Paying for Grad School With Grant Money

Find Top Grants to Pay for Graduate School

University Headquarters

We Can Help You Find Federal Grants for College

Learn More Below

When you decide to return to school for a graduate degree in any field, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to fund your continued education. A university education at any level isn’t cheap. Once you get to the graduate level, some specific grants won’t be available for you to use; the Pell Grant was designed only for undergraduates.

Grants are “free” money, provided to students for the purpose of obtaining an education. Once you know you’re returning to school, you need to complete a FAFSA application to be eligible for most grant funding.

Grants are not exactly the same as scholarships, though neither of them will need to be repaid. Grants are given because students demonstrate financial need; scholarships rely more on merit to be awarded. You may need to maintain a specific GPA to retain any grants that you are awarded. At the graduate level, a grant may be known as a fellowship.

Learn How Grants Can Help You With College Tuition


Eligibility & Sources


Eligibility for a grant focuses mostly on financial need. To maintain the grant throughout your time in graduate school, you’ll need to submit a new FAFSA before the deadline each academic year. Eligibility is affected if you choose an unaccredited school as grant funding will usually not be provided for unaccredited educational institutions. Your chosen degree program and/or research goals may also affect eligibility as many grants are provided for specific majors.

If you withdrew from school; your enrollment status changed, reducing your eligibility; or you receive additional grants or scholarships, you may need to repay a portion of your grant. This is something you should keep in mind while putting together your full financial aid package.

Grant sources include the US Department of Labor, religious, community, ethnic, professional, and civic organizations, as well as local businesses. If you are employed, your employer may help by granting funds for tuition.

Types of Grants


As a graduate student, you have several sources and types of grants available to you. Beginning with federal, you may be eligible for Fulbright grants, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grants, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service grants, which are intended for the dependents of service members who died in action in either country.

State grants assist students in graduate school. Some are intended to go to students who prove financial need, others go to students who are majoring in specific graduate-level degree programs, and some may be intended to help students conduct research.

Other graduate-level grants are specific to each school, who are looking to attract the best students. These grants pay for your graduate learning and some will pay for doctoral or PhD learning.

Federal Grants for Graduate Students


  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
    Amount: Up to $4,000/year
    Deadline: Submit your FAFSA before October 31 of each academic year.
    Link: https://studentaid.gov/app/launchTeach.action

    The TEACH Grant is for undergraduate or graduate students who plan to teach a subject that is badly needed within a low-income area suffering from teacher shortages in either elementary or secondary school. Subjects include foreign languages, bilingual education/English language acquisition, mathematics, science, reading specialist, special education, and any other subject identified as high need, which the US Department of Education can change whenever they feel it’s necessary.

  • Fulbright US Student Program
    Amount: Varies
    Deadline: October
    Link: https://us.fulbrightonline.org/

    The US government may alter the number of awards, allowances, and terms of agreement from year to year. Recipients receive round-trip transportation into and out of the host country, as well as other benefits. In other countries, grants may provide book and research allowances, full/partial tuition, and other services.

  • Fulbright-Hays—Group Projects Abroad Program
    Amount: Varies
    Deadline: December
    Link: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/iegpsgpa/index.html

    The Fulbright-Hays program awards grants to graduate students who will be taking part in research, training, and curriculum development. Planned student projects are required to concentrate on languages, humanities, and social sciences within the Western Hemisphere, Africa, East Asia, the Pacific, and Southeast Asia.

  • Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program
    Amount: A stipend of up to $30,00; Institutional payment of $13,755 (as of 2011)
    Link: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/jacobjavits/index.html

    This program provides fellowships to students who have demonstrated superior academic ability. They are selected based on demonstrated financial need and exceptional promise. Students use stipends to pursue study at the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and the Doctor of Fine Arts (DFA) level within selected social sciences, humanities, and the arts.

Degree-Specific Graduate Grants


  • Doctoral Grants in Oncology Social Work
    Amount: $20,000 initial stipend, with possibility of a 2-year renewal
    Deadline: October 15
    Link: https://www.cancer.org/research/we-fund-cancer-research/apply-research-grant/grant-types/doctoral-training-grant-oncology-social-work.html

    Qualifying doctoral social work students who are training to conduct research specific to oncology social work are required to participate in an informational call for interested students. Students who wish to receive a renewal grant should show satisfactory progress in their doctoral program to be eligible to apply.

  • McNair Scholars Program
    Amount: Up to a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 and an education allowance
    Deadline: Varies
    Link: https://mcnairscholars.com/

    Students chosen for the McNair Scholars Program are able to obtain grant funding for several fields including business, arts & humanities, general graduate/scholar, diversity, social sciences, life and health science, and science and engineering. Each discipline is sorted into organizations and agencies that provide support for graduate student study.

  • American Psychology-Law Society Grants in Aid for Graduate Students
    Amount: Maximum of $1,000
    Deadline: September 30
    Link: https://www.apadivisions.org/division-41/awards/student-grants

    Current graduate students and active student affiliate members of the American Psychology-Law Society are eligible for this grant. These students are required to be working on research projects that are identified in proposals. Projects are required to have received proof of ethical approval.

