Students with Dependents


Pregnant and Parenting Students

We understand that being a student with dependents (pregnant and parenting student) is an important facet of your identity, and we want you to be proudly visible on campus as both a parent and a student.

National research indicates that 26% of all undergraduate students have dependents. On average, student parents earn higher grade point averages, yet their retention rates are significantly lower than other students (52% of student parents drop out within six years of enrolling, compared to 32% of non-parents). Cal Poly’s goal is to ensure that all student parents have the support and resources they need to overcome challenges and succeed in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment. We encourage you to use this resource page to find community and campus resources available to you and your family.

Stay In Touch & Apply For Special Exception!

Please fill out the forms below to stay up-to-date with our program, and get connected to resources and services available for pregnant and parenting students. 

Join the Community!

Apply for Special Exception

Services and Resources

We have various support services designed to help pregnant and parenting students succeed and thrive at Cal Poly.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How can I gain Special Exception status or priority registration?

  • Students with dependents interested in receiving Special Exception Registration must complete and submit the quarterly Special Exception by the respective deadline to be considered for priority registration. If the form submission is received after the deadline, students will not be considered for Special Exception for the quarter that they have applied for. However, students are strongly encouraged to apply the following quarter to be considered for priority registration.

Do I have to submit the Special Exception Form every quarter to be considered for priority registration? 

  • Yes, students must complete and submit the Special Exception form by the deadline every quarter to be considered for priority registration. Special Exception status does not rollover from quarter to quarter.  

Can I receive priority registration in summer? 

  • Students with dependents do not have summer exceptions. Students with dependents special exception status is reserved for the regular academic year – fall through spring quarters. Although students with dependents do not receive summer exceptions, students have reported that registering for summer classes is generally not an issue. 

How can I get a parking permit? 

  • Short-term and time-limited parking permits may be purchased through the Parking Portal. Commuter students must purchase long-term parking permits through the waitlist. Permits are randomized, awarded through a lottery system, and must be purchased within three (3) days of lottery award email notice. For more information on parking permits, please refer here or email Parking & Transportation Services at  

Can I still get a parking permit after the waitlist closes? 

  • Yes, students with dependents may still purchase long-term parking permits after the waitlist closes. Please send your EMPLID and full name to so that we may reach out to Parking and Transportation Services on your behalf. 

Pregnant and Parenting Student Rights

Office of Civil Rights & Compliance

Students who have questions about the rights of pregnant and/or parenting students should refer to the Office of Civil Rights & Compliance or contact Title IX Coordinator Maren Hufton, Director of the Civil Right & Compliance Office or her designee. Maren may be contacted at 805-756-6770 or Title IX can assist students with filing a report if they believe their rights have been violated or they were refused an appropriate accommodation.

Complaint and Action Guidelines

Protected class status is given to groups of people to provide protection from discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, gender identity including transgender, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability or veteran status. This website provides a table of possible complaints and directs complainants to the appropriate recipient of the complaint.

Campus Breastfeeding and Lactation Rooms

Lactation rooms are spaces provided by Cal Poly for the purposes for expression for milk. Each room is secluded, private, and free from intrusion. All rooms are available on a first come, first served basis for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors. Please view the campus map showing lactation spaces across campus.

For the access code to any lactation room on campus, you may contact the Students with Dependents program at You may also contact the Civil Rights & Compliance Office at (805) 756-6770 or at for access codes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Title IX Office of Civil Rights & Compliance Opportunity prohibits discrimination based on sex — including pregnancy, parenting and all related conditions — in education and in programs and activities that receive federal funding. If you are a pregnant or parenting student, you have the right to stay in your program so you can meet your education and career goals. Below are some frequently asked questions about pregnant and parenting student rights.

I am pregnant and would like to take one to two quarters off. Can I keep my status as a student, scholarships, etc.?

You can work with your college’s academic advisor to determine how your time off will impact your academic progress. You can keep your status as a student for up to one academic year. If you want to take off more time, please contact the Office of Registrar (1-222) for more information.

How can I use Title IX to ensure that my pregnancy or family responsibilities do not interfere with my education?

Title IX requires professors and administrators treat pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions in the same manner and under the same policies as any other temporary disability. The university can require a pregnant student to provide a doctor’s note to continue in an education program or activity only if the same requirement is imposed on all other students with disabilities. Pregnant students must be provided the same accommodations and support services available to other students with similar medical needs. Your professors or administrators should not tell you that you have to withdrawal from your courses or change your educational plans due to your pregnancy. If you have a concern regarding your status as a pregnant or parenting student at Cal Poly, please contact Maren Hufton, Director of the Civil Right & Compliance Office. Maren may be contacted at 805-756-6770 or

Do my professors have to excuse my absences due to pregnancy, childbirth or abortion?

Absences due to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions must be excused and cannot be treated or penalized like unexcused absences. Your professors must provide you a leave of absence for as long as it is deemed necessary by your medical doctor. At the end of your leave, you must be reinstated to the status you held prior to your leave. After returning from an excused absence, your professors must allow a reasonable amount of time to make up missed assignments and tests. The makeup assignments and tests must be reasonably equivalent to those missed but need not be identical. If a professor provides specific “points” or other advantages to students based on class attendance, you must be given the opportunity to earn back the credit from classes missed due to pregnancy. Under Title IX, pregnant students are entitled to the same benefits offered to students with other medical conditions, illness or injury.

What if my professors claim their absence/makeup policy applies regardless of any medical condition?

While your professor may have a strict attendance policy, the university is bound by federal civil rights law. Title IX requires the university ensure that all faculty and staff comply with the law and do not discriminate against pregnant and parenting students. An individual professor’s policy cannot break the law. Please email the Civil Right & Compliance Office at if you have questions about your professor’s attendance policy as it relates to your pregnancy or parental responsibilities.

If my program requires internships, career rotations or other off-campus elements, can I be excluded from participation?

No, your program must allow you to continue participating in all elements of your program. If your department provides “learn by doing” opportunities, you cannot be excluded based on your pregnancy. Your professor cannot require a doctor’s note for continued participation unless your professor requires one for all students who have a medical condition that requires treatment by a doctor. If they do ask for a note, they cannot second-guess your doctor’s decision.

What if classmates or professors have made offensive comments to me about my pregnancy?

Title IX requires the university prevent and address sex-based harassment, including harassment based on pregnancy. If you experience this sort of treatment, you should seek help immediately. The law prohibits anyone from retaliating against you for filing a complaint or raising a concern. The university’s complaint process can be found on the Title Ix website.

The Office of Civil Rights and Compliance works strategically within the university to promote an inclusive campus environment, in line with campus policies, as well as Federal and State mandates.

Location: Fisher Science, Building 33 Room 290
Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (closed holidays)
Main Number: 805-756-6770 -- Fax: 805-756-7150
Please email or call the main number listed above to make an appointment.

Childcare and Local School Districts

Orfalea Family and ASI Children’s Center

The Orfalea Family and ASI Children’s Center mission is to provide quality early care and education services to Cal Poly students, faculty and staff. The ASI Children’s Center provides services to children from 4-months to 6-years old and operates year around Monday – Friday from 7:30am to 6:00pm. Student parents have priority for enrollment. The center currently has an extensive waiting list. Subsidized child care services are available for low-income families through a grant from the California Department of Education. The center also accepts CAPSLO stipends. Nutritious meals are provided with no additional cost. The ASI Children’s Center is building #133, near the alumni house and Mustang Stadium. Program capacity is 125 children.

Subsidized Care

Please refer to the Orfalea Family and ASI Children’s Center Policy Manual to find out more information about the subsidized care. You can also contact the Orfeala Family and ASI Children’s Center administrators for any additional questions at (805) 756-1267.

Child Care Resource Connection

The Orfeala Family and ASI Children’s Center accepts Child Care Resource Connection (CCRC) stipends. CCRC helps facilitate childcare payments for income-qualifying families through two Subsidized Payment Programs. 

