Graduate Division Childcare Grants


PhD graduate students who have young, dependent children in childcare may be eligible for the childcare grant program provided by the Graduate Division. This program will provide funds to assist students with the cost of childcare for the academic year. The application deadline for the next academic year will be announced via email to PhD students and program administrators annually in July.

Grants are based on household resources and may be used to pay for a wide range of possible arrangements, from in-home care to licensed daycare centers. These grants are treated as additional stipend income by the IRS and may be subject to state and federal tax.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for consideration for a childcare grant, you must meet all of the following conditions. Special circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • Be a full-time PhD student registered at UCSF in a graduate academic program.
  • Have dependent child or children who are 12 or younger as of September 1 in the new academic year.
  • Demonstrate financial need for this grant.
  • Be a single parent or, if married, have a spouse who is a full-time student matriculated in a degree or certificate program, or who is gainfully employed full-time and earning income. Spouses who work half-time and attend school half-time will be considered employed full-time. Contingent on funding availability, if the spouse works part-time, a reduced childcare grant may be made available.
  • Meet satisfactory academic progress.

The Graduate Division will make an exception to the employment criteria for a non-student spouse who cannot work due to a disability. Please note this on your application so your situation may be considered during review. You may be asked to document your spouse's employment or student status.

How to apply

U.S. citizens and permanent residents must submit by the deadline:

  1. Childcare Grant application in a single PDF document
  2. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Use school code 001319. Use your 2017 income when filling out the FAFSA application. Do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Please notify Roberto Banuelos in the Graduate Division at [email protected] after you submit the FAFSA.

Note: The Graduate Division may request copies of your and your spouse’s signed 2017 federal income tax returns (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, or Form 8843) or a non-filing statement.

International students must submit by the deadline:

  1. Childcare Grant application in a single PDF document
  2. Confidential Financial Statement (CFS). Complete the form and email directly to Student Financial Services as instructed on the form. Please notify the Graduate Division at [email protected] after you submit the CFS.

Note: International students should NOT complete the FAFSA.

When to apply

Applications for 2019-2020 will open on July 2. The submission deadline is August 5. Notifications will be made in early September.

How much is the grant award?

The number of awards and amount of each award depend on the number of eligible applicants, applicant financial need, the number of eligible children receiving childcare, and their childcare expenses. The total available funding available for each academic year may vary from year to year.

The grant award amount cannot exceed the cost of your childcare.

How eligibility for the grant is determined

You must demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the childcare grant program. Financial need is calculated as follows:

Estimated Cost of Attendance — Expected Family Contribution/Available Resources = Demonstrated Financial Need

Estimated cost of attendance: This estimated amount includes tuition, fees, an allowance for books and supplies, a reasonable allowance for living expenses, and childcare expenses as reported on the Childcare Grant application.

Expected family contribution/available resources: The Graduate Division calculates your expected family contribution based on your Childcare Grant application and the FAFSA or international student Confidential Financial Statement. Tax returns may be requested. The calculation is based on such items as your earnings; checking, savings, cash, and money market accounts; investments and real estate holdings other than your family's primary residence; business equity; untaxed income; income from assistantships; and other financial aid you are receiving through your academic program or department and Student Financial Services.

Receiving your grant funds

Payments are typically made in three equal portions in October, February and May, after your student tuition and fees are paid for that term. Students are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit through the UCSF Controller's Office.


Q. How is financial need determined for the Childcare Grant?

A. The childcare grant is a needs-based award. Eligibility is based on a formula involving a student’s cost of attendance (including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and personal and miscellaneous expenses) less contributions from income and assets and sources of financial aid. All income and assets are documented on the FAFSA or CFS for international students, which are used to calculate financial aid awards.

Q. What does it mean to have a spouse that is gainfully employed?

A. This may include employment in the traditional sense; including working at an employer's worksite or telecommuting for an employer that allows this type of flexible work situation. It may also include self-employment. In some circumstances, the Graduate Division may require documentation from an employer to determine employment status. We may also require copies of tax returns to verify self-employment income. The Graduate Division will make the final determination of an employment situation during application review.

Q. Why is the spouse required to be employed or enrolled in a college degree program in order to qualify for a childcare subsidy?

A. If a spouse is not working or enrolled in school, it is the expectation that this person would be available to care for a child or children. The funds for this program are limited, and they are awarded as a matter of policy to families with both parents enrolled in school, or to those that have one parent in school and one working (or a combination of being employed and in school).

Questions may be directed to [email protected].

See more resources for students with dependents.