  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
    Amount: Not listed
    Deadline: November 15
    Link: https://www.nsfgrfp.org/

    The Graduate Research Fellowship Program within the National Science Foundation awards research fellowships to students who are early in their graduate training in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) field.

  • Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education
    Amount: Up to $15,000, projects lasting up to 3 years
    Deadline: Rolling Schedule
    Link: https://www.sare.org/Grants

    This grant is administered by the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Graduate Student Grant Program. Every grant is intended to support projects to address sustainable agriculture issues as a part of their degree program. Students should be officially registered master’s or PhD students.

  • Jane B. Aron Doctoral Fellowship
    Amount: Up to $17,900 - funding is based on projected earnings; The HEALS grant adds additional grant funding
    Deadline: March 11
    Link: https://www.naswfoundation.org/Our-Work/Scholarships-Fellowships-Awards/Fellowships/Jane-B-Aron-Doctoral-Fellowship

    The Jane B. Aron fellowship aids graduate level social work students to assist in the creation of social policy that helps to meet people’s needs. One fellowship is awarded each academic year to one social work doctoral student writing a dissertation on health policy and practice.

  • The Geological Society of America Graduate Student Research Grants
    Amount: $2,100 average - based on total granted
    Deadline: February 3
    Link: https://www.geosociety.org/GSA/Education_Careers/Grants_Scholarships/GSA/grants/home.aspx?hkey=e4133995-e8fd-43a7-b169-7323b0d72ee9

    The GSA research grants program helps students obtain partial support for master’s and doctoral thesis research within their geological sciences degree fields. This research is required to be within the geosciences field. The grant writing experience is also designed to provide “career development opportunity” in requesting grants, development, and research.

  • AAUW Career Development Grants
    Amount: $2,000 to $12,000
    Deadline: November
    Link: https://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/educational-funding-and-awards/career-development-grants/cdg-application/

    Awards to students are made based on specific selection criteria. Namely, they are committed to education equity for women and girls, focused on your stated reason for pursuing higher education or technical training, a high degree of consistency between study plan and career objectives, and a high potential for success in the student’s chosen field.

  • Organization for Autism Research Graduate Student Grants
    Amount: $1,000 - Master’s students; $2,000 - Doctoral Students
    Deadline: February
    Link: https://researchautism.org/research-grants/apply-for-a-grant/

    The Organization for Autism Research seeks students pursuing either their master’s or doctoral degrees in autism research to whom it can award grants. Winning students are required to be focusing their research on the everyday challenges that individuals with autism face. Research should also focus on the variations within the autism spectrum.

  • Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon
    Amount: Up to $5,000
    Deadline: February 14
    Link: https://www.loc.gov/rr/print/swann/

    This fellowship is awarded to aid the fellow in his or her continuing scholarly research and writing projects that are focused within the field of caricature and cartoon. Eligible students are working toward their MA or PhD degree within an accredited graduate program. The university attended should be located within the United States, Mexico, or Canada.

  • Nieman Fellowships
    Amount: Various Fellowships
    Deadline: Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowships - September; International Nieman Fellowship - December; US Nieman Fellowship - January; Abrams Nieman Fellowship for Local Investigative Journalism - February 18
    Link: https://nieman.harvard.edu/fellowships/

    Eligible students are working toward their degrees in different journalism fields such as local investigative journalism or journalism innovation. Students will study and complete research projects at Harvard University. Graduate students who have already worked within a field of journalism field are also encouraged to apply.

  • Ocean Science Journalism Fellowship
    Amount: $1,200 travel allowance - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution covers room and board
    Deadline: April 17
    Link: https://www.whoi.edu/press-room/journalism-fellowship/

    This fellowship is created as a residential experience for professional science writers, editors, and producers. Applicants must work in print, radio, broadcast, or internet media. Students are introduced to the combined disciplines and diverse fields within ocean engineering and oceanography. Candidates should have two years, minimum, of writing, editing, or producing experience for a general-interest audience.

  • Graduate Women in Science
    Amount: Up to $10,000
    Deadline: January 10
    Link: https://www.gwis.org/page/fellowship_program

    Eligible women in a graduate degree program in a science field will need to explain how their proposed research relates to their degree program. The relevance of their research may also relate to their planned career development. Women who have mentored or collaborated with other scientists are more likely to be selected.

  • American Psychological Foundation Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford Grant
    Amount: Up to $1,500
    Deadline: February 15
    Link: https://www.apa.org/apf/funding/blasey-ford

    Graduate students and researchers who are early in their careers focusing on expanding the understanding, prevention, and/or treatment of the follow-up to traumatic events (sexual harassment, sexual assault, or rape). Research must be innovative, expanding the field. Original proposals that contribute to the understanding of trauma are most likely to be accepted.