Preschool Learning Lab

The Psychology and Child Development Preschool Learning Lab provides a high-quality preschool environment that supports the developmental needs of the whole child in a warm, nurturing, play-based environment. A focal point of the Preschool Learning Lab curriculum is to offer innovative inquiry-based learning experiences that support children’s natural interest and engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The Preschool Learning Lab is housed at the center of the Cal Poly campus in Building 38 (Math & Sciences), Room 125. The Preschool Learning Lab program is available Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm. The Preschool Learning Lab observes all academic holidays and is closed winter and spring quarter breaks and does not operate during summer. The Preschool Learning Lab will admit children from 3-5 years of age who are fully potty-trained. Children must be 3 years old by September 1. Priority enrollment will be given to current Cal Poly Faculty/Staff, currently enrolled children and/or siblings, and the general public, in that order. Program capacity is 30 children.

Public School Districts and Child Care

Apart from ASI Children Center and the Preschool Learning lab, Cal Poly does not endorse any of the following childcare providers or schools. We offer this information as a courtesy to you. This is also not a comprehensive list. Please be sure to thoroughly research any schools/childcare providers before choosing a childcare facility or school for your child(ren).

  • San Luis Obispo County School Districts provide public education to students in K-12.
  • CAPSLO Child and Family Services (CYFS) provides early learning and childcare programs for children, birth to age 5. Additionally, the division provides childcare subsidy services. The mission of the CYFS Division is to provide children and families who are income-eligible in our service area with a comprehensive program to meet their emotional, social, health, and nutritional needs. The programs include Early Headstart and Headstart, Migrant and Seasonal Headstart, State Preschool, and Childcare Resource Connection.
  • The San Luis Obispo County YMCA has been deeply rooted in the community for more than sixty years. Their organization is service-based and reaches nearly every area of the county. It provides summer camps, teen programs, sports, before/after school programs, preschool, and kids fun nights. At the YMCA, no one is turned away for lack of ability to pay. They provide a Financial Assistance Program for those who request and show a need for fee adjustments.
  • Boys & Girls Club of South San Luis Obispo County (BGCSLO) serves youth ages 5 to 18 in community schools and the Oceano Boys & Girls Club Teen Center. Their priority is to provide a safe place to learn and grow. With life-enhancing programs in five key areas: character and leadership development, health and life skills, education and opportunity, the arts, and sports, fitness and recreation, we inspire children to live up to their potential. They provide after school programs and break camps for summer.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Mid Central Coast serves youth ages 5 to 18 in Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Atascadero, and Paso Robles. Their priority is to provide a safe place to learn and grow by offering life-enhancing programs in five key areas: character and leadership development, health and life skills, education and opportunity, the arts, and sports, fitness and recreation, we inspire children to live up to their potential. They provide after school programs and break camps for summer.


Affordable Housing and Assistance

  • The Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo is committed to building and maintaining affordable housing for citizens in our community. Seek to create safe neighborhoods by partnering with individuals and organizations to provide housing, education and employment opportunities for families of modest means to become self-sufficient and improve their quality of life. They also offer a Deposit Loan Repayment Program on a referral basis.
  • The Paso Robles Housing Authority provides quality, affordable housing, that promotes quality of life through a healthy community. Currently, their affordable communities include Chet Dotter Senior Apartments, Oak Park Phase 1, Oak Park Phase 2, Oak Park Phase 3, and Oak Park Phase 4. Their rents are targeted to qualified families making 30%-60% of San Luis Obispo County area median income.
  • The VFW National Home for Children is a nonprofit agency which serves as a living memorial to America's veterans by helping our nation's veteran and military families. Through its national helpline and on-campus programs, helps families and children through times of crisis. ​​​​​​
  • HomeShare SLO facilitates homeshare matches between housing providers and people looking for housing.
  • Family Care Network. Inc. is a transitional housing services that assists high-needs youth transition from adolescence to responsible adulthood.
  • The Society of St.Vincent de Paul provides food vouchers, transportation, medication, eyeglasses, partial rent, utility assistance.

Temporary Shelters

  • The 40 Prado Homeless Service Center is a 365 days per year facility that helps individuals and families improve their health and stability and move them towards self-sufficiency. Services available to all participants include: overnight shelter (up to 100 beds), meals, showers, laundry, mail/phone services, access to case management, primary medical care, animal kennels
  • The El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) is a homeless shelter that serves North County. They serve meals and provide beds for the needy.
  • The 5 Cities Homeless Coalition programs include Information & Referral, Immediate Needs Assistance, Housing Funds Assistance, Klaproad Rapid-Rehousing, Medical Respite Care and Emergency Warming Center dependent on weather conditions.

