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Paying for Graduate School 

Within Your Reach

Financial considerations should not stop you from considering a doctoral degree. Many doctoral programs, including those at Stanford, provide robust graduate aid packages to fund living expenses and tuition. In some cases, there may also be funding to assist with research and other academic expenses.

Master’s programs tend to have limited or no funding. Yet taking out a loan may still make sense when considering a master’s program. 

Regardless of whether you are thinking about a doctoral or master’s program, it is important that you carefully consider the cost of attendance and identify available resources to help you pay for your graduate education. Below are some helpful resources.

Application Fee Waivers 

Stanford offers Graduate Application Fee Waivers to encourage applicants from all economic backgrounds. If you are from an underrepresented background, received undergraduate financial aid, or participated in undergraduate diversity research programs, you might be eligible.

External Fellowships

Apply for external fellowships, as well as fellowships at the institutions to which you are applying. Below are two great possibilities. More links are provided by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program awards up to three years of fellowship to support graduate education at Stanford to students from all disciplines, with additional opportunities for leadership training and collaboration across fields. Degree programs that exceed three years provide additional funding to a level consistent with their standard funding commitment. Students apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars and, separately, to the relevant graduate degree program.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

The NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. Eligibility is limited to U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents.

Paying for Graduate School at Stanford

The first step is to contact the program to which you are applying to inquire about financial support that they may provide. Start with their website, then follow up with questions. 

Stanford’s Financial Aid Office provides information about graduate aid, the student budget, and applying for aid.