MBA Grants


  • American Association of University Women Career Development Grants
    Amount: $2,000 to $12,000
    Deadline: November 15
    Link: https://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/educational-funding-and-awards/career-development-grants/

    Eligible women must be US citizens or permanent residents and hold a bachelor’s degree; they should have received their degrees on or before June 30, 2015; they cannot hold an earned graduate or professional degree; and should be planning to enroll in courses that their employers require them to take for professional advancement (master’s degree or professional degree).

  • Accenture American Indian - Graduate Level
    Amount: $15,000 ($7,500/academic year for two years)
    Deadline: June 1
    Link: https://www.aigcs.org/scholarships-fellowships/graduate-students/

    Qualified American Indians and Alaska Native students can obtain needed financial assistance so they can earn an MBA degree. Students must demonstrate a record of “outstanding” academic achievements, an ability to demonstrate good leadership, and a desire to preserve their Native American culture. They should also show proof of enrollment in a federally recognized tribe.

  • Toigo Fellowship
    Amount: $5,000
    Deadline: Not provided
    Link: https://toigofoundation.org/become-a-toigo-fellow/

    This fellowship is awarded every academic year to a student planning to work in finance. Student must be either a US citizen or a permanent resident of the US. They must be Hispanic, African American, Native American, Alaska Native, or Asian-American/Pacific Islander.

  • Cronk Opportunity
    Amount: $1,000
    Deadline: Not provided
    Link: https://www.womenoftheelca.org/scholarships

    This grant is provided to women who are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Funds are required to be used for an MBA. Eligible women must be older than 21 and out of school for a minimum of two years before they can apply.

  • Golden Key Research Grant
    Amount: $2,000
    Deadline: June 23
    Link: https://www.goldenkey.org/scholarship/golden-key-research-grant/

    Eligible students must be members of Golden Key, current graduate or past-graduate students who are either part-time or full-time. They must be currently enrolled in a degree-granting program and submit a description of the proposed research, with documented evidence of an invitation to present at a professional association conference.

  • Tribal Business Management
    Amount: $500 to $5,000
    Deadline: March 15 - April 30 - September 15
    Link: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/scholarships/tribal-business-management-scholarship

    MBA students who are at least one-quarter Native American (American Indian or Alaska Native), are eligible for this grant. Students are required to submit proof of membership in a federally recognized tribe, an essay, letters of recommendation, and their transcripts. Recipients will be required to work to promote tribal development and management.

  • The Forte Fellows Program
    Amount: Not provided
    Deadline: Not provided
    Link: http://www.fortefoundation.org/site/PageServer?pagename=mba_fellows

    Eligible women must be enrolled in an accredited MBA program. They must submit an application to a business or school that participates in fellowship awards. Students must be full-time students in their MBA program. This program works to increase the numbers of women in MBA programs across the country.

  • American Association of University Women (AAUW)
    Amount: $2,000 to $35,000
    Deadline: Varies – Many Grants Available
    Link: https://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/educational-funding-and-awards/

    The AAUW Career Development Grants provide financial support to women who are in school to advance or change their career. The Selected Professions Fellowship aids women in under-represented fields, including business, to earn their MBA degrees.

  • American Association of University Women Career Development Grants
    Amount: Not specified
    Deadline: December
    Link: https://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/educational-funding-and-awards/career-development-grants/

    Eligible students are female, US citizens or permanent residents. They must already hold a bachelor’s degree, which they earned on or before June 30, 2004. They are also required to attend a regionally accredited institution to qualify. Every credit must relate to their professional development and they must be taking courses for the entire grant year.

  • Healthcare Management Research Award
    Amount: $20,000
    Deadline: February 3
    Link: https://www.nihcm.org/awards/research-award

    Recipients are required to be American College of Healthcare Executives working in the healthcare field and furthering their educations.

  • Anderson School of Management Donor Fellowships
    Amount: Not provided
    Deadline: Not provided
    Link: https://www.anderson.ucla.edu/degrees/full-time-mba/financing/financing-opportunities

    Generous donors to the UCLA Anderson School of Management select MBA students to receive fellowships. Eligibility criteria include their intended career, professional development, and community involvement. Financial need may also be a consideration.

  • UCLA Anderson School of Management Consortium Fellowships
    Amount: Not provided
    Deadline: Not provided
    Link: https://www.anderson.ucla.edu/degrees/full-time-mba/admissions/consortium-candidates

    An applicant who is admitted through the Consortium process, who also becomes a Consortium member will be considered for a fellowship that covers full tuition and fees. The admission application packet’s strength influences the UCLA Fellowship Committee’s decision; fellowship awards cover a two-year period.

  • ROMBA Fellowships (Reaching Out MBA)
    Amount: $10,000 per year ($20,000 Total)
    Link: https://www.reachingoutmba.org/lgbtmbafellowship

    The UCLA Anderson School of Business is a member school of ROMBA. These fellowships are awarded to students who identify or who have committed to act as an active ally of LGBTQ executives. Recipients should demonstrate leadership in this community and commit to the advancement of LGTBQ individuals in the world of business.