Domestic Violence Shelters

  • Lumina Alliance formerly known as Stand Strong is committed to providing comprehensive services for survivors of intimate partner violence and child abuse in our community. Programs include 24-Hr Crisis Line, Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing, Counseling Services, Legal Services, Latinx Services, and Children's Services
  • Lumina Alliance formerly known as Stand Strong provides emergency shelter, crisis intervention, counseling, and case management for survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence, their family, and loved ones.
  • Inter-Tribal Council of California is a nonprofit organization which promotes self-sufficiency and local self-determination for Native American in California.

Rent Assistance

  • The Salvation Army in San Luis Obispo provides utility assistance, clothing, rental assistance, emergency food assistance when available and vary based on site (Clients must call for details for their location). Rent assistance only available at San Luis Obispo site by appointment. Does not pay deposits of any kind.

Health Care

Health Insurance

  • Covered California: A federally mandated program called the Affordable Care Act is identified as Covered California locally. Covered California's mission is to improve health care in the state by increasing the number of Californians with health insurance, improving the quality of health care, reducing health care costs, and ensuring that California's diverse population has fair and equal access to quality health care
  • The County of San Luis Obispo's Department of Social Services provides public services that promote self-sufficiency, health and well-being. These programs help ensure the protection of children, the elderly and dependent adults, and provide a safety net for individuals and families who need assistance with basic necessities, such as food, housing and health care.
  • The Medically Indigent Services Program (MISP) assists qualified low-income residents who have an immediate medical need but have no source of health coverage available and no other way to pay for necessary medical care.
  • The County of San Luis Obispo's Health Agency improves and maintains community health by identifying health issues, preventing disease and injury, influencing policy development, and promoting healthy behaviors through leadership, collaborative partnerships, education, direct services, surveillance, and case management and payment for eligible indigent medical care.

Health Clinics

  • SLO Noor Foundation: Free Basic Primary Care. Patient education. Disease prevention, screening physical exams, laboratory testing, eye clinic, referrals, physical therapy, diabetes prevention.
  • The Community Health Centers of the Central Coast (CHC) is the largest non-profit network of health care providers on the Central Coast with 29 licensed sites. CHC provides access to quality, affordable medical, dental and behavioral services. Their sliding fee scale offers significant discounts to individuals and families who qualify on the basis of limited income and / or family size.

Cal Poly Campus Health and Wellbeing provides care year-round by appointment and on a walk-in basis to students. In addition to ambulatory care, they offer lab testing, on-site X-Rays, prescription medications, counseling services, and holistic wellbeing services. Three board-certified physicians, six nurse practitioners and four physician assistants provide compassionate care.

  • Health Services provides a variety of vaccines and health services at reduced costs to the enrolled student. They offer help to students who are pregnant, or suspect that they may be pregnant, including free and confidential consultations to help them weigh their options and find the right off-campus resource. The Health Center is a good starting point for students with pregnancy or sexual health concerns. Services include pregnancy tests, Pap tests, sexually transmitted infection tests, birth control prescriptions, and pelvic exams. Tests will be performed by a female doctor upon request. The Health Center does not make referrals, but it provides students the information about different clinics and the services they provide. It also offers resources for abortion or post-abortion counseling, prenatal services, sexual health and adoption. You can call you schedule an appointment.
  • After Hours Nurse Advice: call (805) 756-1211 to reach our after-hours nurse advice line. You may discuss any health-related concerns privately and confidentially.
  • Nursing Hours: nursing services such as wart treatment, wound care, shots, and TB tests are offered on a walk-in basis only.
  • The Cal Poly Pharmacy provides medications at minimal cost to the enrolled student. They do not accept insurance plans at this time, but you can transfer your prescription.
  • Cal Poly Counseling Services promotes the development of holistic student emotional health. The mental health professionals serve the campus community through advocacy and the provision of confidential, accessible services.
  • Peer, Understanding, Listening, Speaking, Educating (PULSE) consists of three teams in the Health Center: HEAT, TLC and EROS. These teams are made up of students in all majors ready to provide information and support to students about a variety of health concerns. EROS covers a plethora of topics concerning sexuality, including information on abstinence and contraception methods. It also provides free condoms, lubricants and latex dental dams to students.
  • Safer is located within Campus Health and Wellbeing and offers holistic services to the entire campus community regarding gender- & power-based violence. Our Advocacy Staff supports survivors of violence (and their loved ones) directly, by offering confidential crisis support and advocacy, which includes crisis intervention, accompaniments, referrals, and more. Our Prevention Education Staff engages the campus community in setting pro-social behavior norms and encouraging community accountability so this violence never occurs in the first place. 


