Graduate Student Funding


GW graduate students working on their laptops


We know that attending graduate school can be a big decision, especially when it comes to financing your education. Columbian College offers a variety of funding opportunities, including program-level scholarships and merit-based awards. Several offices at GW are also dedicated to providing assistance with financial aid, fellowships and grants.

Tuition and fees at GW are comparable to the national average for private universities. These costs, set by the GW Board of Trustees, generally increase from year to year and may vary by program and location. The Student Accounts Office provides information on tuition rates and fees for individual schools.


Funding for Prospective Students

GW Graduate students


Deadline extended to June 1!

Grad2Grad is a special opportunity for current GW undergraduate students to transition straight into graduate studies after completing their bachelor's degree. The program provides a 10 percent reduction in tuition to eligible graduating seniors.

TSPPPA Students

Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) Award

Columbian College’s MSI Award provides an application fee waiver and a tuition award of at least 40 percent to qualified students who attended eligible MSI institutions and are applying to Columbian College graduate programs.

GW Graduate Student

International Graduate Funding Initiative

To stimulate the benefits of global exchange, international students from qualifying countries may be eligible for a tuition award of up to $10,000 per academic year.


Funding for Current Graduate Students

Financial Aid Resources on Campus


Types of Funding

Dean's Scholarships

Deans Scholarships FundingQualified students applying to one of Columbian College’s Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), Master of Forensic Science (MFS) or Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree programs may be eligible for a Dean’s Scholarship.

The deadline to be considered for this funding opportunity is February 1. For more information, please contact the director of your program of interest. Students admitted through a Combined Degree program have already received the equivalent of a Dean's Scholarship in the form of a Required Graduate Credit Reduction, and therefore are not eligible. However, they may be eligible for the Grad2Grad 10 percent tuition reduction program. 

Fellowships and Assistantships

Fellowships Grad Funding

Applicants who would like to be considered for merit-based assistance should consult the program’s website or the Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships for more information. If you are applying for a fellowship or assistantship, answer “yes” to the question on your online application for graduate admission. You may also need to submit other materials, such as a separate fellowship/assistantship application, if required by your program.

The application deadline for most fellowships and assistantships is January 15 for the fall semester and September 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

Loan Grad Funding

The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) oversees the processing of all loans for students who have been admitted to a GW graduate degree or 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.

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 with OSFA by:

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

View 2018-2019 Loan Process (PDF)


Employment Grad Funding

Many graduate students obtain employment to help fund their studies.

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

GW Career Center
Information on full-time, part-time, internship, cooperative education, temporary and summer positions is available

GW Jobs
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, this program provides jobs for graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.

Military Education Benefits

Military Grad FundingIf you are a veteran, active duty service member or dependent of either, you may be eligible for financial aid through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. The Office of Military and Veteran Student Services can help you navigate programs like the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill to obtain support for your graduate program.


Frequently Asked Questions

I am a GW employee using employee tuition benefits. Am I also eligible for an award?

No, employees may not combine employee benefits with merit awards.


I do not currently have an award, but I would like one. What are my options?

If you are a doctoral student, please consult with your Director of Graduate Studies. Many funding decisions are made by the Department.
Current students can find details on competitive scholarship opportunities at GW through the Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships:

CCAS will distribute information about any other available opportunities that arise to the CCAS Graduate Student Listserv.

I am interested in being a Graduate Assistant. What is the process for becoming one?

Academic departments select Graduate Assistants (GAs). These positions are limited and not available in all departments. Interested candidates should indicate their interest in a GA position on their admission application, if applicable. Students can also contact their program’s DGS for more information about being a GA in a future term. (add WID program contact)


I am an international student/applicant planning to be on a visa. Am I eligible to be a GA or GRA?

The University requires a minimum TOEFL of 100 (IELTS overall of 7.0 with no individual score below 6.0) in order to be considered for a GA position. GRAs and Fellows are not required to have a TOEFL higher than the minimum for their program, but note that awards do not cover EAP (English for Academic Purposes) coursework. Students who were waived out of providing test scores for the English language requirement in the application are eligible. Current GW students who have successfully completed EAP (English for Academic Purposes) in a prior term are also eligible. If you are offered a GA or GRA award and you are in the US on a visa, you must be on an appropriate visa (F-1) to accept the award. If you are not on an F-1 visa, please contact your visa sponsor, as GW will request written permission from your sponsor to serve. This may not be possible depending upon your visa type.


Have questions about the Student Health Insurance plan. Whom do I contact for help?

Please see the Colonial Health Center’s website for the most up to date information about the plan available and current rates:

For questions, please contact the Student Health Insurance Program at [email protected]


My letter noted that I am eligible for a Student Health Insurance Related Payment. When will I receive the payment and whom do I contact with questions?

The Student Health Insurance payment amount and timeline are noted in your award letter. Note that only students with a GA or GRA position for at least one semester of the academic year are eligible for the payment. You must also be enrolled in GW’s student health insurance 

plan to receive the payment. The payment will post to your student account after the start of term as a credit. Usually this is done by November 15 for Fall and March 15 for Spring at the latest. You should pay the balance of your bill before the start of classes. For questions about the Health Insurance Related Payment, please contact the Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships ([email protected]).

How do I request a refund for the Health Insurance Related Payment or another credit on my bill?

For instructions, please see the website for the Office of Student Accounts: You may also leave the credit on your bill to be applied toward a future term.