You submitted your application to graduate school -- now how do you pay for it?
You received the acceptance letter from the graduate school of your dreams – now the reality of having to pay for another round of tuition, books and living expenses sets in. Over the past 10 years, I served as the director of the PPIA Junior Summer Institute at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In that role, I often discussed graduate school opportunities with students and I was very surprised that many of them did not ask about financial support for graduate study. Some students shared with me that they were not considering graduate school because they did not have a means to pay for it. Or more specifically, they ruled out certain institutions because they feared the assumed financial burden.
What I enjoy most about my job is that I get to inform students that graduate school is attainable at many of the top public policy and international affairs graduate programs, because a number of them offer financial awards based up merit, need, and other criteria. Additionally, there are external fellowships and scholarships available for graduate study. But, you have to do your homework.
Financial awards vary by each graduate institution. Our financial aid policies at the Woodrow Wilson School are designed to minimize loan indebtedness. We offer both need and merit-based scholarships for tuition and living expenses. More than 90% of students receive financial aid. See more at: http://wws.princeton.edu/admissions#sthash.i4JqB2Xf.dpuf
For students considering other graduate programs in public policy or international affairs, I advise them to look into the following fellowship programs and partnerships:
AmeriCorps, the Corporation for National & Community Service
APSIA, the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs