[Parentsgroup-list] info on leaves of absence etc.

Christine Dianne Wenc wenc at fas.harvard.edu
Wed Jun 29 12:19:09 EDT 2005

Hello again--from looking at the survey results I felt the need to pass
this along.  In GSAS, at least, you are able to take leaves of absence for
pregnancy or to care for small children, AND your department is supposed
to stop the 'thesis clock' for this purpose.  The same applies for being
part-time--I went part-time for 2 semesters when I came back to school
when my son was 6 months old.  The G-10 enrollment cap also does not apply
to students who have taken maternity or parental leave.

See page 51 in the Grad School of Arts & Sciences handbook.  For other
schools, I don't know--we should get this information, though.

And--the deadline for the application for part-time status or leaves of
absence is August 1. If
you do this, definitely make copies of everything--mine got screwed up the
first time.

You can continue your HUHS insurance while you are on leave--you just have
to pay for it.  One glitch--if you leave the Boston area and don't choose
to pay for HUHS while you are away, you will lose your prescription drug
coverage, which is only available through HUHS, NOT Blue Cross.

Though GSAS does have a stated policy on parental leaves, there are some slippery
places in this policy--for instance, I am officially a G5 even though I took the
equivalent of a year off--the registrar/whoever goes by calendar years,
not years spent in residence.  My dept informed me recently that they have
to give precedence to G3s and G4s for TF assignments.  Since TFing is my
primary source of income for next year, I freaked out--but then they
realized I was really a G4 and took it back.  However, other less
friendly departments might give people a hard time.

The other issue is that financial aid is usually given in 5-year
packages--and when I went part-time, I was pretty much forced into taking
a full semester's worth of aid even though I didn't want it--I wanted to
split it up over my 2 part-time semesters, but you can't get half a
stipend--you have to take it all or lose it all.  This meant that I got a
stipend for one part-time semester and nothing for the next.  Obviously I
could have banked half of it, and I sort of (er) did, but it seemed weird to me
that it was all or nothing.  (I don't remember now what happened with
tutition--I believe that WAS split in half, since my department was
paying for it. (?))  I was rescued by a grant available
for single parents, but the financial aid package system needs to
allow for some alteration when people go on leave.  And as we all know,
there should be 'emergency' funding available to everyone, not just single

Thanks, everyone, for your responses!

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