Grad school can be an expensive time — but by applying for the best scholarships for grad students, it’s easier to manage the costs. There is a wide range of options available for students pursuing advanced degrees. Apply to full-ride programs to cover all costs, or search for small awards to help with books or supplies. Since most schools enable students to bring in an unlimited number of scholarships, it pays to try for every possible option.
Related resource: The 45 Most Affordable Graduate Programs Online
1. Minnesota Indian Scholarship
– One-fourth or more Indian ancestry
– Enrolled in an accredited Minnesota university, college, or vocational school
– Minnesota resident
– Graduate or undergraduate student
– Demonstrated financial need
For students who come from a Native American background, the Minnesota Indian Scholarship is one way to reduce the costs of grad schools. Administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, this program provides up to $6,000 per year for graduate students. You can reapply for this scholarship every year for up to five years of grad school; however, can only be used for one degree program.
2. Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor
– Admitted to the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
– At least a 3.0 cumulative GPA in undergraduate program
For graduate students in the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor is worth an application. It provides up to $30,000, so it offers a significant cost reduction. Administered by CUNY SLU and funded by a variety of individuals and nonprofits, this scholarship is designed to help women and people of color into the labor industry. The committee considers leadership, strong recommendations, and the applicant’s personal statement. The application deadline is March 3rd.
3. Full Circle Scholarship
– U.S. or Canadian citizen
– Enrolled full-time in an accredited undergraduate or graduate program
– Registered with a federal or state-recognized tribe or descended from one or more grandparents or parents who is registered
– Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
The Full Circle scholarship is given by the American Indian College Fund. It’s designed to help students with official tribal affiliation pursue higher education. Scholarship winners receive funds to cover two full semesters of school. Expect to provide a photo, proof of tribal descendancy or affiliation, birth certificates, and transcripts. Applications for Full Circle are accepted between January 1st and May 31st.
4. Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship
– From the San Joaquin Valley
– Accepted to a graduate program that’s nationally ranked and qualified by the Maddy Institute
Run by The Wonderful Company, the Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship awards $56,000 each to two students from the San Joaquin Valley. The award includes $25,000 for two years to cover tuition and books; it also includes $6,000 for the summer. After the winners complete their degrees, they must agree to come back to the San Joaquin Valley and spend two years working in a government entity, nonprofit organization, or social service agency. At that point, the fellowship converts into a loan that qualifies for forgiveness.
5. Civilian Master’s Degree Scholarship
– Bachelor’s degree
– Willing to work for two years in a government cybersecurity job after graduation
– Aptitude or coursework in computer science
For students who are interested in Computer Science, the Civilian Master’s Degree Scholarship is a valuable opportunity. It offers two years of tuition-free education at the Naval Postgraduate School, a $34,000 yearly salary during school, $3,000 in healthcare reimbursement, $2,000 for textbooks, and $4,000 in professional development. Winners also get a summer internship and a job as a civilian cybersecurity professional in the government for at least two years after graduation. Apply by January 24th or August 16th.
6. PHF Reagan Sloane Shanley Scholarship
– Research in neuroscience or engineering
– Interest in hydrocephalus, cerebral spinal fluid, and the brain
– 18 years or older
For students who are planning to do research that’s designed to find solutions to help patients with hydrocephalus, the PHF Reagan Sloane Shanley Scholarship may be able to help. Named for Reagan Shanley, who was born with hydrocephalus, this award provides up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of three years. The funds are administered by the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation.
7. Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships
– U.S. citizen or resident
– Between the ages of 21 and 31
The Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships are given to young poets in the United States. These awards have been given every year since 1989 when Ruth Lilly first established the fund. Expect to submit an introduction, 10 pages of poems, and a list of publications. Each fellowship totals $25,800. Applications are accepted between March 1st and April 30th.
