Student Professional Development Center

Graduate School Funding

Graduate and professional school can be expensive undertakings.  Whether you complete your course of study with a little bit of debt or a lot depends (usually) on the amount of financial aid you are able to secure. Graduate programs offer funding opportunities that are usually not available to undergraduates. The first step toward investigating (and acquiring) assistance is to understand the different forms of financial aid available to graduate students. 

Assistantships:  Funding, in the form of tuition waiver or stipend, provided to students through part-time academic employment at the institution they will be attending.  Contact the graduate school (or program) directly to inquire about opportunities.

  • May be research, teaching or administrative.
    • Institution-specific processes, which often entails applying to specific professors, departments or offices.
  • In some fields, assistantships can cover the entire cost of tuition and provide a living stipend.

Fellowships: Funding to enable a student to conduct research, often awarded on the basis of academic excellence.

See also:


Grants: Need-based awards funded by government, universities or private sector; money does not have to be repaid. 

  • Eligibility varies widely, from course of study, to gender, to ethnicity, etc.  Can be school- specific as well.
  • Learn more about grants for graduate study

Federal assistance and loans: most money to be repaid following graduation

  • Applicants may complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • In programs where earning potential is expected to be high, such as business administration, law and medicine,                  loans are often the only option offered.
  • Learn more about Federal Student Aid--what types of programs you may be eligible for and how to apply.


  • Often very specific in nature, whether they are school-focused or focused on a certain demographic.
  • Consider looking for ideas at:



Additional scholarship, grant and fellowship resources for minority and diversity groups:

http://www.collegescholarships.org/other-minority-scholarships.htm (Asian, Black, Hispanic, Interracial, LGBT, Native American, White Male, Women)

http://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarships-by-type/minority-scholarships/ (African American, Hispanic, Native American)

http://www.apadivisions.org/division-44/awards/malyon-smith.aspx (LGBTQ psychology majors; research specific)

http://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/scholarship-advice/international-scholarships-study-us (scholarships for international students studying in the US)

 http://www.apa.org/about/awards/search (psychology students: LQBTQ, women, students with disabilities, and more)

http://www.gograd.org/financial-aid/scholarships/  (women, LQBTQ, military veterans, and MBA students)                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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