  • Community Health Centers of the Central Coast (CHC) is the largest non-profit network of health care providers on the Central Coast with 29 licensed sites. CHC provides access to quality, affordable medical, dental and behavioral services. They have dental offices in Nipomo, Templeton, and Oceano. They also have a mobile dental van that services communities from San Miguel to Nipomo. Their sliding fee scale offers significant discounts to individuals and families who qualify on the basis of limited income and / or family size.
  • The SLO Noor Foundation aims to improve general health by providing patients with a thorough dental exam and provide treatment to relieve pain and infection. The services are at no charge to the patient if they do not obtain dental insurance.
  • Tolosa Children’s Dental Center provides pediatric dentistry, focused on dental care for Medi-Cal insured children & uninsured children whose families do not qualify for subsidized insurance, but cannot afford private insurance costs. Services include preventive, restorative (including dental surgery) & emergency treatment, and oral health education focused on prevention. Additionally, Tolosa is providing dentistry services at Shandon Elementary to treat underserved children with limited access to pediatric dentistry.

Student Services

Office of Diversity and Inclusion (OUDI) leads efforts to build diversity and promote inclusion through a collective impact framework that connects with partners and aligns university-wide efforts in order to achieve inclusive excellence; attract and respond to a diverse campus community; and nurture a respectful and inclusive campus climate.

  • BEACoN Mentors is a program funded by the Office of University Diversity and Inclusivity to mentor diverse students across the Cal Poly Campus. The program matches an underrepresented student with a faculty, staff or administration mentor on campus. The BEACoN Mentorship offers a variety of resources for both mentees and mentors, including networking, research opportunities, scholarships, and other professional development.
  • OUDI offers workshops and trainings to faculty, staff, administrators and student leaders to empower a more inclusive campus climate. In the past several years, thousands of individuals in our campus community have benefited from these educational experiences. These ongoing trainings cover the spectrum of topics below. Workshops can also be customized to meet specific needs or concerns. Please reach out to the organization presenting each training.
  • Bias Incident Report Team: If you or anyone you know has experienced a bias incident or act of discrimination, please reach out to any of the resources provided by the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT). BIRT is a university-wide team that provides support and information in an informal and non-investigative manner.

Student Academic Services

Through Student Academic Services (SAS), students can utilize a network of academic services, advisors, and activities designed to assist students in excelling at Cal Poly and in enhancing their learning skills. SAS provides academic and personal advising, as well as a wide range of academic enhancement services which will support your personal growth and academic achievement at Cal Poly.

  • Educational Opportunity Program: The primary goals of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) are to improve the access, retention and graduation of students who have been historically, economically and/or educationally disadvantaged. The core of our program services are built upon a student-centered model which encourages college success, community building, and empowerment. They provide individualized counseling, tutoring, workshops, transitional programs, financial aid, study workspace, lending library, and the Learning Living Center.
  • The Academic Skills Center (ASC) offers a variety of enrichment programs and campus support services. Programs include Supplemental Workshops in Math and Science and Study Session groups for challenging entry-level STEM courses. Campus support includes online study strategies and a list of campus tutoring services.
  • The Black Academic Excellence Center (BAEC) program is committed to supporting the advancement and excellence of Black students and Black student groups within the Cal Poly community. By fostering an inclusive environment, providing academic support, and promoting a positive self-image, their goal is to empower Black students to take full advantage of all the opportunities presented while actively engaging with Black history and culture.
  • The Latinx Center (opening in fall 2022) is intended to create an environment that fosters belonging, empowers Latinx students to thrive, and provides holistic support. The center will offer Latinx students the opportunity to gather and build community while exploring their cultures, histories and traditions. Open to all students, the center will feature an accessible computer lab, lounge space and culturally relevant workshops and collaborative programming.
  • The Native American & Indigenous Cultural Center seeks to embrace and encourage students to (re)connect to the traditions and cultures of Native American and Indigenous peoples. The center aims to ensure student success by holistically supporting them and providing services rooted in de-colonial practices, community engagement, restorative healing, and native knowledge. NAICC’s vision is to create and sustain an environment in which Native and Indigenous students thrive and contribute to the university efforts  to recruit, retain, and graduate Native and Indigenous students. 
  • The Cal Poly Scholars Program seeks to recruit and retain high-achieving, low-income students from California high schools and community colleges while providing support through financial, academic, and community resources.
  • Cal Poly's Dream Center is committed to offering a safe, inclusive space for all undocumented students, those from mixed-status families, and their allies. The Dream Center maintains the confidentiality of individual students while fostering a welcoming community environment that aligns with the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. The Dream Center offers a range of programs and services to educate the campus community and support undocumented students’ access, persistence, graduation, and post-graduate pursuits.