8. USDA Pathways Program: Saul T. Wilson, Jr., Internship
– U.S. citizen
– Enrolled or accepted as a full-time student in a veterinary college
– Completed no more than one year of study in veterinary medicine
The Saul T. Wilson, Jr., Internship, which is part of the USDA Pathways Program, offers graduate students up to $10,000. These funds can be used for tuition, books, lab fees, and tutors. In addition, the winner receives a paid internship as a veterinary student trainee. At the end of the program, students must work full-time for one year at the Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service. The goal of the program is to bring more qualified veterinarians into the USDA.
9. The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships
– Major or 30+ college-level credits in a STEM field
– Commitment to the program’s goals
– U.S. citizen or permanent resident
– Bachelor’s degree
– Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships are awarded to students who are pursuing a degree in a STEM field. These fellowships are open to a variety of aspiring graduate students, including recent undergrads, mid-career professionals, and retirees. The fellowship includes admission to a master’s degree program at one of the foundation’s partner universities, generous financial support, and extensive support as the recipient prepares for a teaching career in a STEM field. Recipients agree to teach in an urban or rural school district at the high school level. The application deadlines are January 30th and March 16th.
10. AAUW American Dissertation Fellowships
– U.S. Citizen or permanent resident
– Completed all graduate coursework
– Passed preliminary exams
– Have approved research proposals or plans
American Dissertation Fellowships are administered by the American Association of University Women; they’re designed to help graduate students cover their costs while they write their dissertations. The committee evaluates applicants based on their record of scholarly excellence and their commitment to serving women and girls. Applications are accepted from August 1st to November 1st.
11. AAUW Career Development Grants
– U.S. citizen or permanent resident
– Accepted to an accredited two-year or four-year institution
– Last college degree received before June 30, 2015
To help women advance careers, change careers, or reenter the workforce after an absence, the American Association of University Women provides Career Development Grants. They offer money to cover tuition, childcare, transportation, fees, books, and supplies. This grant is open to women who are getting degrees beyond their first bachelor’s degrees; it does not apply to doctoral programs. Apply between August 1st to November 1st.
12. Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing
– Pursuing a doctoral degree in cancer nursing research
– Licensed registered nurse
For doctoral students who are planning to be nurse scientists, this scholarship can provide up to $15,000 per year. Awards are made for a period of one to two years; after that period is done, it’s possible to get a renewal for up to two additional years. Administered by the American Cancer Society, this grant is designed to help people who will make the next big developments in cancer research. Application materials are available in early July, and the deadline to apply is October 15th.
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13. Ray Greenly Scholarship
– Studying engineering, computer science, marketing, business, economics, or e-commerce
– Creative, entrepreneurial, and forward-thinking
The Ray Greenly Scholarship is given by the National Retail Federation in memory of Ray Greenly, who passed away from cancer in 2005. It’s given to students who are studying fields that impact digital retail, including economics, engineering, marketing, business, and computer science, among others. It’s designed to help the future entrepreneurs of the United States.
14. Boren Fellowships
– U.S. graduate student
– Planning to study in an eligible country
– U.S. citizen
– Not a resident of the destination country
Boren Fellowships are part of the National Security Education Program, which seeks to increase the number of professionals with strong foreign language and international communication skills. These fellowships go to students who are conducting research or language study in a world region that’s critical to the interests of the United States. The award varies based on the length of the program; the maximum is $24,000 for programs ranging from 37 to 52 weeks. The application deadline is January 29th.
15. James Madison Graduate Fellowships
– Plan to teach American history, government, or civics at the high-school level
– Have a bachelor’s degree
Given by the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation, these graduate fellowships provide $24,000 to students who are planning to teach about the American Constitution. The foundation offers one fellowship to a student from every state in the U.S. Applications are due by March 1st.
16. Walter Byers Graduate Scholarship
– Competed in varsity intercollegiate athletics at an NCAA member institution
– Accepted at an accredited, nonprofit educational institution
– Planning to attend grad school full-time
Every year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association awards the Walter Byers Graduate Scholarship to one male and one female each year. Each award totals $24,000. To apply for this scholarship, students must be nominated by a faculty athletics representative by January 17th. Then, the student must complete the application and a personal essay.
