The cost of higher education represents a significant financial investment. Rutgers University is committed to helping all eligible students finance their education. To help eligible students afford a Rutgers education (which may be more affordable than you think), the university administers scholarships, grants, federal and private loans, student employment and payment plan options.
Information on graduate student financial aid can be found at https://financialaid.rutgers.edu/information-for-graduate-professional-students.
Types of Graduate Assistance
Graduate financial aid is available in three general categories:
- Merit-based aid such as fellowships, assistantships, and scholarships;
- Need-based grants and employment; and
- Non-need based loans--federal and private.
To apply for assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships, check the appropriate response on the Graduate Admissions Application. The dean's office or the department of your major notifies students of academic-based awards.
Assistantships: Paid appointments awarded to qualified graduate students requiring part-time teaching, research, or residence hall duties. Assistantship salaries, tuition, and health benefits vary from program to program.
Fellowships and Scholarships: Nationally competitive stipends plus tuition are available for most programs in the Graduate School-New Brunswick, the Graduate School–Newark, and the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. Other graduate programs have more limited support.
Unless the program lists an earlier deadline, incoming graduate students need to submit the graduate application for admission by March 1, prior to the academic year. For specific information, contact the program or dean's office.
To apply for the Federal and New Jersey Programs listed below, file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for each school year that you are seeking assistance. The Office of Financial Aid recommends filing the FAFSA by March 15, unless your program specifies an earlier financial aid or admission application deadline.
Most graduate students are eligible for some type of federal assistance. Financial need for need-based aid is the difference between the cost of attendance (tuition and fees, books, room and board, transportation, and other education-related expenses) and expected family contribution (EFC--calculated from FAFSA information) for the period of enrollment.
You do not have to wait for formal acceptance into a Rutgers degree-granting program to file the FAFSA. However, you must be accepted into the program before we can determine your aid eligibility.
William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan (Non-Need Based): Graduate and professional students enrolled at least half-time (as defined by their program) are eligible for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan for up to $20,500 per award year. For application instructions, origination fees, interest rates, and other information, click here.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (Non-Need Based): Credit-worthy graduate students enrolled at least half-time can borrow from the Graduate PLUS Loan Program for up to their cost of attendance minus other estimated financial assistance. For application instructions, origination fees, interest rates and other information, click here.
Federal Work-Study Program (Need-Based): Full or part-time graduate students are eligible, pending annual funding to the university. In addition to filing the FAFSA, eligible students are required to submit a FWSP job application to the Student Employment Office for placement purposes. Graduate students may earn up to $4,000 annually, depending upon financial need and university funding. The program provides jobs on and off campus for eligible students. For more information, contact the Student Employment Office.
Educational Opportunity Fund (Need-Based): Full-time New Jersey residents with backgrounds of historic poverty and early educational disadvantage may be eligible for EOF grants. Students who received EOF grants as undergraduates have priority. Recipient's income must fall within the required range. Others must document their eligibility. Eligible students must file the FAFSA and complete the EOF question on the admission application. Grants for up to $2,850 may be awarded per academic year. If eligible, these grants are renewable for the duration of a student's degree work.
Alternative Private Loan Programs
Commercial lenders offer a variety of private loans to supplement federal and university assistance. Students who do not meet eligibility requirements for federal assistance may qualify for a private loan, depending on the individual lender's requirements. These loans are generally unsubsidized and limited to the cost of attendance minus other estimated financial assistance. The Office of Financial Aid does not recommend any particular private loan program. Further details may be obtained directly from each individual lender. For application instructions, interest rates, and other information, click here.
How to Apply
Applicants are encouraged to apply for assistance as early as possible, preferably by March 15, unless the program specifies an earlier financial aid or admissions deadline. You must be formally accepted in a degree-granting program before a decision on financial aid can be made. However, do not wait for formal acceptance to Rutgers University to apply for financial aid. Students who wish to apply for the Federal Direct Loans may apply at any time during the academic year by submitting FAFSA found at https://fafsa.ed.gov.
Who Should Apply
We encourage all graduate students who need financial aid to apply. Despite the fact that the growth of Federal Student Aid has slowed, Rutgers distributed nearly $200 million in graduate student aid of various types during the 2012-2013 academic year. Awards from multiple sources may be combined to meet individual students' needs.
In addition to the above federal, university, and private awards, students are encouraged to explore external resources.
For more information on merit-based assistance, contact your graduate program or dean's office. For need-based aid and loan options, contact your regional Office of Financial Aid.
The university provides special award opportunities to promote the diversity of university programs. These awards include the Biomedical Research Support Program Fellowships; Bunting-Cobb Fellowships for Women in Math, Science, and Engineering; Diversity Advancement Fellowships; National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science Fellowships, Trustees' Graduate Fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences; and Ralph Johnson Bunche Fellowships for newly admitted students in graduate and professional studies. For more information, call 732-932-7275 and deans' offices.
Master's Tuition Scholarships
These scholarships provide for the cost of tuition. A student seeking these scholarships need to apply to the director of his or her graduate program.
Fellowships and Scholarships Available from the Graduate School–Newark
Daniels S. Lehrman Fellowship: Outstanding students in the graduate program in psychology are eligible for the Daniel S. Lehrman Fellowship.
Minority Biomedical Research Fellowships: The Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Program, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health, provides fellowships, including tuition remission, for minority students who plan to have research careers in the biomedical sciences. For information, write the Director,
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey,
241 Conklin Hall, Newark, NJ 07102,
or call 973-353-5772.
Rutgers Excellence Dissertation Fellowship Awards: This award is issued through the Graduate School–Newark. The fellowship was established to honor Provost Emeritus Norman Samuels. It provides one-time awards to attract outstanding doctoral applicants. Each recipient will be named a "Norman Samuels Fellow."