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Michigan State University

Frequently Asked Questions

Participation and Eligibility

  • Can one adult bring two children?

    Each child must be accompanied by an adult at all times. One adult can bring two children provided that all three attend all the same classes and stay together as a group. In some sessions, this means sharing equipment and working together as one unit.

  • Must the adult be the child’s grandparent?

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

  • What are the age requirements?

    We recommend that children be between eight and 13 years old.

  • Do we need to be an MSU alumni to attend?

    No. Grandparents University is open to any family on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Which forms do we need to fill out after we register?

    After you have registered, you will be required to provide the following:
    - Adults: Adult Participant Consent and Expectation Form
    - Children: Child Participant Consent and Expectation Form and the Medical Treatment Authorization Form

  • All forms will be available online and will need to be submitted electronically before the due date to guarantee your participation.

Getting Around Campus, Parking, and Bikes

  • How do we get around campus to attend the classes?

    There are several buses specifically for the program that drive a set route around campus and stop at predetermined locations. While these buses may not offer door-to-door service, they reduce the amount of walking. A campus map with bus routes is provided in your GPU Program Guide each year. 

  • Can we bring bicycles?

    Yes, and be sure to bring your bike locks and helmets. The MSU Bikes Service Center has adult and some youth bikes available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis. For information about bike rentals, contact the Bikes Service Center via email or by calling (517) 432-3400.

  • Where do we park?

    Complimentary parking is available in Lot 91 (one block south of Holmes Hall on Hagadorn Road) and Lot 89 (corner of Farm Lane and Mt. Hope). Please note that parking on campus can be challenging and you should plan on parking your car for the entire length of the program. 

Event Rules and Code of Conduct

What are the rules for Grandparents University?

The physical and emotional safety and well-being of Grandparents University participants are high priorities for Michigan State University. Please view the Grandparents University Program Handbook for a complete listing of event rules, code of conduct, emergency procedures and more.

Are there safety requirements for programs involving minors?

Yes. The Grandparents University conduct and safety policies and procedures meet or exceed the MSU requirements regarding all programs involving minors.

Accommodation and Accessibility

  • Where can we park if we have a handicap permit?

    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 the residence halls. Please indicate your requested accommodation when registering for the program.

  • What special accommodation can be made for me?

    Akers Hall has a limited number of rooms for participants with accommodation requests and is barrier free for wheelchair users. Several minivans will be used to assist those who request accommodation in getting to and from their classes. Please indicate your requested accommodation when registering for the program.


  • How can I ensure my child gets into a specific class that they really want?

    Registering early is key so please be aware of registration dates and times. Some of the classes are limited in size due to availability of equipment or venue size. Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. No guarantees can be made for any class.

  • How will I learn what classes I received?

    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.

  • How do I tell my child/grandchild they didn’t get a specific class that they really wanted?

    If you find a class is full before you have the chance to register, you can use this opportunity to build excitement about learning something new and unexpected with your grandchild, or even revisiting an old favorite. Unfortunately, some classes are limited in size and our faculty and instructor volunteers are often limited in the number of classes they can teach. The Grandparents University program is all about the inter-generational experience of going to college such as living in a residence hall, going to class, eating in the dining hall, exploring campus and building quality family memories. Many participants find that while the classes are a factor in choosing to participate in the program, the entire experience is highly enjoyable.

  • Who decides which classes to offer? Why isn't a class from my college offered?

    The Grandparents University program makes every effort to contact and encourage participation with faculty from each college at the university. While we greatly value our partnerships with many colleges and units, participation is voluntary, and is often balanced between other commitments such as research, teaching and other summer plans. 


  • Is there another date and time that this program is being offered?

    Grandparents University is only offered one time during the summer, typically the Tuesday - Thursday preceding the Fourth of July.

  • What time should we arrive? When can we move into the residence hall?

    Specific details will be sent to all participants several weeks before the program. You will receive instructions and times for move-in, a list of what to bring and other important information. Until then, see the schedule for estimated times and activities.

Housing and Meals

  • I want to stay in a hotel. Is there a discount if I don’t stay in the residence halls?

    No. The registration rate is all-inclusive. The program is designed to have participants engaged in the full-campus experience which includes staying in a residence hall, eating meals in the dining room and attending various classes. You are welcome to stay in a local hotel, however, you will still need to pay the full registration fee.

  • Why is housing in Akers and Holmes Halls and not different residence halls?

    The halls were selected based on several important requirements, including availability, accessibility and semi-private bathrooms (two rooms sharing one bathroom).

  • Can I bring an air conditioner?

    No. MSU does not allow air conditioners due to electrical and safety concerns. However, guests are welcome to bring a fan and extension cord. Previous participants have helped compile a list of suggested packing items to best help you prepare for your campus visit.

  • Do the residence hall rooms have refrigerators?

    No. However, 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 prior to arriving on campus. Special arrangements can easily be made if we receive advance notice.

  • I have food allergies or other dietary requests. What special precautions are taken in the dining hall?

    MSU Culinary Services operates the dining halls and is experienced with accommodating food allergies or other dietary requests. If you have food allergies or intolerances, or are required to follow a special diet, the dining staff can provide resources and information to help you make safe choices while still having a great dining experience. Our Culinary Services team identifies the eight major allergens on our menu items: milk, eggs, soy, nuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and wheat. They also indicate items including alcohol, beef and pork.


  • What is the cancellation policy?

    If individuals need to cancel, a request for a full refund must be made in writing and will result in a $50 administrative fee. We are unable to issue any refunds after this date since we have already incurred the majority of the expenses for Grandparents University. As a self-funded program, no public funds are used, therefore, refunds after the cancellation date are not possible. Please consider this carefully when registering.

  • If something unexpected happens after the cancellation date and I’m unable to attend, why can’t I get a refund?

    Many of the costs associated with the program are incurred prior to the program.

  • Can I send a substitute person in my place?

    Substitutions are allowed only if the substitute completes all the necessary forms and returns them to us signed at least 30 days prior to the program start date. Substitutes must be in the same age group (adult or child) of the person they are replacing.


  • I am on a limited income. Are scholarships available?

    Yes. A limited number of scholarships are available. Please see the scholarship application for details.

  • How did you determine the rates for this event?

    The program is self-funded so that it does not take away any necessary support from the colleges and units involved in the program. Rates are set based on the actual costs incurred, including food, lodging, busing, promotion and many other ancillary expenses.

  • What is included with the registration fee?

    The registration fee includes two nights lodging, seven meals in a campus dining hall, four Grandparents University classes, admission to evening activities, an event t-shirt, special buses around campus and other program items. You may wish to bring money for vending machines, Sparty’s Convenience Store (the dining hall has limited hours) and souvenirs.

For more information: Should you have additional questions, please contact the MSU Alumni Office via email, or leave us a message at (517) 884-8979.