Financial Aid Overview

Contrary to popular belief, financial aid is not readily available for all graduate students. Therefore, it is important for you to become aware of the sources of aid which are available. To determine the availability of financial aid at the graduate school to which you are applying, you should request information from the graduate school financial aid office and the academic department of your interest. Ask questions early and meet all deadlines!

Funding Sources

Outright Assistance

  • Grants, Fellowships, Traineeships, Scholarships
  • Usually granted by the dean of the graduate school or departments
  • No services are required of the student
  • Awards range in monetary amounts
  • A stipend may be awarded in addition to a tuition waiver
  • Only full-time students are eligible

Aid in Return for Service

  • These awards usually carry full or partial tuition remission plus a stipend. Number of hours worked per week varies
  • Research Assistantships: Resembles a job, assisting a professor with a research project
  • Teaching Assistantships: Lecturing, supervising labs, and/or grading papers
  • Residence hall Assistantships: Living in a residence hall with responsibilities ranging from supervision and programming to handling disciplinary matters
  • Graduate Assistantship: May include teaching a class, research and/or other work for the department


  • Usually available if vital to continuation of program and must be repaid with interest within a certain amount of time
  • Available through university or local banks
  • Board of Regents in your state of residence
  • Professional organizations. For contact information, check the National Trade and Professional Association Directory in the Career Planning Library
  • Fraternal, religious, and community organizations
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)