18 Graduate School Scholarships

Graduate school tuition is rising, and students are taking on more debt. These graduate school scholarships can help you pay for your education.
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Published on September 22, 2023
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  • Typical scholarship application requirements include writing an essay and meeting a GPA cutoff.
  • Some scholarships may restrict applicants to those earning a degree in a specific discipline.
  • Scholarships may accept applications year-round or feature many application deadlines throughout the year.
  • Full-ride scholarships for graduate school may also pay for your living expenses.

A Brookings Institution report from 2020 shows that although graduate students make up only 25% of student borrowers, they hold half of the nation's student debt. The report also reveals that graduate student loans have more than doubled since the 1990s. With graduate school tuition only increasing nationwide, you need new ways to fund your education.

Fortunately, graduate school scholarships help you reduce your reliance on federal and private student loans. Less debt can lead to a better credit score, letting you qualify for home or auto loans sooner than your peers.

Scholarships for graduate school use similar application requirements as undergraduate scholarships. Some are specific to those of a particular academic discipline, gender, or racial background.

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Scholarships for Graduate School

Start your search for graduate school scholarships by exploring those open to applicants of all backgrounds. Check the scholarship website for complete application requirements.

Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

Who Qualifies: The Ayn Rand Essay Contest accepts applications from high school, college, and graduate students living in the U.S. and abroad. You read the novel before writing an 800-1,600-word essay on one of three prompts. The Ayn Rand Organization awards 84 scholarships, with one $10,000 prize.

Deadline: November 6, 2023

Award Amount: $50-$10,000

Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest

Who Qualifies: The Gallery Collection's Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest accepts applications from students ages 14 and older. You can submit a card on any theme or holiday. Greeting card experts judge submissions on aesthetic appeal, creativity, and design elements. The Gallery Collection announces the scholarship recipient 10 weeks after the deadline.

Deadline: March 1, 2024

Award Amount: $10,000

Education Matters Scholarship

Who Qualifies: Unigo awards this scholarship to one applicant enrolled in an accredited postsecondary institution. Applicants must submit a short essay about why education matters. Other requirements include U.S. citizenship or residency and residing in the United States when applying.

Deadline: November 30, 2023

Award Amount: $5,000

Rapid Formations Entrepreneur Scholarship Programme

Who Qualifies: Although based in the United Kingdom, the Rapid Formations Entrepreneur Scholarship Programme accepts applications from American undergraduate and graduate students. You submit the official application, one recommendation letter, and an 800-word essay outlining your entrepreneurial idea. The scholarship committee considers academic merit and financial need.

Deadline: August 31, 2023

Award Amount: $750

Discipline-Specific Graduate School Scholarships

Some scholarships for graduate school restrict applicants by academic discipline. You can find more opportunities by working with your college's academic and career advisors.

March of Dimes Nursing Scholarship

Who Qualifies: This scholarship is open to registered nurses studying maternal-child nursing at the master's or doctoral level. Requirements include employment as an RN, MSN degree-seeker status, and a maternal-child health concentration. You must apply with at least one academic term remaining.

Deadline: To be announced

Award Amount: $5,000

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program

Who Qualifies: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) offers this scholarship to graduate students whose research closely aligns with NOAA's mission. The organization encourages scholarship applications from women and minorities. The scholarship committee awards extra points to applicants whose academic research resembles NOAA scientists' work.

Deadline: Applications open in October 2023

Award Amount: Up to $42,000

AICP Scholarship Program

Who Qualifies: The Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals awards three scholarships each year to recipients studying insurance or a business-related field and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

Deadline: To be announced

Award Amount: $1,500

A Nurse I Am Scholarship

Who Qualifies: Cherokee Uniforms' A Nurse I Am Scholarship awards funding to undergraduate and graduate nursing students. Full- and part-time degree-seekers may apply even if they haven't started their education. You do not need proof of enrollment on your application. Cherokee Uniforms confirms finalists' information with schools before announcing scholarship recipients.

