Childcare is expensive and can take out a large portion of any family’s income. Paying for childcare is difficult on a graduate student stipend. Data gathered in 2013 by The Women’s Foundation of Colorado in association with Qualistar1 noted that the Average Cost of Infant Care in a Center was $15,193/year. Average Cost of Preschool Care in a Center was $13,210/year.
|50% TA Appointment||$8,440.77|
|Infant Care in Center||$6,330.41|
|Preschool Care in Center||$5,504.17|
In the above situation, Infant Care would take up 75% of a 50% TA Appointment, and Preschool Care would take up 65% of a 50% Appointment. Even in a situation where two adults are contributing to childcare, the cost of care in Boulder leaves very little left over for additional expenses such as housing, transportation, etc.
The University of Colorado Children’s Center
Student Fee Payments
Each semester graduate employees have to pay on average $888 on student fees, although many pay more depending on course load and department. Thanks to the work of UGGS officers, fees are not due until October 5th, so that graduate employees can get their first paycheck before paying. Even though your online account initially lists a September due date, you DO NOT need to pay then. However, if you want to sign up for a payment plan, you must do so by the initial September date. Graduates are working towards getting student fee waivers and delayed payment plans.
Find out more about your student fees and what they are going towards on the Bursar's site.
For most graduate employees, federal (25%) and state (4.63%) income taxes are taken out of their monthly paycheck. Boulder has a property tax and a sales tax, but no income tax2. Most graduate employees receive a tax refund when they file. If you want help filing, the business school offers a tax assistance program for low income workers (below $54,000) from the end of January through tax day in April.
Graduate students on fellowships often do NOT have their taxes withdrawn from their stipends. Reach out to the head of your fellowship to find out more on how to get taxes withdrawn or save up for April!
More information on taxes for graduate employees.
LEED Business School, VITA Program ( last year’s announcement -- look for a new one in January).
Timing of Paycheck
Graduate employees receive monthly paychecks on the last working day of the month, but there are some additional things you should know.
- Graduate employees do not receive their first paycheck until the end of September, even though work begins mid-August.
- While there is the same stipend (for same appointments) for Fall and Spring semesters, Fall is divided over 4 months (Sept. - Dec.) and Spring over 5 months (Jan. - May). That means that monthly paychecks are less in the spring, so you need to plan housing and such accordingly.
More information on pay.
All CU student have a College Pass. As part of their fees, graduates pay $85/semester for “Student Bus and Bikes Programs”3 to cover the college pass. However, the college pass only covers if a students is enrolled in courses, which is normally in the fall and spring semesters, but not over the summer. Teaching summer classes does not extend the buss pass over the summer. UGGS is currently fighting for summer coverage.
Campus parking permits cost $336-396 per year. Spaces are not guaranteed, and lots can be used for other university purposes at any time, without notice. Find out more on Student Commuter Permits.
Community Cycles (place for recycled parts and cheap help for repairs).
Office of Information Technology (for help with your computing needs)
Graduate employees have several health care options:
- The main insurance provided by the CU is the Student Gold Plan. This plan is great if you’re a carefree undergrad, but can be lacking for graduate students who are often older and have different needs. One thing to note is that there is no vision or dental insurance; instead, the university have private contracts for single visits at particular companies.
- You can opt out of the gold plan and go through healthcare.gov. This may offer better coverage than the gold plan, but this does mean you forego the $3,350 health insurance subsidy. More info on Obamacare.
- If you have a partner with health care, there is a good chance that their coverage is better -- try to get on that.
- If you are under 26, you can still be on your parents insurance because of Obamacare.