Childcare Subsidy Grants Program

UPDATE (August 24, 2020): The Childcare Subsidy Grants Program is officially open for the Fall 2020 semester. All full-time graduate students who have paid the $100 Student Services Fee will be eligible. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Note: If this is your first time applying for any of the GSG grant programs (Travel Grants, Childcare Subsidy, Emergency Fund), you will need to create an account on our online portal using your USC email. If you have questions about this program, please email our Director of Campus Affairs at

1. Program Overview

The USC Graduate Student Government (GSG) provides a limited number of awards in the maximum amount of $1,500 to assist eligible student parents with the cost of childcare. The goal of this program is to support USC students who’s parental or legal guardian responsibilities are impacting degree progress. Please note that applications must demonstrate need for funding with expenses directly related to the child, rather than adjacent expenses such as rent and utilities (details about funding priorities can be found below). Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for Fall 2020. Within the $1500 limit, funding will be prioritized for children’s basic and care-taking needs that are not traditionally covered by available city, state or federal programs. Examples of expenses that are eligible for the GSG Childcare Subsidy Grant may include, but are not limited to, childcare services (e.g., babysitting, daycare) and educational or technological needs. Funds for technological and educational tools and services (e.g., laptops, desks, toys, educational software) will be allocated a limited amount of funds (out of the maximum $1500), at the discretion of the application review committee. When requesting funding for technological and educational tools and services for children, the review committee might ask for additional proof that other avenues were exhausted (e.g., USC Basic Needs technology rentals, school or daycare unable to provide technological assistance).

2. Eligibility

Applicants must be full-time graduate students in good standing with the University and have primary childcare responsibilities for a child up to 12 years of age. For most students, full-time status is being enrolled in 6 or more units. However, this definition may change depending on your program (i.e. doctoral programs).  Post-doctoral fellows, undergraduates, and part-time students are not eligible. Exceptions to the age limit can be made for children with special needs.

Doctoral students who meet all the eligibility criteria of the USC Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) child-care subsidy program should apply for assistance through….

Students are eligible for a maximum of two grants, which must be awarded in two different semesters.

Parents/primary caregivers of the same dependent(s) may apply separately for funding. However, a second application for the same dependent(s) will only be considered if the number of available awards is greater than the number of submitted applications.

3. Application Process

Applications for Fall 2020 are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis.

Applications must be completed and submitted via the online system. A complete application should include:

  • Personal statement providing context for your childcare responsibilities. Describe your need for funding, including all sources of income and number of children under your care. Personal statements should be persuasive in nature and limited to 1-page in length.
  • STARS report, demonstrating good academic standing.
  • Proof of payment for Student Services Fee (Fall 2020).
  • Copy of proof of the dependency relationship (i.e. birth certificate).
  • Budget for projected expenses (i.e. screenshots of online carts for materials that would support your child being more independent)

Applicants must demonstrate justification for how receipt of funds will serve to advance their academic and professional goals.

4. Review

After eligibility has been confirmed, applications will be evaluated based on the strengths of the personal statement and on the applicant’s perceived need.

5. Funding

Recipients can expect the award to be paid out in a single lump sum.

6. Additional Resources

Community Facebook Group for USC Graduate Student Parents.

USC Graduate School Guidelines for Parental Leave

The Pregnant Scholar  This website helps ensure the success of student parents and seeks to advance women’s representation in STEM fields by providing user-friendly information and resources on Title IX for pregnant students and postdocs, as well as faculty and administrators. The site includes a wide range of tools, from introductory videos to in-depth best-practice guides.

LA County Resources for Children and Families Find resources available in Los Angeles county that can help support your family. There are community based organizations in the county that can help with food, housing and other resources. There is also information to connect you with education and child care for your family, as well as family-friendly activities.

SHIELDS for Families SHIELDS for Families is a community-based 501c3 non-profit organization located in South Los Angeles serving individuals, children, and families through comprehensive and collaborative social services for child and youth development, child welfare, mental health, substance abuse treatment, and supportive services such as food, transportation, housing, legal services, and educational and vocational training.

Click here to start your application.