Methods for Funding Graduate Students

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Graduate student assistantships enable students to earn compensation for their research or teaching while continuing their academic and professional development. Graduate assistantships are controlled and/or administered by academic departments. The department decides who receives these forms of financial support, and at what level the graduate student will be supported.

See the Graduate Financial Support Policy Manual, for more detail on assistantships.

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Graduate fellowships from Stanford-based funds generally are controlled by the school and administered by the department. The department determines the requirements and restrictions as well as the level of support given, ranging from funds to cover partial tuition to full tuition and a living stipend.

See the Graduate Financial Support Policy Manual, for more detail on fellowships.

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Funding Through Financial Aid Offices

Graduate financial aid is administered by Stanford University's Financial Aid Office, the Schools of Medicine Financial Aid Office, the Law School Financial Aid Office, and the Graduate School of Business Financial Aid Office.

See Financial Aid Offices for links to specific aid offices.


Federal and non-federal student loans are available to graduate students enrolled at least half-time in a degree program. Student loans are administered by the various Financial Aid Offices on campus. To apply for federal student loans, students need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students should contact their Financial Aid Office for information and application instructions.

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Federal Work-Study

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program provides part-time employment for graduate students while they are enrolled at least half-time in a degree program. FWS positions are sometimes structured in the form of a research or teaching assistantship with a corresponding tuition allowance. In other cases, students receive hourly wages for FWS jobs. FWS is funded primarily by the federal government with matching contributions from the University and, for off-campus employment in Community Service, the hiring organization.

Since FWS jobs are structured in different ways by the various departments and schools, students should contact their academic department or school office for information about FWS opportunities. Undergraduate students interested in Community Service FWS should contact the Haas Center for Public Service. All students who wish to receive FWS funding must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FWS awards are based on computed financial need and available funds. Additional information may be available from the Financial Aid Office.

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Emergency Grant-in-Aid Funds

Emergency Grant-in-Aid Funds assist graduate students who experience a financial emergency or unanticipated expenses (e.g., medical, dental, or legal) causing financial hardship. This program is designed to assist those who cannot reasonably resolve their financial difficulty through fellowships or loans. For more detailed information and application procedures, please refer to the Emergency Grant-in-Aid (PDF) instructions and application form.

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