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FAQs for Grad Students with Funding

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Why is it important to check my financial account?

  • Depending on the type of funding you receive, some funding may pay your charges directly, while other funding may disburse to you as a stipend/refund.
  • Depending on how your funding is provided, you may need to pay a balance on your account. This is true even if you are “fully” funded.
  • Sometimes charges may be added after your stipend/refund has disbursed. If this happens, you will need to pay the balance due.
  • Late fees accrue to past-due balances. Past-due balances also result in financial holds that prevent enrollment.

How do I view my financial account and funding?

When do I need to pay my bill?

How do I pay my bill?

  • The most efficient way to make a payment is via Axess.  You can browse this webpage to find other payment options.
  • Payroll deduction provides an option for graduate student Research Assistants (RA) and Teaching Assistants (TA) to deduct a portion of your bimonthly salary to pay your account charges instead of paying the full amount due early in the quarter. Payroll deduction can only cover your current-quarter charges, and you must re-enroll in the plan annually (beginning with Autumn quarter).
    • In most cases, the payroll deduction system serves students well. However, please be aware that if your charges are adjusted, your quarterly payroll deduction plan may stop. For example, if you make changes to your housing after payroll deduction has been set up for the quarter, the resulting adjustment of charges can cause your payroll deduction plan to stop. If your payroll deduction plan stops mid-quarter, you’ll receive more "take-home" pay during the remaining quarterly pay periods – but will also leave part of your quarterly balance unpaid. You will need to make a payment via Axess to cover your remaining balance.

When will I receive my funding? 

  • Sign up for direct deposit to ensure quick processing of any payments/stipends/refunds.
  • Funding may not be posted to your account until close to the billing due date.
  • You’ll need to be enrolled full-time for funding to disburse. Our Academic Calendar shows the quarterly “at-status enrollment deadlines” to receive your stipend or financial aid refund within the first week of term.
  • If you have an Assistantship, please see the typical salary pay-period schedule here.

What about funding for Cardinal Care health insurance?

  • Unless you waive coverage at the beginning of each academic year prior to the deadline, you will be enrolled in Cardinal Care Health Insurance. Cardinal Care provides coverage September 1 to August 31 and is billed in three installments (Autumn, Winter, Spring). 
    • Waiver deadlines for students entering Stanford in Autumn are August 15 for international students / September 15 for domestic students. If you enter Stanford in a different quarter, or are graduating in Autumn or Winter quarter and wish to request early cancellation, please review the applicable deadlines.
  • Cardinal Care Subsidy. Stanford subsidizes a portion of the Cardinal Care premium for graduate students funded by Assistantships (RA or TA) or equivalent Fellowships. 
  • For the portion of Cardinal Care charges that are not covered by the Cardinal Care Subsidy, each school/department approaches funding slightly differently. The percent of funding may be full or partial. Sometimes, funding will apply directly to the remaining Cardinal Care charges. The funding may also be disbursed to you via stipend/refund, and you will need to make the account payment through Stanford’s student payment system.

Do I have to pay taxes on the funding I receive?

  • You are responsible for paying and filing for all applicable taxes. You can find more tax information here.

What is the federal tax withholding for international students on fellowship?

  • For international students on fellowship, federal tax withholding typically posts to your account as a charge each quarter. You are responsible for paying this tax as part of your monthly student bill.
  • How can you calculate your federal tax withholding?
    • Add up your total fellowship aid for the quarter, and subtract excludable fees to determine the amount of taxable aid. (Excludable fees = Tuition, Course/lab fees, Document Fee, Student Activities fee, Cardinal Care Health Insurance, and the Campus Health Service Fee.)
    • Multiply the amount of taxable aid by 14% to determine the federal tax withholding amount.
  • If your quarterly fellowship funding or charges change, your federal tax withholding may change.
  • If your federal tax withholding is posted or adjusted after your funding disburses at the start of the quarter, you will likely need to make a payment to cover this charge.
  • You may be eligible to claim exemption due to a tax treaty (W-8BEN).

Where do I go if I’m having trouble understanding my financial account or funding?

  • The Student Services Center is here to help! If you need help making a payment, making sense of your account (charges? credits? refunds?), or with your 1098-T, please submit a help request. For additional means of contact, please see our help page
  • Typically, your department manages the funding on your graduate student account. If you have questions about your funding, please contact your departmental Student Services Officer or Program Manager, or your program’s dedicated Financial Aid Office.

How can I improve my financial wellness?

  • Financial wellness means having financial security and financial freedom of choice, in the present and in the future. Stanford’s award-winning Mind Over Money program equips you with a foundation to be financially well during your time at Stanford and beyond. Many engagement options, including free financial coaching.

What other financial support programs does Stanford offer? 

  • Graduate Cash Advance: We know students may have financial needs before their funding disburses. The graduate cash advance is designed to help! 
  • Graduate Student Aid Fund: The Graduate Student Aid Fund assists graduate students with health-related University fees such as the Campus Health Service Fee and Cardinal Care Insurance premiums when those expenses create a significant financial hardship.
  • Emergency Grant-in-Aid: Assists graduate students who experience a financial emergency or unanticipated expenses (e.g., medical or dental) causing financial hardship.
  • Graduate Family Grant Program: Provides up to $15,000 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.
  • Graduate Housing Loan: Loan from the university to help with move-in costs for off-campus housing, such as first and last month's rent and security deposit.