Campus Life > Students > Graduate School > Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial Aid & Scholarship Resources

The Lipsky Graduate Application Fund (For Coe College Students)

The Lipsky Graduate Application Fund encourages current Coe students to apply for admission to graduate programs in universities of distinction. The fund will pay for the cost of the application fee for up to three graduate schools. Stop in Career Services to pick up the application guidelines and request for support form.

How do I pay for Graduate School?

Fellowships and Scholarships

These are cash awards given by a department, the university, or an outside organization. They are given primarily according to financial need or academic merit. Some are specifically designated for minority or women applicants, or according to guidelines determined by a particular philanthropist. This kind of award does not need to be paid back and they can range from a few hundred to $10,000 or more. Students interested in fellowships and scholarships beyond the departmental level will usually have to take the initiative and apply for them.

Researching Grants and Fellowships: Web Databases

  • Michigan State University Libraries:

    Many topics/categories to search by. Lists results with brief description of scholarship, fellowship, grants, etc., with website links for each one. You also have the option to search databases and books. Feels more like a reference website than an information specific site, but yields good results. Brief descriptions make searching/finding very efficient.

  • Cornell University:

    Organized by Cornell University, this database offers an extensive list of fellowships. You can perform a general search, as well as click on a subject of interest or specific population. Results of search are then listed alphabetically, and each link offers specific information about that fellowship when clicked. This site is organized neatly and offers a great deal of information. Alphabetical results can be slightly overwhelming, but the detailed information is worth the effort. Fabulous site…must see!

  • Social Science Research Council:

    Social Science Research Council fellowship and grant programs that are sponsored either independently or with other organizations by the SSRC. Opportunities for those interested in fellowships in the social sciences and humanities, as well as natural science in some programs. Organized by type of fellowship (e.g. pre/post dissertation, post-doc., other).

  • FastWeb:

    A database that allows you to get information on over 600,000 grants and fellowships.


The most common assistantships are Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, and Administrative Assistantships. This form of financial aid is provided by the department or university and requires that a graduate student work in exchange for a stipend or for a tuition waiver. Teaching Assistants either teach or assist a faculty member with instruction for introductory courses, Research Assistants help faculty members with their research, and Administrative Assistants work in administrative or student support offices.

Federal Work-Study Program

This program works on the graduate level in the same way as on the undergraduate level. Not all universities participate in this program, but if they do then you may be able to find work in your field of interest.

Internships and Cooperative Education

Paid internships provide an employment opportunity in the community beyond the university that allows a student to both earn money and work in their field of interest. Cooperative education experiences are similar to internships, except the student alternates periods of work with periods of study.

Government Loans

  • Stafford Loans
    • Through this program, the government provides low-interest loans to graduate students. The loans are administered through banks, credit unions, savings and loan institutions, and the universities themselves. Students may borrow up to $18,500 per year up to a maximum of $138,500 (this total includes whatever undergraduate loans you have). There are two kinds of Stafford Loans. Subsidized Stafford Loans are awarded according to financial need. As long as a student is enrolled at least half-time then the government pays any interest that accrues until six-months after graduation or withdrawal. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are available to students who do not qualify according to financial need. With this loan, students must pay the interest that accrues while they are in school.
  • Perkins Loans
    • These loans are provided for students who show exceptional financial need. The individual university is responsible for administering these loans and in some cases will limit this type of loan to undergraduates. Students may borrow up to $6,000 per year, up to a maximum of $40,000, which includes undergraduate loans.
  • Other Loans
    • There are numerous programs that award private loans to graduate students. These loans are based on a student's credit rating rather than on financial need. There are specific loan programs available for students pursuing graduate studies in general fields as well as specific fields such as business, law, and medicine.

International Students

Student financial assistance from the U.S. government is reserved for U.S. citizens. International students must count on funding from their home country as well as from departmental and university funds from the schools to which they are applying. They must also utilize outside funding sources such as foundations and other philanthropic organizations.

Basic Tips for Financial Aid Application

Application for financial aid is not automatic. You will need to fill out and submit required aid applications before deadlines. Aid application instructions and deadlines are usually clearly stated in each school's application materials. Some schools require you to apply for aid when applying for admission. Other schools require that you be admitted before applying for financial aid.

Be prepared to submit copies of your federal income tax forms and federal aid transcripts from College. You may want to check the status of your aid application if you receive no response within a reasonable time period. Keep copies of all forms.