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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  • Scholarships

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

State Farm Companies Scholarship

Deadline
February 15
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must have a minimum 2.75 GPA and at least 30 completed semester hours. Two letters of recommendation required.

Farmers Insurance Scholarship

Deadline
February 15
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must have a minimum 2.75 GPA and a minimum 30 completed credit hours.

Sells Business Administration Scholarship

Deadline
February 15
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must rank in top quarter of graduating class and have a minimum combined SAT I score of 1050 (composite ACT score of 23). Two letters of recommendation required.

Clyde Kitchens Scholarship

Deadline
None
Renewable
No

FAFSA required.

Abe Slann Memorial Scholarship

Deadline
March 1
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must have a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA.

Vince Sirois Memorial Scholarship

Deadline
August 1; November 15
Renewable
No

Applicant must be bilingual and must have demonstrated a commitment to public life. Selection is based upon academic achievement.

Communications Scholarship

Deadline
March 1
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be bilingual and must have demonstrated a commitment to public life. Selection is based upon academic achievement.

Frank Wright Scholarship

Deadline
March 1
Renewable
No

Applicant must be a U.S. citizen and demonstrate financial need.

Consortium Fellowship

Deadline
November 15 (early deadline) ; January 5 (regular deadline)
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident of any race or ethnicity who is able to demonstrate a commitment to the Consortium's mission of helping to reduce the serious under-representation of African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans in both member schools' enrollments and the ranks of management. Applicant must hold a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or an equivalent degree from a foreign country.

Law School Scholarship

Deadline
June 30
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be an exceptional student. Selection is based upon an applicant's financial situation, academic achievement, potential for law study, involvement in and commitment to the Hispanic community, reasons for studying law, and future plans. Applicant must submit application, letter of recommendation, transcript, and test scores.

Tilman M. Bishop Scholarship

Deadline
March 1
Renewable
No

Applicant must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, and must agree to serve as an intern with the Colorado State Legislature, preferably with the senator from the district serving Mesa County, Colo.

Department of Communication Scholarship

Deadline
January 11
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be a freshman student majoring in communication. Rank in top two-fifths of secondary school class required. Recipient must participate in a communication-related co-curricular activity.

Communications Radio/TV Scholarship

Deadline
February 15
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. Two letters of recommendation required.

Political Science Scholarship

Deadline
February 15
Renewable
No

Applicant must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and be active in the department and politically. Two letters of recommendation required.

Brookshire Politics Scholarship

Deadline
February 15
Renewable
No

Essay required.

W.E. Baker Pre-Law Scholarship

Deadline
February 15
Renewable
No

Applicant must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, be a member of the Pre-Law Society, and have completed POLS 2301 and 2302. Two letters of recommendation required.

Curl Scholarship

Deadline
January 15
Renewable
No

Applicant must have a minimum 3.0 GPA (minimum 3.5 GPA in political science). Preference is given to a student from southwest Missouri with a rural background.

Harris Y. Cotton Memorial Scholarship

Deadline
June 15
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be a New Jersey resident accepted for admission to a law school, have an interest in law enforcement with an emphasis on domestic violence and hate crimes prosecutions, and demonstrate financial need.

Andrew K. Ruotolo, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Deadline
June 15
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be a New Jersey resident accepted for admission to a law school or graduate school, exhibit an interest in and commitment to enhancing the rights and well-being of children through child advocacy programs, and demonstrate financial need.

Oscar W. Rittenhouse Memorial Scholarship

Deadline
June 15
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be a New Jersey resident accepted for admission to a law school and demonstrate financial need. Applicant must show interest in pursuing a career as a prosecutor.

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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.