Grants for Graduate Studies

How to Get Grants for Grad School

Paying for a graduate program comes at a cost and can vary depending on the college or university. All students should begin by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine what types of aid they can receive. Outside of the grants issued based on FAFSA data, students can also research opportunities available to minorities, women, and specific areas of study to help pay for their education. Learners should review this page to learn what types of grants exist and how to determine their eligibility before applying.

Understanding Grants for Graduate Students

To receive grad school grants, students should review what a grant entails, how learners receive financial support, how to go about applying for aid, and what types of grants students should consider. While most grants are need-based, students can also explore opportunities outside of need-based funding.

What is a grant for graduate school?

Grants for graduate students typically depend upon financial need but may provide educational funding to graduate students who pursue a specific discipline. Students do not need to repay grant funding.

Who is eligible to receive a grant?

Most grants require students to demonstrate financial need to receive funding. Each grant features its own unique eligibility requirements that students should review before applying.

What is the difference between grants and fellowships?

Fellowships allow students to receive funding while pursuing a particular area of interest, while grants remain need-based.

How can graduate students begin the application process?

Graduate students must fill out the FAFSA to determine their eligibility for all types of federal financial aid.

What are the different types of grants?

Students can pursue a variety of grant types dependent upon their particular situation, including federal and state grants; grants specific to an area of study, demographic, or school; and grants through a particular organization.

  • Federal Grants: The U.S. government issues federal grants to provide financial assistance to students in need. These grants are for the student's benefit, not the government's.
  • State Grants: A student's financial need determines each state grant in cases where their financial aid does not cover their tuition costs and their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is low. These grants come directly from the state.
  • School Specific: The school the student attends issues school-specific grants, most often based on financial need when a student holds more tuition costs than their financial aid covers.
  • Organization and Corporate Grants: Many organizations provide grants to students in order to help them pay for their education, especially in an area of study related to the organizations' business plan and mission.
  • Grants by Demographic: Students of a certain background (gender, race, culture, age) can often pursue grants based on their demographic and their financial need through a variety of grantors.
  • Grants by Area of Study: Certain areas of study highlight grant opportunities for students in particular programs to help them earn their degree in a specific field.

Need help applying for the FAFSA for your grant application? Check out this guide to navigate the entire FAFSA process and gain crucial insight into common mistakes applicant's make and expert advice about the FAFSA.

Everything You Need to Know About the FAFSA


15 Grad School Grants

There are a variety of grants available to graduate students. Learners should consider federal grants, fellowships, grants from organizations and corporations, and grants for women and minority students. Eligibility requirements differ depending on the award.

Federal Grants for Grad School

TEACH Grants
  • Who Can Apply: TEACH grants serve graduate students in pursuit of teaching degrees in a high-need field from a college or university with low-income students. Eligible areas include mathematics, science, special education, and other disciplines.
  • Amount: Varies
See Scholarship
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
  • Who Can Apply: Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants benefit graduate students whose parent was killed in the military after the September 11, 2001 attacks. To determine eligibility, applicants must complete the FAFSA.
  • Amount: Varies
See Scholarship
Fulbright Grants
  • Who Can Apply: Fulbright grants promote the exchange of ideas between countries, providing funding assistance to students pursuing international studies at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Amount: Varies
See Scholarship

Fellowships for Grad School

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Ferguson Fellowship Program
  • Who Can Apply: Graduate students from ethnic and racial minorities studying dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and public health can apply for the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention Ferguson Fellowship Program.
  • Amount: Varies
See Scholarship
U.S. Department of Defense National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship
  • Who Can Apply: Graduate students can earn the U.S. Department of Defense National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship if they follow a particular area of study, including mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and chemistry.
  • Amount: Up to $31,500
See Scholarship
U.S. Department of Education Jacob K. Javits Fellowships
  • Who Can Apply: U.S. Department of Education Jacob K. Javits Fellowships serve graduate students who pursue high-level graduate degrees in humanities, arts, and social sciences.
  • Amount: Varies
See Scholarship

Organization and Corporate Grants for Grad Students

University Film and Video Association: Carole Fielding Student Grant
  • Who Can Apply: Open to students in visual arts and film programs, the University Film and Video Association's Carole Fielding Student Grant requires students to conduct and describe an in-depth research project.
  • Amount: Up to $1,000
See Scholarship
American Cancer Society: Doctoral Training Grants in Oncology Social Work
  • Who Can Apply: The American Cancer Society issues the Doctoral Training Grants in Oncology Social Work to graduate students who study social work at the doctoral level and want to pursue oncology research.
  • Amount: $20,000
See Scholarship
Geological Society of America: Graduate Student Research Grants
  • Who Can Apply: Students can pursue the Graduate Student Research Grants from the Geological Society of America if they study anthropology at the doctoral level and belong to a minority racial group.
  • Amount: $10,000
See Scholarship

Field-Specific Grants

American Psychological Association: Grants in Aid for Students
  • Who Can Apply: Psychology students who submit information describing a relevant project in the field can earn the American Psychological Association's grant.
  • Amount: Up to $1,000
See Scholarship
Zonta International Foundation: Amelia Earhart Fellowship
  • Who Can Apply: Women pursuing aerospace programs at the doctoral level can pursue the Amelia Earhart Fellowship through the Zonta International Foundation.
  • Amount: $10,000
See Scholarship
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program: Graduate Student Grant Program
  • Who Can Apply: Students can apply for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program's graduate student grant if they pursue agricultural studies at the master's or doctoral level.
  • Amount: Up to $15,000
See Scholarship

Grants for Women

The Amber Grant for Women
  • Who Can Apply: Available to women studying business, the Amber Grant for Women requires applicants to pursue education in entrepreneurship or business.
  • Amount: $27,000
See Scholarship
Equal Access to Quality Jobs for Women and Girls in Agriculture
  • Who Can Apply: The Equal Access to Quality Jobs for Women and Girls in Agriculture helps female students who want to pursue careers in agriculture pay for their education.
  • Amount: Varies
See Scholarship
Go Girl! Grant
  • Who Can Apply: The Go Girl! Grant provides educational funding to female students in a variety of educational disciplines at schools around the country. Applicants must be at least 25 years old to qualify.
  • Amount: Varies
See Scholarship

Grants for Minorities

Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation National Science Foundation
  • Who Can Apply: In order to apply for the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation National Science Foundation grant, applicants must be part of a minority, including African American, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, and Native Pacific Islanders.
  • Amount: Varies
See Scholarship
Minority Research Grant Program
  • Who Can Apply: Applicants to the Minority Research Grant Program must be from a minority group dedicated to conducting research in health disparities addressing social determinants of health.
  • Amount: Up to $125,000
See Scholarship
Health Promotion Among Racial and Ethnic Minority Males
  • Who Can Apply: Open to minority students focused on nonprofits, governments, and higher education, the Health Promotion Among Racial and Ethical Minority Males grant expands research in the health minority for men.
See Scholarship

Additional Ways to Find Grants for Graduate School

Students can access a variety of resources to learn about grad school grants. Many online resources can help students research grants and explain how to apply. Graduate students should make sure they meet all criteria and effectively demonstrate their need for each grant they pursue. Students can use these resources to learn more about their role as an applicant compared to the role of the grantor.

  • Grants.gov: Students can access Grants.gov to explore available grants, access application forms, and learn more about their role as an applicant.
  • GetEDfunding.com: GetEDfunding.com allows students to create an account to search for and apply for grants of all types. Learners can access valuable resources and review samples of grant applications.
  • Grantspace.org: Grantspace.org allows student access to training experts that can prepare them for specific grant programs and help them understand the resources available to them.

Next Steps: Preparation and Payment for Grad School

Students can review the following section to explore various resources for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions in preparation for grad school.

Preparing for Graduate School

This page reviews demographics for programs, including international students, working professionals, master's students continuing their education, and bachelor's students getting ready to continue their education.

Graduate School Application Process

This page reviews the application process for graduate students and provides them with advice to help their application stand out. The page includes a timeline for the entire process.

Scholarships for Grad School

Graduate students can review online resources to determine what scholarships students can receive at their level. They can also explore the criteria for each scholarship before applying.