Graduate Child Assistance Program


The Graduate Child Assistance Program (GCAP) provides financial assistance to eligible graduate students with children. Beginning with the 2020-21 GCAP plan year, the plan year dates will change: the plan will start August 1 and end July 31 (the plan currently starts September 1 and ends August 31). Financial enhancements have been made for the 2020-21 GCAP plan year. Eligible graduate students may receive awards up to $6,000 per child per year (with a maximum annual award of $12,000). The award may be applied to reimburse expenses for child care, housing or dependent child health care premiums.

Awards are based on the household's adjusted gross income (AGI). In the 2020-21 plan year, the income bands used to determine eligibility for award amount have been adjusted. Graduate students with an annual household income of up to $80,000 will be eligible for the full award amount.

The application deadline for the 2020-21 GCAP plan year is August 1, 2020 to be eligible for the full year award. Students are encouraged to apply early to receive advance notification of eligibility, as applications typically take 30 days to process.

Continuing Students

Students who are currently participating in the 2019-20 plan (ending on August 31, 2020) and wish to enroll in the 2020-21 plan, have two options to receive continuous benefits:

  • Option 1: Apply to the 2020-21 plan year before August 1, 2020
    • Receive 11 months of benefit for the 2019-20 plan year
    • Receive 12 months of the benefit for the 2020-21 plan year (at the higher award amount)
  • Option 2: Apply to the 2020-21 plan year after August 1, 2020 and before September 1, 2020
    • Receive 12 months of the benefit for the 2019-20 plan year
    • Receive 11 months of the benefit for the 2020-21 plan year (at the higher award amount)

In August 2020, the two plans will overlap (the current plan will end August 31, 2020 while the 2020-21 plan will begin August 1, 2020). Students may only participate in one plan at any given time. We encourage students to apply for the 2020-21 plan, which will commence August 1, 2020. This will automatically terminate participation in the 2019-20 plan effective August 1, 2020. If approved, the student would be eligible for the increased award amount effective August 1, 2020.

Annual Award Information

GCAP awards are based on annual adjusted gross household income and are paid on a reimbursement basis after costs have been incurred. Assistance is available for up to two eligible dependents under the age of 6 as of September 1 in the plan year of your application. For single parents, this age limit is raised to 12 years of age. If your spouse or partner is also a Princeton student or employee, you may apply for only one GCAP award per eligible child.

2019-20 Plan Year Maximum Award Rate Table (September 1, 2019 through August 31, 2020)

Household IncomeMaximum Award for First ChildMaximum Award for Second Child

2020-21 Plan Year Maximum Award Rate Table (August 1, 2020 through July 31, 2021)

Household IncomeMaximum Award for First ChildMaximum Award for Second Child

Total award amounts and eligibility rules are determined by the Graduate School. Students are expected to abide by the rules, requirements and procedures of this program. Any knowingly false statements or representations and/or any abuse of this benefit may result in denial of the award and/or disciplinary action. The University is not responsible for late payment fees or finance charges incurred and/or charged by any provider.

All information submitted is confidential and will only be used to administer the GCAP award. You may be asked to provide additional financial information by the plan administrator.

If your child receives other scholarships, grants or awards which overlap with the GCAP, you must notify The Graduate School immediately by contacting Jeanette DeGuire at The Princeton University GCAP award will never exceed the total incurred eligible costs, and the University reserves the right to reduce an award amount should your child receive similar support from other sources.


Graduate Child Assistance Program (GCAP) payments are paid as nonqualified fellowship. Nonqualified fellowships are typically taxable to the recipient for federal tax reporting purposes; fellowship payments are not subject to New Jersey state taxes or federal payroll taxes (FICA).