17. ASNT Fellowship Award
– Propose a research project in nondestructive testing
– Enrolled at an ABET-accredited educational institution
– Faculty adviser must be directing the student’s program
The ANST Fellowship Award is designed to help graduate students cover their costs as they pursue research in nondestructive testing. It’s available to both master’s and doctoral students and comes in amounts up to $20,000. Keep in mind that these fellowship funds are given to the university, so students must work in tandem with their institution to apply. The ANST gives up to five of the fellowships each year. The deadline to nominate a project is October 15th.
18. Humane Studies Fellowship
– Enrolled in a Ph.D. program as a full-time student
– Interest in research that advances classical liberal scholarship
– Present a paper at an academic conference or be ready to submit a paper to a peer-reviewed journal
The Institute for Humane Studies offers the Humane Studies Fellowship to students who are pursuing doctoral degrees. Winners receive up to $15,000 as well as networking, advising, and other educational events. In addition, the institute may award an additional $30,000 fellowship if they find a truly exceptional candidate. This program is open to students who are doing classical liberal research in the humanities and social sciences. In most cases, projects in the natural sciences, engineering, and medicine do not qualify for this award.
19. The GEM Fellowship Program
– Be a member of one of these groups: American Indian/Native, African American/Black, or Hispanic American/Latino
– U.S. citizen or permanent resident
– Must apply to a minimum of three STEM graduate departments that are GEM members
The GEM Fellowship program awards three different fellowships: one for a master’s student in engineering, one for a Ph.D. student in engineering, and one for a Ph.D. student in science. Each award includes fully funded tuition and fees, as well as a living stipend. The MS engineering and Ph.D. science fellowships also offer paid internships in the summer with a GEM Employer Member. The goal of this program is to bring more students from underrepresented groups into STEM fields. Apply by January 15th.
20. Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
– Immigrants and children of immigrants in the United States
– Applying to or enrolled in graduate school
– Planning to attend school full-time
– 31 or younger
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships are given to new American citizens or the children of immigrants. They were created to give educational opportunities to people who came to the United States in pursuit of the American Dream. Recipients can get up to $90,000 spread over two years to pursue a graduate degree. When choosing winners, the committee considers creativity, initiative, and originality; they also look for people who have demonstrated drive and a commitment to the values that are laid out in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Apply by November 1st.
21. Winterhoff Arthritis Scholarship
– Diagnosed with arthritis or related rheumatic disease
– 2.5 GPA or higher
– U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
– Accepted to an accredited program for full-time enrollment
– Engaged with the Arthritis Foundation
Created to help students with arthritis or another rheumatic disease, the Winterhoff Arthritis Scholarship is available on a nationwide business. Its goal is to help fund education for students who are positive role models in the arthritis community. In particular, the community looks for people who are engaged and empowering other people to live their best lives, even when faced with health challenges. Plan to submit a certifying statement from a doctor. Applications are due by March 31st.
22. Central Intelligence Agency Graduate Scholarship Program
– U.S. citizen
– Willing to relocate to the Washington, DC metro area
– Pursuing a graduate degree full-time
– 3.0 GPA or higher
– Available to work for 90 days in the summer before graduation
– Willing to work at the CIA after graduation
– Demonstrated financial need
Get a graduate degree and a direct career path to the Central Intelligence Agency with the Graduate Scholarship Program. Recipients receive up to $18,000 per year to cover tuition, fees, and books. For people pursuing degrees in STEM fields, this amount increases to $25,000 per year. After graduation, recipients must agree to work at the CIA for 1.5 times the number of years that they received the scholarship.
When it comes to paying for grad school, scholarships can be a lifesaver. By applying to all of the best scholarships for grad students, it’s easier to take care of finances and spend the semester focusing on education.
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