Financial aid and funding opportunities

We know that attending graduate school is a significant investment of time and money. Fortunately, there are many financial aid and funding opportunities that can help alleviate some or much of the burden. We encourage you to explore the many scholarship, grant, loan and work-study options available that help make paying for graduate school as affordable an investment as possible.

The primary source of financial aid for Evans School students comes from the University of Washington (UW) office of Student Financial Aid. The most common forms of UW-administered financial aid are Stafford or Perkins (NDSL) loans, as well as work study awards and other grants. Applicants and students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the annual deadline for priority consideration.

In addition to the resources below, the Evans School has compiled a list of external funding opportunities that may be relevant to students applying to Evans School academic programs.

Please note that the Evans School does not participate in the State Employee Tuition Exemption Program for Washington State employees, with the exception of those approved for enrollment as graduate non-matriculated students. Students enrolled in Evans School degree programs are not eligible for Tuition Exemption.

University of Washington applicants and graduate students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for financial aid. The most common forms of UW-administered financial aid are federal loans, grants, and work study awards. The FAFSA should be submitted prior to January 15 for priority consideration for financial aid for the upcoming school year. Eligibility requirements and funding amounts vary annually.  Financial aid awards generally require full-time enrollment (10 or more credits per quarter); however, students in the Part-Time and EMPA programs are eligible for financial aid at part-time enrollment (at 5 or more credits per quarter).

The FAFSA is available starting on October 1 each year. We encourage applicants to file your FAFSA as soon after October 1 as possible, noting University of Washington, Code 003798 on the form.

Please note:

  • The application for financial aid is separate from your application for admission.
  • For priority consideration for financial aid, your FAFSA must be dated and received by the federal processor by January 15 for the upcoming school year.
  • Therefore, applicants should submit their FAFSA prior to receiving information from the Evans School about whether you will be extended an offer of admission.

The Graduate School’s Office of Fellowships and Awards administers application processes for several fellowships to support UW graduate students. The Graduate School also provides helpful resources to support students and applicants seeking fellowship funding including a list of popular fellowships.

We strongly recommend utilizing the University of Washington’s Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) to identify internal and external funding opportunities.

At the University of Washington, there are three primary types of graduate student assistantships, also called Academic Student Employees (ASEs):

  • Teaching Assistant (TA): work with students in a classroom, lab, or quiz section setting
  • Research Assistant (RA): work on research projects; does not involve teaching
  • Graduate Staff Assistant (GSA): other types of duties such as advising or administration

Some, but not all, 20 hour per week assistantships provide a tuition waiver and health insurance through the Graduate Appointee Insurance Program (GAIP). Your offer letter from the hiring department will confirm the length of employment, salary and benefits eligibility.

At the UW, academic student employees (ASEs) are hired directly by the employing department. Each department conducts its own individual hiring process and their assistantship job postings will state what is required to be considered for such positions. Learn more about hiring process and how to find a position.

A small number of Evans School students are offered opportunities to work in other departments and units across the UW campus. Administrative units that do not have their own graduate students, or departments whose own graduate students have already secured ASE opportunities, will recruit widely for positions from relevant degree programs across campus.

You may hear about ASE positions open to all graduate students from the following sources:

  • Opportunities posted in EvansJobs (the Evans School’s job and internship database)
  • The UW Employment site, UWHires, is the official recruitment page for many types of positions at UW (when looking filter for the category Academic Student Employee)
  • The Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS), located in the Allen Library. GFIS maintains a blog for both UW and external funding, including job postings for assistantships.

Affordability and access to our degree programs is a top priority for the Evans School. The Evans School has a long-standing tradition of awarding merit-based fellowships to a selected number of applicants.

Fellowships are awarded annually, at time of admission, to selected students in each year’s incoming class. Consideration is primarily based on academic achievement and/or excellence in public service.  Over the past several years, nearly 30% of incoming MPA students enter the program with an Evans School merit-based fellowship award. Your application for admission to the Evans School is also your application for fellowship funding. No separate application is available for fellowships at the Evans School. Applicants may also be considered for funding to support their internship experience during the MPA program.

We encourage all international applicants to review the UW’s online guide and resources for international graduate students looking for funding opportunities