Funding Options

Graduate Family Grant

The Graduate Family Grant will provide up to $20,000 per year per family to eligible graduate students with dependent children. Funds may be used flexibly as needed to cover expenses such as childcare, healthcare and rent. Awards will be disbursed via the student’s account and are considered taxable income.

Eligibility Requirements


  • You must be a matriculated graduate student (in any graduate program) with registered student status. Postdocs are not eligible for this program. Only one application per family should be submitted if both parents are graduate students. If your spouse is a postdoc at Stanford, your family is eligible to be considered for either the Graduate Family Grant or the Postdoc Family Grant, but not both.


  • Must be your legal dependent(s) as shown on your most recent federal income tax return. For children born after January 1 of the current year, a copy of the birth certificate (or other official documentation) will be required. 
  • New international students or others who may not have filed a federal tax return must submit alternate documentation (e.g., birth certificates or dependent visas).

Household Income

  • You must have an annual household income of $125,000 or less, with typical assets. You must demonstrate your financial need by submitting appropriate income documentation (e.g., federal income tax documents from the latest year), including child support received. Students who are experiencing significant changes in income from one year to the next will be able to submit information about current income.
  • If you share a household with the parent of your child(ren), they must also provide financial information.

Award Level

  • As announced by the President and Provost, the maximum award has been increased to $20,000 (from $15,000) for the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • Awards may range from $1,000 to $20,000 for the academic year, depending on family financial circumstances. 
  • Award levels are based on your household’s federal taxable gross earnings and assets as documented by prior year tax forms, documentation of child support payments received (if applicable), and the age and number of eligible children. Expenses for childcare, healthcare and rent will also be factored in to our consideration.
  • Families with children under 10 years of age will be given greater consideration.
  • The Financial Aid Office will consider your individual circumstances as explained on your application and will establish your grant eligibility (no more than $20,000 total grant) based on your individual financial situation.
  • Students are eligible for one grant per family, per year (September 1 through August 31).
  • Special note for families living in Escondido Village with 2 or more children:  You are also applying for the Escondido Village Family Fund (EVFF) with the Graduate Family Grant application. If you meet the criteria for the EVFF, a portion of your grant will be funded by this endowed fund per the donors’ wishes. The total of both awards will not exceed $20,000.

Application Process

The Priority Filing Deadline each year is August 1 for the upcoming academic year.  Applications received after that date will receive funding on a rolling basis. Initial notifications of eligibility will be made by August 15th.

  • Complete the Graduate Family Grant Application .
  • Gather your supporting documents including federal tax returns and birth certificates for children born in the current year and upload them securely to the Financial Aid Office (in PDF format) at the Financial Aid Office’s secure upload form. If you have already submitted tax forms/income information to your Financial Aid Office you do not need to do so again.

What Happens Next?

The Financial Aid Office will notify you of your eligibility via your Stanford email account by August 15th (for those who apply by August 1st) and on a rolling basis thereafter.  Funds will be disbursed on a quarterly basis via your Stanford University Student Account at the start of Autumn, Winter and Spring quarters, provided the recipient has enrolled as required for financial support (generally in fulltime status; see the General Eligibility Requirements section of the GAP Chapter 7.1.1 ). It is highly recommended that recipients sign up for Direct Deposit through Axess.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have successfully petitioned for Part-time Enrollment status through the Registrar’s Office, regardless of the reason, you will still be entitled to receive the Family Grant.  Students on an approved Leave of Absence or not currently enrolled will not be eligible.

No. This program was created specifically to support students who are parents with their special needs.  While we understand that you may also have special needs, these funds were not made available for students in your situation. You may explore additional avenues for support with your academic department or financial aid officer.

Yes, you may still apply. You should provide information about the situation and your expenses along with your application. Grant eligibility is based on financial need.

  • Child is claimed as a dependent on your latest tax return, or
  • Copy of a birth certificate, or
  • Letter from the hospital, or
  • Court Orders establishing custody or guardianship, or
  • F2 or J2 visa documentation
  • When federal student aid (student loans or Federal Work Study) or private student loans are involved, the total of the funds you receive may not exceed your individual cost of attendance.  Loan eligibility, in particular, may be reduced in favor of the Family Grant.  Please discuss the situation with your financial aid officer.  Eligibility for University fellowships or Assistantships will not be impacted.

    We do not expect the Family Grant to meet the full costs of supporting dependents. If you need additional resources while you are a student, federal student loan programs are available for US citizens and permanent residents and private loans are a possibility for international students. You can find more information at the FAO’s loan page.

    No. Postdocs are not eligible for this program. You may apply for the Postdoc Family Grant program. If one parent is a Graduate student and the other parent is a Postdoc (both at Stanford), either the Graduate Family Grant or Postdoc Family Grant can be awarded to a family, not both programs.

    U.S. Citizen and Permanent Resident students who receive a scholarship, fellowship or grant from the University will not receive a tax document reporting this income. (Non-resident students will receive a 1042-S reporting this income for use in filing their federal tax return.) However, students may need to self-report a portion of this income on their tax returns.  See IRS Publication 970 for detailed information on tax reporting requirements for scholarships and fellowships. The FAO maintains a list of links to tax information.

    The Financial Aid Office is managing this program in partnership with the Financial Aid Offices at the Law School, Graduate School of Business and School of Medicine (for MD’s). You may contact with additional questions.

    Updated on November 30, 2022 1:11 PM