The Graduate School Advance to a Higher Degree

How to Apply for Funding

We want to make it as simple as possible for you to find and apply for graduate school funding. Below are the basic steps to follow as you search for opportunities, prepare to apply and then submit your applications. Your program choice or other factors may require different steps. You can contact us with any questions.

step 1 search

Research all available funding opportunities:

  • Start your funding search early, usually one year before you start graduate school, because application deadlines are often early in the fall or late in the spring.
  • Contact your graduate program directly to find out about any teaching or research positions.
  • Look for funding opportunities, such as teaching assistantships, in other departments.
  • Use your network of colleagues, faculty and staff.
  • Review information about professional development.

step 2 prepare

Plan your application process and gather resources:

  • Identify resources that are needed and available and then make contact with them as you gather your references and other application pieces.
  • Read all applications carefully to determine the purpose of the funding and to appropriately direct your application.
  • Develop timelines to complete the applications.
  • Strengthen your CV by attending workshops and reviewing your document with the Center for Career Opportunities.

step 3 apply

Assemble your pertinent documents and submit a formal application:

  • References
    • Communicate the procedure for submitting the reference.
    • Provide a copy of your CV and the program announcement to the faculty member when requesting a reference, noting the items to be highlighted by the reference.
    • State the deadline to submit the reference.
    • Send a thank-you note to the faculty member a few days prior to the stated deadline.
  • Essay
    • Compose your response, directing your experience and skills to the intent of the essay. Place the emphasis on the impact of the experiences rather than simply listing accomplishments.
    • Edit the essay, ensuring that all elements of the question have been addressed.
    • Visit the Online Writing Lab (OWL) for assistance with grammar and composition.
  • CV
    • Format the CV based on the intent and purpose of the funding.
  • Research Proposal
    • Work with a faculty member to develop the research proposal, if one is requested.
    • Edit the research proposal for technical content and grammar.
  • Financial Aid
    • Consult with the Division of Financial Aid to determine what financial information is needed and to request assistance in completing the forms.

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