Scholarships, Fellowships and Grants

Though it is often more difficult to find master’s-level funding opportunities that are not specific to a school or state, they do exist. Below are scholarships, fellowships and grants for students pursuing a public administration degree. None of these opportunities require repayment, but you may come across grants and fellowships that require repayment of the money they award if you do not complete your program of study.

As you search and apply for aid, keep your academic and career goals in mind; you may be able to find scholarships or fellowships that seem tailored to you. Contact the financial aid offices of the schools you are considering for more information on the specific forms of aid they offer.

Some professional, governmental and student organizations make it possible for schools and programs to apply for grants that allow them to provide small scholarships to students. Most of these must be applied for by heads of departments, but there may be some designed for graduate students who wish to travel for study or complete research for a thesis or dissertation. Competition for grant money is usually very high, and eligibility requirements are strictly adhered to. If you pursue a grant, be sure to read and follow all instructions.

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Women's Overseas Service League Scholarships for Women

Amount
$500-$1,000
Deadline
March 1, 2016

Women who wish to advance their public service careers by obtaining a degree are eligible to apply for WOSL’s scholarships. Awards range between $500 and $1,000, and they can be renewed for a second year. Applicants must plan to enroll at least part-time in an accredited program of study.

Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund

Amount
$18,000
Deadline
January 2016

Applicants for this fellowship must be U.S. citizens enrolled at one of the participating schools for a graduate degree in the humanities, social sciences or natural sciences. Awards can be used to either cover tuition and living expenses, or students may apply the funds towards research or the publication of a work on Armenian history.

Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program

Amount
$30,000
Deadline
August 31

Open to students pursuing an MFA in one of the supported fields, including public administration, applications for this fellowship are reviewed and selected by a panel of appointed experts. Awards cover the cost of tuition and living expenses for up to four years or until degree completion.

Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship

Amount
$7,000
Deadline
February 20, 2016

This program, funded by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), awards $7,000 to a minority student enrolled in a public administration, governmental accounting or finance program, among others. Applicants can be upper-level undergraduates or graduate students. They must submit a career plan outlining a goal to work in governmental finance upon completing their education, as well as transcripts, resumes and letters of recommendation.

Government Finance Professional Development Scholarship

Amount
$7,000
Deadline
February 20, 2016

GFOA offers individuals enrolled part-time in a graduate program that prepares them to work with governmental finances a chance to apply for this $7,000 scholarship. Applicants must have at least two years of work experience with a local or state government. They are required to submit letters of recommendation from their employer and academic advisor or dean, undergraduate and graduate transcripts, a current resume and a proposed career plan.

Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship

Amount
$37,500
Deadline
TBA for 2016

Open to students applying or admitted to a two-year graduate program, this fellowship awards up to $37,500 to cover tuition and expenses. The fellowship can be renewed once.

205 Scholarships match your search
Renewable
Minimum GPA

Fukunaga Scholarship Foundation

Deadline
March 1 (postmark date)
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be a resident of Hawaii (for at least one year), rank in top quarter of class, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and show a financial need. Must also demonstrate the ability, industriousness, dependability, and determination needed to succeed in business within the Pacific Basin area. Official high school/college transcripts through first semester of current year, two letters of recommendation, FAFSA Student Aid Report, and SAT Reasoning/ACT scores required.

Charles Abrams Scholarship

Deadline
April 30
Renewable
No

Applicant must be an United States citizen with financial need who has been accepted into a graduate planning program at one of five eligible schools at which Charles Abrams taught. Applicant must be nominated by the program's department chair and ultimately be in the pursuit of a career as a practicing planner.

Donald H. Cole Graduate Fellowship

Deadline
April 5
Renewable
No

Applicant must be a student in the Master's Business Administration program.

Dean's Scholarship in Business

Deadline
January 15
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be a first-year appliacnt to the Olin Business School who demonstrates outstanding character, academic achievement, and promise for a career in business.

Alma-Hal Reagan M.Bus.Admin. Fellowship

Deadline
January 15
Renewable
Yes

Selection is based upon academic achievement.

Frederick T. Bonham Law Scholarship

Deadline
November 1 (priority)
Renewable
Yes

Selection is based upon outstanding academic performance. Financial need and extracurricular activities are considered.

John W. Green Scholarship

Deadline
January 15
Renewable
No

Selection is based upon merit of members of the three law classes who have unusual ability in the general development of character, ambition to excel, and interest in the general development and advancement of the ethical standards of the legal profession.

Cortez A.M. Ewing Public Service Fellowship

Deadline
December 15
Renewable
No

Preference is given to students expecting to return to the U of Oklahoma campus in the fall following the summer congressional internship.

National Doctoral Fellowship in Business and Management

Deadline
December 17
Renewable
No

Applicant must be a full-time Ph.D. student, have high GMAT scores and GPA, and be a U.S. or Canadian citizen.

Robert J. Emery Student Support Fund

Deadline
September 1
Renewable
No

Applicant must be a second-year student and demonstrate superior academic performance and financial need.

