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Frequently Asked Questions and Contact Information

Please review this information before you contact us. We get many of the same questions, so chances are you'll find what you need online.


Topic Q & A
Who Can Participate Q: Do we need to be MSU alumni or members of the MSU Alumni Association?
A: No. Grandparents University is open to any family that wants to enjoy this three-day educational experience while spending time together on the MSU campus.


Q: Can one adult bring two children?
A: Each child must be accompanied by an adult at all times. One adult can bring two children, however, all three would attend all the same classes and stay together as a group. In some sessions, this group may be sharing equipment and working together as one unit.


Q: Must the adult be the child's grandparent?
While this program is designed for grandparents and grandchildren, we recognize that some situations may arise where a grandparent is unable to attend and a child's parent or relative may accompany them in the program. The child's parent or legal guardian is required to sign permission forms prior to the event.


Q: What are the age requirements?
A: We recommend that children be between eight to twelve years old.
IRS Information Q: Does Grandparents University qualify as "child care" for tax purposes?
A: While we can offer no tax advice, our Grandparents University participants are under 100% supervision of the grandparent at all times. This may suggest that the grandparent is the care provider rather than the university. Please find the Michigan State University EIN 38-6005984 number to use at your discretion and when consulting with your tax professional.


Getting Around Campus,
Parking, and

Q: How do we get around campus to attend the classes?
A: There are several buses that drive a set route around campus, and these buses will be specifically for this program and will stop at predetermined locations. While these buses may not offer door-to-door service, they will reduce the amount of walking.


Q: Can we bring bicycles?
A: Yes, and be sure to bring your bike locks and helmets. The MSU Bikes Service Center has adult-size and some youth-size bikes available for rent on a first-come, first-serve basis. For information about bike rentals, contact the Bikes Service Center at (517) 432-3400 or bikes@msu.edu.


Q: Where do we park?
A: Parking on campus is very difficult and you should plan on parking your car for the entire length of the program. Free parking is available in Lot #91 (one block south of Holmes Hall on Hagadorn Road) and in Lot #89 (at Farm Lane and Mt. Hope Road).

Map to Lot 91 Parking (Hagadorn & Service Rds.) Map to Lot 89 Parking (Farm Lane & Mt. Hope Rd.) Grandparents University Lot 89 Parking Details


and Accessibility
Q: Where can we park if we have a handicap permit?
A: If you have a valid state-issued handicap parking permit, you will still need to obtain a parking pass in order to park on campus. A limited number of spaces are available near your residence hall. Please indicate your special needs on the registration form when signing up.


Q: What special accommodations can be made for me?
A: Akers and Holmes Halls have a limited number of rooms for guests with special accessibility needs. Holmes Hall is barrier-free for wheelchair users. Please be sure to indicate any special requests on your registration. Several minivans will be used to assist with getting participants with accessibility issues to and from their classes. Please be sure to note your mobility issues when asked about any Special Needs during registration.
Classes Q: How can I ensure my child gets into a specific class that they really want?
Some of the classes are limited in size due to availability of equipment or size of the room. Availability is on a first come, first serve basis. No guarantees can be made for any class.


Q: How do I know what classes I will get?
You will sign up for specific classes during registration. Once all the class assignments are made, every participant will receive their personal schedule with details on the specific classes and times.


Q: How do I tell my child they didn't get a specific class that they really wanted?
A: Unfortunately, some classes are limited in size and our faculty and instructor volunteers are often limited in the number of classes they can conduct. The Grandparents University program is all about the inter-generational experience of going to college, living in a residence hall, going to class, eating in the dining hall, exploring campus and building quality memories between the children and grandparents. Many participants find that while the classes are a major part of the program, the entire experience is what they find enjoyable.


Q: Who decides which classes to offer? How come there is not one from my college?
A: The Grandparents University program is a partnership between many units on the campus of MSU, yet not every college or unit elects to participate. For those units which do participate, faculty and staff specialists are contacted and encouraged to help conduct classes. These instructors are volunteering their time and energy, so depending on vacations, research, and teaching commitments, they may not all be able to participate during the days of this event.

