Funding and Costs

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. 

Funding Opportunities for New Students

Funding Opportunities

Review merit award opportunities as well as other sources of funding for new students.


Types of Funding


Tuition awards are awards that only cover tuition and are applied directly to your student bill.  Tuition awards vary in size from approximately 1 credit of tuition to full tuition for PhD students. Tuition awards are not considered taxable income. 


A stipend is a living allowance, paid to students to support their study.  Stipends do not require any work other than the student’s own academic work.  Stipends are taxable income and are reported to the IRS. However, stipends are not earned income, so GW does not withhold income tax from stipend payments.  Stipend payments are issued on a monthly basis at the beginning of the month.

 Salary (Assistantship)

Salary is a monthly payment that is made for services rendered such as a graduate assistantship or graduate research assistantship.  They vary in size and are based on hours worked. This is taxable, earned income to the student, subject to federal, state, and FICA tax withholding, as with any paid employment.  New international students whose native language is not English must have a TOEFL score of 100 (IELTS of 7.0) in order to be eligible to be a GA.


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. You can contact Gordon Mantler, Executive WID Director,  or visit the GA Website for more information


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 Office of Student Accounts website. You may also leave the credit on your bill to be applied toward a future term.