Deadline: April 15, 2024

Award Amount: $3,000

Teddy Sarna Veterinary Medicine Scholarship

Who Qualifies: The Teddy Sarna Veterinary Medicine Scholarship awards funding to U.S.-based veterinary students. Application materials include an online form and a 500-word essay outlining your academic goals and financial need. Previous scholarship recipients may reapply as long as they meet all eligibility requirements.

Deadline: To be announced

Award Amount: $1,500

Graduate Scholarships for Women

Graduate scholarships for women's smaller applicant pool may raise your chances of receiving financial aid.

American Fellowships

Who Qualifies: The American Association of University Women (AAUW) accepts applications from doctoral candidates preparing dissertations. Eligibility requirements include AAUW membership, enrollment in an on-campus program, U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, and status as a final-year doctoral student. Prior AAUW fellows may not reapply.

Deadline: November 15, 2023

Award Amount: $8,000-$50,000

Ethnic Minority and Women's Enhancement Graduate Scholarship

Who Qualifies: The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) awards this scholarship to undergraduate women applying to graduate school. Requirements include status as a student-athlete and a plan to earn a graduate degree in sports administration or a similar topic. You must also hold a minimum 3.2 undergraduate GPA and attend an NCAA-member school.

Deadline: To be announced

Award Amount: $10,000

Jacobs Holly A. Cornell Scholarship

Who Qualifies: The American Water Works Association (AAWA) awards the Jacobs Holly A. Cornell Scholarship to one woman annually. Your graduate major must relate to water supply and treatment, and application materials include three recommendation letters. You may use the same application form to apply for more than one AAWA scholarship.

Deadline: December 20, 2023

Award Amount: $10,000

Society of Women Engineers Scholarships

Who Qualifies: SWE's scholarships provide over $1,700,000 in annual funding to undergraduate and graduate women studying engineering. Requirements include enrolling in an ABET-certified program, being a full-time student, and showing financial need. You apply by completing an online form, submitting official transcripts, and providing two references.

Deadline: February 1, 2024

Award Amount: Varies

Graduate School Scholarships for Minorities

Graduate school scholarships for minorities help people from underrepresented or disadvantaged backgrounds advance their education. These groups include people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

American Indian College Fund

Who Qualifies: Members of a federally recognized Native American tribe attending a tribal college can apply for an AICF scholarship. Application requirements include a recent photograph, transcripts showing a minimum 2.0 GPA, full-time enrollment, and proof of tribal affiliation. You can renew this scholarship annually by reapplying.

Deadline: May 31, 2024

Award Amount: Varies

CLAGS Fellowships and Awards

Who Qualifies: LGBTQ+ City University of New York students may qualify for a CLAGS graduate school fellowship. They provide financial support to graduate degree-seekers writing their dissertation. Typical application requirements include a 7-10-page research proposal, two recommendation letters, and a statement describing how you plan to spend the money.

Deadline: Varies

Award Amount: Varies

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Who Qualifies: Each year, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) awards scholarships to 10,000 Hispanic students with a minimum 2.5 undergraduate or graduate GPA. Other requirements include learning full-time and submitting FAFSA results. Although HSF uses a February 15 application deadline, the fund requests extra documents from finalists, such as official transcripts.

Deadline: February 15, 2024

Award Amount: $500-$5,000

Hsiao Memorial Social Sciences Scholarship

Who Qualifies: The Asian Pacific Fund awards the Hsiao Memorial Social Sciences Scholarship to an Asian American graduate student majoring in economics or a related field. Other requirements include a minimum 3.0 graduate GPA and U.S. citizenship. The scholarship does not renew, and recipients may not reapply the following year.

Deadline: To be announced

Award Amount: $1,000

United Negro College Fund

Who Qualifies: The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) awards funding to African American students attending a historically Black college or university. You can select from different programs, such as the UNCF STEM Scholars Program or the UNCF/Koch Scholars Program. Application requirements include a minimum 2.5 undergraduate or graduate GPA, FAFSA, and full-time enrollment.

Deadline: Varies

Award Amount: Varies

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