Disability Resource Center

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) cultivates an accessible and inclusive community where students with permanent and temporary disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of campus life. They facilitate student learning and access through partnerships with students, faculty, and staff. They provide testing, services and accommodations to students with disabilities.

Career Services

Career Services offers career resources and services to current students, alumni, and faculty/staff, including MustangJobs, career counseling, resume and cover letter assistance, and a clothing closet.

  • Clothing Closet: To support our students, Career Services maintains a Clothing Closet to provide students with free, high-quality work clothes to create a memorable first impression at career fairs and interviews.

Office of the Dean of Students

The Office of the Dean of Students (DOS) promotes student development and leadership; enhances student success and retention; and facilitates a respectful, diverse, and inclusive campus. They provide educational programs, direct support, advocacy, and resources for successful navigation of campus and community life. The office provides an administrative home to AmeriCorps, the Cross Cultural Centers, Club Sports, Center for Service in Action, Commencement, the Center for Leadership, Parent and Family Programs, the Veterans Success Center, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Men and Masculinity, Fraternity and Sorority Life, and more.

  • Dean on Call: The DOS is available to provide assistance to student’s parents, staff, and community members with issues ranging from health and wellness, threatening or disruptive behavior, hazing, or other safety issues.
  • Student Support, Success, and Retention ensures student success by facilitating referrals, support and advocacy through nonclinical interventions. They also provide follow-up services in collaboration with other university departments or individuals, community agencies, parents or guardians, and stakeholders in the students’ success. They assist students who struggle in areas such as psychological health, physical health, relationship issues, family crisis, life trauma, social adjustment, and interpersonal conflict.


Parent and Family Programs

Parent and Family Programs provides support, resources and exciting programming for the proud parents, family members and supporters of Cal Poly students. They strive to facilitate communication between and among parents and the university, support student success by increasing parent awareness of university resources and help parents develop strategies to meet the unique challenges of parenting students through the college years.

Recreational Center

Enrolled students have access to several amenities through the Cal Poly Recreation Center, including an exercise area, gymnasium, leisure pool, sand volleyball courts, racquetball courts, Poly Escapes and climbing wall, and sports complex.

  • Poly Escapes: You can participate in student-led trips or rent equipment for affordable rates through Poly Escapes.
  • Family Fun Days: From June 23–Sept. 4, 2022, members are invited to host their friends and family at the Recreation Center on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays — 44 total days! Members can bring up to two adults and six children to enjoy the facility’s Leisure Pool, sand volleyball courts, racquetball, basketball, and more! Feel free to bring a small snack and some water to enjoy in our grassy area that overlooks the pool and sand volleyball courts.

Academic Services

Academic Advising

There are many options for academic counseling at Cal Poly depending on your needs. It is recommended that you reach out to your college for guidance on Academic Advising.

Graduate Education Office

The Graduate Education Office serves students at the graduate level with graduate forms, steps to graduation, resources, thesis writing, and financial resources.

Robert E. Kennedy Library

The Robert E. Kennedy Library is available for students and offers a variety of resources and services, including access to databases, research tutorials, writing and rhetoric center, book reserves from other campuses, reserved study spaces, and one-on-one appointments with librarians, and reserved study spaces.

