As a prospective student just considering an advanced degree or a current Purdue graduate student, the Graduate School provides resources to facilitate your search for funding.
What type of funding?
When to start?
Where to look for opportunities?
How to prepare applications?
How to evaluate offers?
What type of funding
Grants in general do not require work or repayment of the funds. Graduate students should understand the obligations associated with the grant such as academic requirements or commitment of employment after graduation.
The common types of grants include:
• Fellowships provide a stipend for living and educational expenses which, in general, allow graduate students to pursue graduate study full-time
• Scholarships provide funds to graduate students and are usually awarded based on academic merit or scholarly potential
• Training Grants are very similar to fellowships and provide graduate students to the opportunity to develop research skills and techniques in a laboratory setting
• Travel Grants reimburse graduate students for travel to conferences to network and present their research
Assistantships are the most common method of funding graduate study. Over 60% of Purdue graduate students hold graduate student assistantships. You may secure teaching, research, or administrative/professional assistantships to develop and enhance your professional skills. Teaching and research positions are most often available through your department or college. Mathematics or Foreign Languages & Literature will hire teaching assistants from other graduate programs. Libraries and Residence Halls , and Student Services hire graduate students as administrative/professional staff. The Graduate Student Employment Manual, provides additional information regarding the benefits of assistantships at Purdue University.
Hourly employment is another option. You may secure a position as a tutor, exam proctor, note taker, child care provider or through off-campus employment.
Student loan information is available from the Division of Financial Aid (DFA) at www.purdue.edu/DFA and the U.S. Department of Education. In general, students must complete a FAFSA form to be considered for student loans.
When to Start
Regardless of the financing method, consider the following when searching for funding:
• Begin your search approximately one year before you need funding.
• Application deadlines often occur early in the fall for fellowships or late spring for assistantships.
• If you are considering federal student loans, there may be two deadlines: one for the government and one for the institution you choose to attend. As a result, start your research early.
Where to Look
The University funds fellowships, scholarships, and travel grants for which the Graduate School or academic program selects the recipients. Most awards are based on academic merit, research accomplishments, and in some cases, financial need.
• Graduate School Visit Graduate School Funding to search the Graduate School 's funding database for fellowships, assistantships, and travel grants offered by Purdue as well as external sources. You will also find helpful links to other funding Web sites on this page.
• Graduate Programs Contact your graduate program for information they may have on fellowships, assistantships, or other funding opportunities common to your field. Applicants to Purdue Graduate School will be considered for available departmental assistantships and fellowships during the admission process.
• Federal Agenices Federal fellowships are grants for which a federal agency selects and funds the recipients. Typically, you will apply to a specific program, such as the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship.
• Foundations • Corporations• Professional Organizations
These external organizations hold national competitions or invite university nominations or proposals. Search their websites or the Graduate School Funding Database.
Use your network of colleagues, faculty, and staff to identify funding opportunities for graduate school as well as future career opportunities. Networking resources are available on the Graduate School Web site.
How to Prepare Applications
The Purdue Graduate School hosts workshops to assist students in preparing funding applications. More information, including a calendar of events, is available on the Graduate School 's Web site.
How to Evaluate Your Offer
The value of a funding offer varies by discipline and the expectations of the position. When evaluating an offer, you should consider:
• the stipend,
• tuition and fee coverage,
• medical insurance,
• expectations of the offer, and
• the cost-of-living
A cost-of-living index will help you estimate how well the stipend will cover your living expenses.