TGS Day Out 2017

Child and Family Resources

Graduate students who are parents may take advantage of many resources offered by Northwestern, listed below. The new Work/Life and Family Resources for Graduate Students brochure also outlines the support that the Office of Work/Life and Family Resources offers graduate students and their families. 

Family Resource Liaison

Lesley Lundeen, the TGS Family Resource Liaison, is available to provide assistance, advice, and connections to help you balance navigating academia and family responsibilities. To schedule a personal consultation, call 847-467-1460 or email Lesley Lundeen.

Northwestern Graduate Students with Children group on Canvas

This group will connect you with other graduate students from all across the university who have or who are about to have children and serve as a forum to share resources and support. The group will also keep you up to date on relevant deadlines, events and new resources from the Work/Life and Family Resources office.

To join or if you have questions, please email Lesley Lundeen.

TGS Child and Family Resources Student Advisory Board

The TGS Child and Family Resources Student Advisory Board is comprised of graduate students associated with TGS who are parents or planning to become parents whether through childbirth or adoption.

The Board has three roles:

  • The first is to provide ideas and feedback on policies, initiatives, resources and events for TGS students with children. In conjunction with the Family Resource Liaison, members will work collaboratively to understand and address any issues that affect TGS students with children more broadly, including polling fellow students and reporting back to the board.
  • The second is to help create and sponsor social and academic events to improve the quality of life for graduate students with children and their families.
  • The third is to create a group of students that other students can reach out to with questions about being a student parent at Northwestern University in TGS.

The Board meets in person and via tele- or video-conference quarterly throughout the academic year. The Board will also interact regularly via email.

Interested students should complete this brief application by Friday, October 19.

Family Leave Information

  • Parental Accommodation Policy – TGS provides 12 weeks of parental accommodation for students of all gender identities and gender expressions who become new parents (whether by childbirth or adoption). Funding may continue (for funded students) and TGS milestone deadlines will be extended (for all parents). This policy is separate from any student absences that are medically necessary due to pregnancy or childbirth. 
  • Family Medical Leave of Absence – For students who must temporarily interrupt progress toward degree to extend absence post-childbirth, care for a newborn, adopt a child, or care for a family member. This may be taken in addition to the parental accommodation. 

Accommodations for Pregnant and Parenting Students

Northwestern University is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for pregnant and parenting students. Students may request reasonable accommodations as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. Reasonable accommodations vary based on the student’s circumstances, but may include: academic accommodations and flexibility (such as breaks during class, excused absences, rescheduling of tests, extensions of deadlines, and alternatives to make up missed work); leaves of absences or changes in work schedules; changes to housing; or other types of accommodations.

Students who wish to discuss or request accommodations based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, should contact the Title IX Coordinator, at or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students, at

Children & Family

The University offers the following resources for parents seeking information on childcare:

Financial assistance for childcare:

  • TGS Graduate Student Childcare Grant – portable childcare grants for eligible graduate students for day care or an in-home provider
  • Fee Assistance – discounted tuition on a sliding scale at 4 area childcare centers. Cannot be used with the TGS Childcare grant.
  • TGS Dependent Care Grants -- taxable funds to assist PhD and MFA students with dependents so that they may participate in professional development meetings and opportunities including research-related travel.

On-Campus Lactation Rooms


There are many housing options available to students both on and off-campus. TGS is also working with Graduate Housing to offer priority applications for students who are parents at the Garrett Place Apartments

The Office of Work/Life and Family Resources is happy to help you find schools, pet care, community information and other area family resources. Call the Family Resource Liaison at 847-467-1460 or email Lesley Lundeen.

Health Insurance

The University offers students the option of enrolling dependents in the student health insurance plan. Learn more on the Student Health Insurance website. Please note that you may now pay for dependent coverage up front or on a quarterly basis. For additional information, please go to Aetna's Dependent Enrollment page, enter your Student ID and date of birth, and then click on "View Plan Details" (and scroll down) to review the quarterly payment schedule. Please select an option via the drop down box on the Aetna payment page. 

The All Kids program provides comprehensive, affordable health insurance to Illinois children whose families cannot afford private health insurance. All Kids also offers two health insurance programs for pregnant women. Parents who meet certain income requirements may have access to coverage through Illinois FamilyCare Health Insurance