Writing and Learning Center

Tutors help students improve their writing skills at any stage in the process, whether getting started or polishing a final draft. They also help students prepare for the Graduation Writing Requirement and Writing Proficiency Exam.

Social Services and CalWORKs Services

Cal Works Cash Aid

CalWORKs is California's cash aid (welfare) program for needy families. The program helps eligible families become self-supporting through temporary cash aid and employment services. The program is time-limited and for families that are under certain income and property guidelines and have a qualifying child. The adult receiving cash aid through the CalWORKs program is required to participate in the Welfare-to-Work Program. Welfare-to-Work provides supportive services, while the adult participates in employment, training or other approved activities, which may include, but are not limited to, counseling, job preparedness, job development, training, childcare, transportation, work clothes and tools. Services are family focused and specific to the needs of each family.

  • Textbook Vouchers: CalWORKs students should take their textbook voucher to the University Book Store (Building 65) to purchase their books. Please bring a printout of the required materials lists from your Cal Poly portal for reference. The student can check out at the customer service desk. The customer service representative will create a personal account for the CalWORKs student to use the voucher as a first-time customer, so allow at least 30 minutes for this process.
  • The monthly Attendance Report should be signed by a staff member at the Dean of Students. The CalWORKs student can walk in to request to see a counselor to sign your attendance report. Please note that your form should be filled out prior to having the report signed.
  • If you are a CalWORKs students with a dependent and need assistance obtaining a campus parking permit, please call 805-756-6654 or email


CalFresh is a federal nutrition program for low-income individuals and families that can help households buy healthy foods and seeds. Formerly known as the food stamp program and federally known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), this program provides a monthly nutrition benefit which is used via an Electronic Benefit Transaction (EBT) card similar to a debit card. The benefit is used to purchase groceries at markets, small retailers, some restaurants, and even farmer’s markets.

  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a nutrition education program that helps families eat well and stay healthy. WIC provides healthy foods, nutrition counseling and education, breastfeeding support, referrals to health care and other helpful services. ​​​​​​
  • Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, is a public insurance health care program which provides health care services for low-income individuals and families who meet defined eligibility requirements

Community Resources & Events

SLO County Public Libraries

The Library serves North County, South County, and the Coastal Region. They offer a circulation of books, magazines, newspapers, government publications, and other special publications, and downloadable media of all types. They also provide free, family-friendly activities.

Family Support Agencies and Groups

  • Services Affirming Family Empowerment (SAFE) South County offers families easy access to social services programs. Direct Services and Case Management, individual and family counseling, parent education and basic needs assistance.
  • The Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo is committed to eliminating the causes of poverty by empowering low-income individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency through a wide array of community-based collaborations and programs.
  • La Leche League of San Luis Obispo provides information and referral and encouragement on breastfeeding and parenting skills through telephone consultations and meetings. Lending library.
  • The Center for Family Strengthening is dedicated to strengthening families through education and advocacy. The center partners with family support organizations to provide resources to families in need, protect children from abuse and neglect, and ensure that strong families are a community priority. ​​​​​​
  • Atascadero Bible Church: Single and Parenting video sessions offer effective parenting strategies, encouragement, insights on how to find rest and hope as a single parent.
  • The Link Family Resource Center serves at-risk children, youth and families throughout San Luis Obispo County. Family Resource Centers support families and youth through direct services, referrals, information distribution, work experience opportunities, individual support, and parent education. Family Advocates work directly with families and youth, linking them with services and providing guidance and support.
  • The Toy and Resource Lending Library loans toys, resources, equipment and materials to enrich children’s experiences and afford them unique and varied opportunities for learning. Toy Library patrons can borrow 6 items for 1 month at a time. You must call to make an appointment prior to visiting.
  • Parents Helping Parents (PHP) is a family resource center providing support, resources, referrals, and information to families of children with special needs. PHP serves families in the San Luis Obispo (SLO) area of the Central Coast of California.
  • Tri-Counties Regional Center provides lifelong services and supports for people with developmental disabilities residing in San Luis Obispo. They provide person and family-centered supports for individuals with developmental disabilities to maximize opportunities and choices for living, working, learning, and recreating in the community.
  • 2-1-1 SLO County is a non-emergency telephone number that connects individuals and families with information and community resources. Confidential bilingual service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by phone or through the online 2-1-1 Directory.

