while on an approved Parental Leave.

Policy Requirements

In order to be eligible for stipend and tuition support while on leave, a graduate student must apply and be approved for Parental Leave using the current policy and procedure.

Graduate students who are funded with a graduate student assistantship are defined in this policy as students who receive tuition and stipend support from either the University graduate student support allocation or from an external research award administered by sponsored programs and who are eligible for the University health insurance subsidy. These types of assistantships include:

  • Teaching Assistantships including those who assist faculty with teaching (GTA) or are fully responsible for teaching a course (GTI).
  • Research Assistantships including those working to support research on a specific externally funded grant or contract (GRA) or an internally funded project (GA).
  • Administrative Assistantships include those performing administrative work and are externally funded in support of a project or grant (GADE) or internally funded (GADI).

Students receiving tuition and stipend support from an external sponsor (such as an NSF graduate research fellowship or governmental support) should consult with their sponsor to determine eligibility to remain externally funded while on leave. All students considering utilizing this policy should review the following sections on Exclusions. Any questions regarding potential funding may be raised with the Graduate School for additional assistance.

While on leave, the graduate student will be paid the minimum stipend as defined by their educational level at the time their leave begins. This stipend may be different from that defined in their funding contract. While on leave, the pay code of the graduate student will change to reflect their leave status and their stipend and tuition will be paid from the fringe rate pool.


This policy impacts graduate students on parental leave who are funded on an assistantship.  Departments and colleges will need to be aware of this policy and initiate changes to students’ funding based on their leave.

Related Policy Information

Graduate students paid through a University assistantship that is also eligible for the University health insurance subsidy are eligible to be paid at the minimum stipend rate while on an approved Graduate Student Parental Leave.

The following policies should be consulted:


The following individuals or groups are excluded from this policy:

  • Undergraduate students
  • University employees enrolled in graduate courses
  • Graduate students who are funded by other funding mechanisms, such as external fellowships or hourly employment on campus, including hourly teaching assistant positions that are not eligible for the University health insurance subsidy


  • Graduate student assistantship – a teaching, administrative, or research assistantship paid through the University and eligible for the University health insurance subsidy
  • Minimum stipend - the stipend a graduate student on leave will receive. This is defined by the Graduate School based on the educational level of the student.
  • Parental leave - a leave approved by the Graduate School for students who become caregivers of a child or children during their graduate studies.


  • Graduate student - Must apply for parental leave and communicate with the Graduate School about their leave start date.
  • Graduate School – Must notify the graduate program assistant, graduate program director, and advisor of the leave start date, coordinate support questions with the graduate program, and work in consultation with the graduate program to resolve any issues that arise.
  • Graduate Program Assistant - Must update the student support to the appropriate pay code at the start and end of the leave.
  • Graduate Program Director - Must be aware of the student’s leave and facilitate any programmatic concerns or issues related to the leave.
  • Advisor – Must be aware of the student’s leave.


  • Revised: 06/08/2022; changes included paying graduate students from the fringe rate pool, and clarifying who is eligible for the funding
  • Adopted: 2010