Graduate Aid at Stanford

Planning for Your Educational Expenses

Sources of funding for graduate education range from government agencies, employers and foundations to academic departments and schools. Financial assistance can be divided into three broad categories:

  • Fellowships, Scholarships or Grants — "Free money" that does not need to be repaid upon completion of enrollment.
  • Assistantships — Wages are paid for research or teaching performed while enrolled as part of your academic program.  Tuition support is also provided.
  • Student Loans — Funds advanced to you by a governmental or private lender, to be repaid (or possibly forgiven) after graduation.

We strongly recommend that you investigate all possible funding options in order to maximize your grants and scholarships and minimize loan obligations.

First Stop:  Your Academic Department

When you start your search for funding, your first stop should be the office of your academic department.  Department offices can provide you with information about fellowships and other forms of grant assistance; research and teaching assistantships; and external funding sources. Most doctoral candidates and some Masters students obtain enough funding from these sources to cover all of their expenses.

To find contact information for your prospective academic department, you can use the Registrar’s directory of academic department websites.

Next Stop:  Your Financial Aid Office

If you do not qualify for aid through your department to cover all of your costs, you may want to consider borrowing from one or more education loan programs.  The process for applying for loans depends on your School.  Some schools have separate financial aid operations, so you need to make sure that you apply through the right Financial Aid Office. Follow the link listed for your School to learn about the application requirements.

Financial Aid Offices
School Where to Apply for Student Loans


GSB Financial Aid Office

Graduate School of Education, School of Engineering, School of Humanities and Sciences, School of Medicine (PhD and Masters Programs), Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability

Central Financial Aid Office, Applying for Aid


Law School Financial Aid Office

Medicine (MD)

Med School Financial Aid Office

While you are at Stanford

Even the best laid plans can go astray when unexpected expenses come up.  Review the Student Budget to gain an understanding of standard student expenses and develop your budget plan.  When unexpected expenses arise, be aware of the support programs Stanford provides.

Updated on October 5, 2023 11:08 AM