Transportation, Commuting and Parking

Cal Poly Transportation and Parking Services

Learn about the various transportation options available to Cal Poly students: public transportation, bicycling, Vanpool, carpooling, walking, and buying parking permits.

  • Parking Permits: Commuter Students can purchase a Long-Term Commuter parking permit through the waitlist. Permit awards will be randomized and awarded through a lottery system. When a lottery number is selected, the student will automatically be awarded a permit, notified via a Cal Poly email and will have three (3) business days to complete the purchase online. No exceptions to this three-day timeframe will be granted. Students are limited to joining one waitlist using their parking account. Waitlists may reopen for subsequent lottery awards if permits remain available.If students with dependents are not awarded a permit through the lottery process, email, so that the Student with Depenpdents program can follow-up with Transportation & Parking Services on your behalf.
  • Mustang Shuttle: Mustang Shuttle runs seven days a week and starts a loop through campus every 10 minutes, making seven stops. During winter quarter the shuttle starts at 5:30 p.m. with the last pickup leaving Kennedy Library at 12:10 a.m. before making all seven stops by 12:30 a.m. Mustang Shuttle is free for the Cal Poly community and ADA-friendly. Riders must show their Cal Poly ID when boarding. Mustang Shuttle does not run during academic holidays or breaks. Mustang Shuttle is a program in partnership with SLO Safe Ride
  • Mustang Patrol: University Police also offers an on-campus safety walking escort on Friday and Saturday evenings from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Anyone requesting a walking escort on campus can call Cal Poly Police Dispatch at 805-756-2281 to request a safety walk to your on-campus destination or to your vehicle parked on campus.
  • Public Transportation: Students, faculty and staff can take SLO Transit for free with their Cal Poly ID Card. Please keep in mind that this free service is for buses transporting with San Luis Obispo only, it does not include North County, South County, or Coastal Regions.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

The Financial Aid Office helps you plan your finances and organize your resources to cover your college costs. Financial assistance is a resource designed to supplement the cost of education and is not intended to be used as a student's sole means of income. The types and amounts of aid Cal Poly awards or recommends are subject to availability of funds, enrollment status, and financial need. Cal Poly students have a variety of financial aid programs available for assistance. Programs vary in eligibility criteria, award amounts, and repayment options.

Scholarships are awarded each year. Criteria include financial need, scholastic achievement, participation in school activities, community service, honors and organizational affiliations, and educational objectives. Some scholarships have additional requirements which relate to a concentration or field of study, geographic origin, class level, and project or design portfolios. Generally, a student must have at least a 3.0 grade point average. Both undergraduate and graduate students are considered for scholarships.

Outside Scholarships for Students with Dependents

  • Adult Students in Scholastic Transition Scholarship (ASIST): 13 scholarships ranging from $2k to $10k. Applicants may be single parents, individuals just entering the workforce or displaced workers
  • The Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship honors Anita Borg, who revolutionized the way people think about technology and dismantled barriers that kept women and minorities from exploring computing and technology fields of study.
  • The Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting scholarships are awarded to women who are pursing accounting degrees at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
  • Kazimour Scholarship: Two scholarships available at $500 annually, awarded by Association of Nontraditional Students in Higher Education (ANTSHE)
  • The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation: For low-income women with minor children. The Foundation regularly offers five Education Support Awards of up to $5000 each to assist low-income women with children who are pursuing education or training. Awardees will be selected based on 1) financial need; 2) personal circumstance; 3) educational path; 4) vocational or occupational goals; and 5) service or activist or civic goals.
  • Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarship: In honor of Jeannette Rankin, the first woman to be elected into the United State Congress, the Jeannette Rankin provides scholarships and support for low-income women ages thirty-five and older across the US to build better lives through post-secondary education.
  • The Live Your Dream Scholarship is Soroptimist's major women's education project. Women at the undergraduate level who qualify as ‘Head of Household,’ are eligible to receive scholarships up to 16k.

Disclaimer: Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. Students with Dependents does not endorse any of the following community resources or services, we simply offer this information as a courtesy to you. Please thoroughly research any resources/providers before choosing one for yourself or your family.


Instagram: @calpolyswd

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