Insurance Grants

2022-23 Academic Year and Fall 2022 Insurance Grants

Application opens: August 22
Deadline: September 23 at 5:00PM ET

For 2022-23 Academic Year and Fall 2022 dental and health insurance costs. Please read all guidelines carefully. No extensions or exceptions can be made for those who miss the deadline or do not meet eligibility criteria. 

The University offers two grant programs for PhD students to help offset the cost of health insurance and dental insurance. These grants are funded by the Office of the Provost and administered by the Graduate Student Center and the Office of Student Registration and Financial Services. 

Grants are intended to reimburse costs associated with purchasing insurance and are not an up-front subsidy. Students are responsible for the full cost of purchasing insurance and may incur late fees if these are not paid on time. 

Individual insurance plan deadlines may vary. Please read program and plan details carefully. 

For information on grants to reimburse family expenses and health insurance for dependents, please go to: familycenter.upenn.edu/resources-support/grants-phd-students-families.

For information about other grants and financial support, visit out Graduate Funding & Finances page.  

Health Insurance Grant

2022-23 Application cycle: August 22 - September 23, 2022. Deadline 5pm.  

Health Insurance Grant Cycles

  • 2022-23 Academic Year and Fall 2022 Insurance Grants
    Application opens: August 22 | Deadline: September 23 at 5:00PM ET 
    For 2022-23 Academic Year and Fall 2022 dental and health insurance costs. Please read all guidelines carefully. No extensions or exceptions can be made for those who miss the deadline or do not meet eligibility criteria. 
     
  • Spring 2023 Health Insurance Grants
    Application Opens: mid-January | Deadline: mid-February 
    For new health insurance costs due to loss of coverage or change in funding status for the Spring 2023 semester.

Program Description

This grant program helps to offset the cost of health insurance for PhD students who are no longer funded by their departments. The Health Insurance Grant Program provides need-based grants of up to $1,000 per semester to PhD students who meet certain eligibility criteria. This grant is funded by the Office of the Provost and administered by the Graduate Student Center and the Office of Student Registration & Financial Services. Applications and supporting documents must be submitted electronically by official deadline. 

The grant is intended to offset out-of-pocket costs for purchasing health insurance and is not an up-front subsidy. Students are responsible for the full cost of purchasing insurance and may incur late fees if these are not paid on time.

Eligibility
To be eligible, applicants must: 

  • Show they have personally purchased the Penn Student Health Insurance Plan (PSIP) or an unsubsidized health insurance policy for the period covered by the grant. 
    • Students enrolling in PSIP must provide documentation that they have personally paid all associated charges for coverage.  
       
    • Non-PSIP plans must meet University insurance compliance criteria. Non-PSIP plans cannot have been fully or partially paid for or subsidized in any way by a student's graduate group, an employer, spouse, or family.
       
    • Please note: If you choose to enroll in a non-PSIP plan, you must waive PSIP or you will be automatically enrolled in and charged for PSIP.
       
  • Be currently registered in a Penn PhD program and in good academic standing throughout the period covered by the grant.  
    • Students on leave (except family or medical leave) during either semester are not eligible.
       
    • Students enrolled in professional doctorate programs are not eligible. 
       
  • Be enrolled in years 1-8. Students in year 9 or beyond are not eligible.
     
  • Students who received grants during the fall term are not eligible to reapply during the spring cycle unless they have experienced a change in enrollment or insurance status.
     
  • Not be receiving a full fellowship from their program, the University, or an external funding body.
     
  • Preference will be given to students with an annual household income of:
    • $58,000 or less for household of 3 or more
    • $38,000 or less for household of 2 
    • $30,000 or less for household of 1

How to Apply

Submit the completed online application and all required documentation by the posted deadline. Incomplete forms, forms submitted without documentation, and forms submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

A complete application includes:

  • Online Application
     
  • Required documentation uploaded into this online document submission form:
    Select "PhD Grant Application" in the drop-down menu.
     
    • Proof of cost and payment for an eligible health insurance plan. 
       
    • Benefits summary for non-PSIP health insurance plan, if applicable. Benefits summary must outline what the insurance plan covers and show that it meets University insurance requirements.  
       
    • Copies of the 2021 U.S. tax returns and 2021 W2s for student and spouse/partner. (Penn W2s for 2021 can be accessed here.)
       
    • Copies of the two most recent pay stubs for all paid positions, both on- and off-campus, for student and spouse/partner (if applicable). (Stipend and campus employment records can be found in Workday).

Please have digital copies of all relevant documentation ready before you begin the application.  Failure to provide all necessary documentation will result in delays reviewing your application or rejection of application. You may be asked to provide additional documentation or information needed to evaluate your application. 

