I'm a new grad student with a dependent: how do I plan?

Hi, I got admitted to grad school at UC Berkeley this fall. I am on a scholarship but the scholarship does not cover my son who is 7. I need help with what to do, and how to prepare. How to go about his education and suggestions. Is it a good idea to come in immediately with him or have him come later? I'm a single mom and it's just him and l all this while. Any tips on how to settle fast?

Suggestions and advice are welcomed. Thank you so much.

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You will likely be eligible for reduced price LEARNS or BEARS which will help give you affordable coverage on aftercare for Berkeley public schools (if you get housing in Berkeley - not sure about other public school districts. BEARS is a state program though). You can also probably get your son on Medical - that is what other graduate students I have known have done for their kids. Good luck.

As you would with a move anywhere, figure out housing, his school, and after school care if needed. Probably in that order, since his school will depend (at least city-wise) on where you live. If you plan on living in the student housing in Albany, contact the Albany school district. If you plan on living in Berkeley, the Berkeley school district. You’ve probably checked out this website: https://housing.berkeley.edu/explore-housing-options/housing-by-user-typ..., both University Village and Cal Rentals websites are linked there, for the student housing I mentioned above, and housing in Berkeley, respectively. I would start looking as soon as possible; June 1 is an extremely common start date for student rentals, followed by August 1. His school likely starts in August, so you want housing secured before then. I would imagine there are email lists etc. for folks living in University Village if that’s the route you go. Good luck, and congratulations on your acceptance!

You could try consulting with the Cal Parents & Families team at UC Berkeley as a first step (and check out the resources listed on the rest of the site): https://calparents.berkeley.edu/about-us. I'm not affiliated with this department, nor do I know any details about the services they provide, but I work on the team at UC Berkeley that manages their website. 

One thought might be to live in the family housing in Albany. You'll be in a good school district, and be living with other student families. A family member has been living there, mostly it has been good housing, there is good play space outside the unit, and it is much better than most local rental housing in terms of community.