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Funding Your Graduate Education

Graduate students can fund their education in various ways and often utilize multiple resources. Brief descriptions of the general types of funding available are described below. For more detailed information, please visit the following Web sites:

Fellowships and Assistantships

Most merit-based assistance (graduate teaching assistantships, research assistantships and fellowships) is awarded through the schools or programs. Applicants who would like to be considered for assistantships and fellowships should consult the appropriate program’s Web site for further information. If you are applying for a fellowship/assistantship, answer “yes” to this question on the online application for graduate admission and, if required by your school or program, submit a separate fellowship/assistantship application and other materials that may be required.

Please note that the application for fellowships and assistantships is Jan 15 for the fall semester and Sept 1 for the spring semester. All admission materials are due by this deadline, even if this is earlier than the stated deadline for your program of interest. Applications received after the deadline will be considered for these awards only if funds remain available.

Loan Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OFSA) oversees the processing of all loans for students who have been admitted to a GW graduate degree or approved graduate certificate program. Federal loan programs require U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status and at least half-time attendance.

Credit-based consumer loans are available to supplement other sources of aid, and OSFA can provide school certification for any alternative program you choose. You should compare rates, fees and repayment options when choosing among the programs available.

Instructions for applying for these different types of loans are provided online. To have a loan processed before classes begin, all application materials must be on file in the Office of Student Financial Assistance by:

  • Fall Semester: May 1
  • Spring Semester: October 1
  • Summer Semester: March 1

Employment Opportunities

Many graduate students obtain employment to help fund their studies, often using the following resources:

  • GW Career Center: Information on full-time, part-time, internship, cooperative education, temporary and summer positions is available 
  • Jobs at GW Web site: Maintained by the Division of Human Resource Services, this site provides information about full-time and regular part-time positions. After a three-month waiting period, new GW employees, as well as the spouses and children of full-time employees, may receive educational benefits. (Note: Graduate students employed full- or part-time on a research grant may use their tuition benefits immediately if they begin their employment before the first day of classes.
  • Federal Work-Study Program: Available to U.S. citizens, provides jobs for graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.

International students with F-1 or J-1 visa status may be able to supplement their classroom experiences and personal funds through employment, co-operative education or internships, but proper employment authorization must be obtained BEFORE beginning work.For more information, contact the International Services Office.