*We are committed to ensuring the security of your information. We have put in place reasonable physical, technical, and administrative safeguards designed to prevent unauthorized access to, or use of, the information collected online. 

Grant Conditions 

  • Grants are not guaranteed. Grants are disbursed as funding allows, with priority given to the students who demonstrate the highest financial need.
     
  • Grants are awarded in the range of $500 - $2,000. The maximum grant for one semester is $1,000. 
     
  • Grants are awarded annually, and you must reapply each year.
  • Fall 2022 and 22-23 AY grant recipients will be notified by late October, with funds disbursed in November 2022. Spring 2023 grant recipients will be notified by early March and funds will be disbursed in March 2023. 
     
  • Funds will be processed through your student account. This is a separate system from Workday. You must sign up for student account refunds in PennPay or a paper check will be mailed to your permanent address on file with SFRS.
     
  • If you have an outstanding balance on your student account, the grant will be applied to your bill.
     
  • Grants are taxable. You are responsible for reporting the grant income and paying applicable taxes. Depending on your tax status, taxes may be withheld prior to the grant disbursement.
     
  • If you are receiving federal student loans, this grant could reduce your loan amount. You are responsible for contacting Student Financial Services for a budget re-evaluation if you receive the grant. Students can submit a request for a budget increase if they wish to receive their full loan amount in addition to the grant.
     
  • If you do not remain in good academic standing during the period covered by the grant, some or all of the grant funds may be rescinded.
     
  • Applicant funding status and fellowship stipend amounts will be verified with graduate groups and school finance administrators. You are responsible for notifying us if your funding status changes during the period covered by the grant. Failure to do so will result in grant funds being rescinded.
     
  • If you provide false or misleading information or documentation in your grant application, the grant funds will be rescinded, and  you will be referred to the Center for Community Standards and Accountability (CSA) for disciplinary action. 

Direct all questions to grad-grants@upenn.edu.

For PhD and EdD Students
Dental Insurance Reimbursement Grant

2022-23 Deadline to qualify for reimbursement: September 23

The Office of the Provost provides grants to reimburse 50% of the cost of the  Penn Dental Family Practice Student Insurance Plan for all PhD students who purchase dental insurance through the Penn Dental School for the full 2022-23 academic year. Additionally, the Graduate School of Education reimburses 50% for all Full Time Residential EdD students who are within their first seven years of study. Both programs are administered by the Graduate Student Center and Penn Dental School. 

The School of Engineering and division of Biomedical Graduate Studies within the Perelman School of Medicine provide additional reimbursements to cover the remaining 50% of the cost for PhD students in those schools who purchase the Penn Dental Family Practice Student Insurance Plan. These grants are administered in conjunction with the PhD Dental Insurance Reimbursement Grant but grant funds and details are determined by each school. SEAS and BGS PhD students who purchase the Penn Dental plan by the deadline above will be automatically considered for both the Provost and School reimbursement programs. 

The grant is intended as a partial reimbursement and not an up-front subsidy. Students are responsible for the full cost of purchasing insurance and may incur late fees if these are not paid on time. 

To receive the partial reimbursement grant, you must:

  • Be currently registered in a Penn PhD or EdD program and in good academic standing. Dual degree students must be registered in the PhD portion of their degree during the fall semester to be eligible. Students enrolled in other doctorate programs are not eligible. 
     
  • Enroll in the Penn Dental Practice Student Plan by the grant program deadline.
    Penn Dental Plan deadlines may vary. Please review plan documentation and details carefully. Students who enroll in Penn Dental after the deadline are not eligible for the grant. 
     

Eligible students who purchase the Penn Dental insurance plan for students by the deadline will automatically qualify for the grant. No additional application or steps are needed. 

Please note: students have several insurance and discount options for dental care. This grant applies only to the Penn Dental Family Practice Student Plan

 

Grant Disbursement Process

Eligible students who enroll by the deadline will automatically receive the $215 grant in October. The disbursement process involves a few steps:

  • The $215 credit will be applied to your student account, which can be accessed through PennPay online.
     
  • If you have any outstanding charges, the funds will be applied toward your bill.
     
  • The credit (less any unpaid charges) will be processed as a refund payment
     
    • If you have signed up for student account refunds, you should receive a direct deposit within a few days. 
      Please note: this is not the same as signing up for direct deposit of your stipend or paycheck. A separate form must be submitted to receive these funds via direct deposit.
       
    • If you have not signed up for account refunds, a check will be mailed to the address on file with Student Financial Services. You can check and update all addresses on file through Penn-in-Touch and your profile on the Penn Portal.
       
  • Refunds are typically processed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Questions about the status of your account should be directed to Student Financial Services.

Direct all other questions to grad-grants@upenn.edu.