Many academic departments provide financial support for graduate students, and funding can vary significantly among disciplines.
Whether a student receives funding, how much, and what form that financial support takes depends on the degree program to which they apply. Most forms of graduate financial support are granted on the basis of merit, while others are granted for financial need or a combination of merit and need. These policies and practices will vary from program to program.
We understand that finances are an important factor in the decision to go to graduate school, and that navigating financial systems can prove challenging at times. Below, we have outlined common terms and definitions for the financial designations used by the Institute’s range of graduate programs.
Typically, a “fully-funded” program provides tuition funding and living stipends for all students in good standing. Financial support for graduate students in fully-funded or partially-funded programs may take the form of Research Assistantships, Teaching Assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, scholarships, grants, and/or other forms of employment, such as working as a Graduate Resident Advisor in an undergraduate residence.
Typically, a “self-funded” program requires its graduate students to provide financial resources for tuition and living expenses. Students enrolling in self-funded programs might cover these costs through outside grants, tuition reimbursement from their company (if employed full-time), loans, or independent financial resources. Some of our more “professional” graduate programs, designed for mid-career individuals, may be self-funded.
Other degree programs may have limited funding available for graduate students. This could mean that the department provides partial tuition funding or a stipend to each student, that available funding opportunities are highly competitive, or that funding is allocated in another way not mentioned here. Financial support may be allocated based on academic achievement, demonstrated financial hardship, or any other mechanism that the department may use.
As with fully-funded programs, common forms of funding are Research Assistantships, instructor and Teaching Assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, scholarships, grants, and/or other forms of employment.
We encourage applicants to contact the program(s) that interest them to learn more about funding available for students. Please see our Degree Programs directory for more information about each program.
Applying for financial aid
Applicants are considered for awards after they have been accepted into a graduate program. There is no separate application for financial aid prior to admission. Currently enrolled graduate students seeking financial support should consult with their departmental office or visit Student Financial Services.
The standard application fee is $75 for all departments and programs except in the Sloan School of Management. Programs in the Sloan School of Management require application fees between $95–$250.
Fee waivers may be available on a limited basis. Please visit the Application Fee Waiver page for further information.
We do not offer refunds for applicants who are not eligible for admission or withdraw an application. If you have applied for a fee waiver, please wait to submit your graduate application until you receive a response from OGE; we are not able to apply fee waivers retroactively. If a technical error resulted in multiple transactions during the application submission process, please contact our office.