E.W. Costello Entrance Scholarship

Deadline
May 1
Renewable
Yes

Selection is based upon academic record, LSAT score, maturity, extracurricular activities, work experience, and community involvement. No application required. Award is in Canadian dollars.

ACJA/LAE National Scholarship

Deadline
December 31
Renewable
No

Applicant must be a ACJA/LAE member in good standing who is currently enrolled in a recognized course of study directly (or indirectly) associated with the criminal justice field.

Robert Lavelle Scholarship

Deadline
January 15
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be a traditionally underrepresented student enrolled in the College of Business Administration. Selection is based upon high school performance and test scores.

LSAT Scholarship

Deadline
None
Renewable
No

Awarded automatically based upon applicant's average score on LSAT (Law School Admission Test), for first two semesters (at rate of 50% of award per semester). Amount of award depends on score.

Trustees' Scholarship

Deadline
None
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must have completed one full year of study with a minimum 19 units. Awarded automatically to top three-tenths of eligible students. Amount of award is based upon rank/GPA and number of units per semester. Financial need is not considered.

Thomas T. Hayashi Memorial Scholarship

Deadline
April 1
Renewable
No

Applicant must be a member of JACL. Selection is based upon personal statement, letters of recommendation, transcripts, work experience, and community involvement.

ACJA/LAE National Student Paper Competition

Deadline
January 31
Renewable
No

Applicant must be a member of ACJA/LAE in good standing. Original paper dealing with issues concerning the criminal justice field must be submitted.

Albert M. Becker Memorial Scholarship

Deadline
June 1
Renewable
No

Applicant must be the child of a member of the New York American Legion or Auxiliary, a member of American Legion Auxiliary Juniors, or a graduate of Boys State or Girls State. Applicant must be entering or attending an accredited four-year college.

Central Power & Light Company Scholarship - Business

Deadline
February 15
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must rank in the top tenth of class, have a minimum combined SAT I score of 970 (composite ACT score of 21), and have resided in the Central Power & Light service area for at least three years. Two letters of recommendation required.

Amoco Corporation Scholarship

Deadline
April 2
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must have a minimum 2.75 GPA. Two letters of recommendation required.

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Loans

The most common and easiest to find financial aid for graduates are loans. Students, through private loan agencies or the federal government, are able to cover more of their educational costs when they take out loans. The downside of this is that loans for graduate students are often unsubsidized, and they begin to accrue interest the moment they are used. This interest, if not paid while in school, is added to the total cost of the loan upon graduation.

Though the first step to finding federal loans, even for graduate students, is to fill out the FAFSA, what you qualify for will be different from the loans you may have received as an undergraduate. Below is a breakdown of the types of loans many master’s students take on to pay for their education.

All loans must be repaid, either in part or entirely; that is the nature of loans. However, through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, matriculated master’s students make regular monthly payments on their loans for ten years, or 120 payments. After this period, if they worked full-time for governmental, public service or nonprofit organizations, they may be eligible to apply for the PSLF program and have the remaining amount forgiven.

Loan Comparison Chart

Stafford
Eligibility Requirements No previous federal loan defaults; Must attend school at least half time
FAFSA Yes
Credit Check No
Amount Available Up to $20,500/year; $138,500 for entirety of degree
Interest Rates Tied to 10-year treasury note + 3.6%; Maximum of 9.5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/No
Repayment 6 months after leaving school
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness After 20-25 years; 10 years for public servants
Graduate Plus
Eligibility Requirements Must attend school at least half time; acceptable credit
FAFSA Yes
Credit Check Yes
Amount Available Full cost of graduate study, including living expenses
Interest Rates Tied to 10-year treasury note + 4.6%; maximum of 10.5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/No
Repayment Deferred until 6 months after school or after attendance drops below half time
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness After 10 years if employed in nonprofit or government
Perkins
Eligibility Requirements Must qualify as low-income student; income cut-off varies by school
FAFSA Yes
Credit Check No
Amount Available $8,000/year; varies according to college
Interest Rates 5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/Yes
Repayment 9 months after leaving school
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness Various Cases
Private
Eligibility Requirements Based on credit
FAFSA No
Credit Check Yes
Amount Available Varies
Interest Rates Varies
Fixed Rate/Subsidized No/No (Usually)
Repayment Immediately (Generally)
Income-based repayment No
Forgiveness No

Teacher, Graduate or Research Assistant Jobs

Many schools allow graduate students to work with professors as teacher or research assistants. In these positions, students may be called upon to teach an undergraduate class, grade papers, help prepare lecture materials or assist with research. It’s common for schools to reduce tuition for TAs and RAs, as well as pay them a monthly stipend.

While this is a viable option for lowering the cost of your master’s degree, keep in mind that you will still be required to complete all coursework on top of fulfilling your TA or RA duties. It might not be possible to take on one of these positions if you already have a job.

The best way to find TA and RA opportunities is to talk to the professors in your department or the career services office on your campus.