Financial Assistance

Graduate students can fund their education in various ways and often utilize multiple resources. Brief descriptions of the general types of funding available are described below. For more detailed information, please visit the following Web sites:

GSPM Merit-Based Financial Assistance

The GSPM has a limited number of merit-based scholarships, some of which are endowed, that are awarded each year to incoming students by a faculty committee. These scholarships typically cover tuition for between 1-4 classes.

We will also be selecting several GSPM Scholars, who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement, to receive a $20,000 scholarship toward GSPM tuition. To be considered for the GSPM Scholars program, applicants should have achieved a minimum 3.7 undergraduate GPA and should follow the application instructions outlined below.

In order to be considered for a merit-based scholarship, applicants must have

  • submitted a complete application to one of the four on-campus master's programs (Political Management, Legislative Affairs, or Strategic Public Relations);
  • achieved a minimum 3.3 undergraduate GPA (3.7 for the GSPM Scholars program); and
  • submitted a scholarship application form and the accompanying 500-word essay to by the following deadline:

    Fall admission – May 1
    Spring admission – October 1

Although merit-based assistance is not generally available for the summer semester, summer applicants can submit a scholarship application by May 1 to be considered with fall applicants.

If you have been selected for a merit-based award, fall applicants will be notified by June 15 and spring applicants by November 15.

Fellowships and Assistantships

If you are applying for a fellowship/assistantship, answer “yes” to this question on the online application for graduate admission and, if required by your school or program, submit a separate fellowship/assistantship application and other materials that may be required.  You may also visit GW's Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships for more information on fellowship and assistantship opportunities.

Loan Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OFSA) oversees the processing of all loans for students who have been admitted to a GW graduate degree or approved graduate certificate program. Federal loan programs require U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status and at least half-time attendance.

Credit-based consumer loans are available to supplement other sources of aid, and OSFA can provide school certification for any alternative program you choose. You should compare rates, fees and repayment options when choosing among the programs available.

Instructions for applying for these different types of loans are provided online. To have a loan processed before classes begin, all application materials must be on file in the Office of Student Financial Assistance by:

  • Fall semester - May 1
  • Spring semester - October 1
  • Summer semester - March 1

Loan Forgiveness

Funded by GSPM board member Brian J. O'Dwyer and his wife Marianna, the O'Dwyer Fund for Student Loan Forgiveness encourages GSPM graduates to take jobs in the public sector by helping to pay some of their student loan debt. With their support, the O'Dwyers hoped that graduates would pursue careers in the public sector rather than feeling pressured to take higher-paying jobs in other fields.

The O’Dwyer Fund offers “forgivable” loans to recent GSPM graduates who carry significant loan debt and who are employed in the public sector. These loans are to be used to pay down the graduate’s private or federally subsidized student loans that were used for undergraduate or GSPM studies.

The scope of this program each year depends on the amount of funds available from the O’Dwyer Fund. For additional information, please refer to the Program Description and Frequently Asked Questions.

Applications for 2016 are currently being accepted. GSPM students who graduated in Fall 2015 or Spring 2016, as well as those who plan to graduate in Summer 2016, are eligible to apply. To be considered, please submit the Application Form, Employer Certification Form, and other requested documents to Suzanne Farrand by no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Veterans' Benefits

GW salutes your service to our country and values your contributions to the campus community. GW, GSPM, and the Office of Veteran Services are committed to providing you with the highest level of student and financial services, and are here to assist with any issue that may arise.  Visit the Office of Veteran Services for assistance with veterans' benefits.

Employment Opportunities

Many graduate students obtain employment to help fund their studies, often using the following resources:

  • Information on full-time, part-time, internship, cooperative education, temporary and summer positions are available on GW Career Center's website.
  • The Jobs at GW Web site, maintained by the Division of Human Resource Services, provides information about full-time and regular part-time positions. After a six-month waiting period, new GW employees, as well as the spouses and children of full-time employees, may receive educational benefits. (Note: Graduate students employed full- or part-time on a research grant may use their tuition benefits immediately if they begin their employment before the first day of classes.
  • Student & Academic Support Services lists available positions on their Opportunities for Graduate Students website.
  • The Federal Work-Study Program, available to U.S. citizens, provides jobs for graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.

International students with F-1 or J-1 visa status may be able to supplement their classroom experiences and personal funds through employment, co-operative education or internships, but proper employment authorization must be obtained BEFORE beginning work.  For more information, contact the International Services Office.