Schedule Q: Is there another date and time that this program is being offered?
A: Grandparents University is only offered one time during the summer. The 2017 Grandparents University will be held June 27 - 29, 2017.


Q: What time should we arrive? When can we move into the residence hall?
A: Specific details will be sent to all participants several weeks before the event and will include instructions and times for move-in, what to bring, and all the other details involving this experience. Until then, see the Schedule for an estimated times and activities.

Housing Q: I want to stay in a hotel. Is there a discount if I don't stay in the residence halls?
A: No. The registration rate is all-inclusive and this program is designed to have participants engaged in the full campus experience which includes staying in a residence hall, eating meals in the dining hall, attending various classes, etc. You are welcome to stay in a local hotel, however, you will still need to pay the full registration fee.


Q: Why is housing in Holmes Hall and Akers Hall, and not a different residence hall?
A: Holmes Hall and Akers Hall were selected based on several important requirements, including availability, accessibility and semi-private bathrooms (one bathroom for every two rooms).


Q: Can I bring an air conditioner?
A: No. MSU does not allow air conditioners due to electrical and safety concerns. We suggest you bring a fan and extension cord.


Q: Do the residence hall rooms have refrigerators?
A: No. The residence halls do have vending machines. If you have medicine or other health-related items that need to be refrigerated, please indicate this in the special needs section during registration or notify us in advance of arriving on campus. Special arrangements can easily be made if we receive advance notice.

What to

Q: What do I need to bring?
A: A list of packing items is available here. This list is based on recommendations from past participants and should help you best prepare for the three-day experience. Specific details will be sent to all participants several weeks before the event.
Meals Q: I have food allergies. What special precautions are being taken in the dining hall?
A: Culinary Services within Residential and Hospitality Services operates the dining halls and are experienced at dealing with food allergies. If you have a food allergies or intolerances, or are required to follow a special diet, MSU Culinary Services can assist in providing resources and information to help you make safe choices while still having a great dining experience when you Eat at State. Our Culinary Services team identifies the eight major allergens on our campus menu items: milk, eggs, soy, nuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and wheat, as well as dietary restrictions of alcohol, beef, and pork.
Cancellations Q: What is the cancellation policy?
A: If individuals need to cancel, a request for a full refund must be made in writing no later than 5:00 pm on April 21, 2017. We will be unable to issue any refunds after this date since we will have already incurred a majority of the costs for Grandparents University. As a self-funded program, we cannot use public university dollars, and therefore refunds are not possible after the date noted above. Please consider this carefully when registering.


Q: If something unexpected happens after the cancellation date and I'm unable to attend, why can't I get a refund?
A: This program is self-funded so as not to take away from the limited resources needed to educate MSU students and much of the costs associated with this event are incurred prior to this event.


Q: Can I send a substitute person in my place?
A: Substitutions are allowed only if the substitute completes all the necessary forms (and returns them to us completed and signed) at least 30 days prior to the program AND the substitute matches the demographic of the person being substituted (an adult for an adult or a child for a child).


Costs Q: I am on a limited income. Are scholarships available?
A: Yes. A limited number of scholarships are available - see the application for details.


Q: How did you determine the rates for this event?
A: This program is self-funded so that it does not take away any necessary support from the colleges involved in the program. Rates are set based on the actual costs of conducting this event, including food, lodging, busing, promotion and many other ancillary items.


Q: What is included with the registration fee?
A: Your registration fee includes two nights lodging, seven meals in a campus dining hall, admission to four (4) Grandparents University classes, admission to evening activities, an event t-shirt, special buses around campus, and other event items. You may wish to bring money for vending machines and Sparty's Convenience Stores (the dining halls have limited hours), as well as for souvenirs.

Contact There is not one person who organizes this event. Rather, alumni relations professionals across campus in many different departments coordinate this entire event.


Direct inquiries to: gpu@msu.edu

Phone (voice-mail only): 800-353-5646.