Graduate and Professional School Financing
General information for graduate school fellowships or scholarships can be found in DickinsonConnect via the Gateway. (Alumni should access DickinsonConnect through the Gateway Alumni Portal.
Fellowships Requiring Nomination by the College
As a Dickinson student, you may be eligible to apply for a variety of scholarships, fellowships and/or grants, which are provided by external sources such as the federal government, research facilities, private foundations and educational institutions. Each award has its own unique requirements.
A nomination will generally include an extensive review of your application materials and an interview on campus by a faculty committee as part of the application and nomination process. The office of Academic Advising oversees these awards. To learn more about these programs, and for the names of the faculty sponsors, visit the Scholarship List on the Academic Advising website.
Applying for Financial Aid
For graduate school, students will still need to submit a FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid as soon as it can be completed. The government aid typically received is in the form of loans, currently from approximately $3500 to the maximum of $8500 per year, from currently available federally subsidized funding sources. Your selected college or university financial aid office will use the Student Aid Report to complete your offer of financial assistance from their school.
Additionally, each college or university financial aid office notes their process to apply for the types of aid noted below within the financial aid section of their website or other recruiting materials. They may also contact you directly for additional types of aid either prior to admission or following your matriculation.
Searching for Financial Aid
One of the best online resources to find scholarships and fellowships is FastWeb.com
Scholarships, Grants, Assistantships and Fellowships for Graduate Study - Definitions
Although the following definitions of grants and fellowships are widely accepted, the terms are used in a variety of ways. The use of the term "scholarships" is particularly confusing. In general, the word "scholarships" refers to financial aid or other awards used to cover tuition and fees for undergraduate study, but sponsors often use it interchangeably with "fellowships" or even "grants," especially when the program provides support for both undergraduate and graduate students. The term "scholarship" is used in the profiles because sponsors use that terminology.
Fellowships are awarded to individuals. They are given primarily for professional development and are meant to support a recipient who is taking advanced courses, carrying out research, or working on a project. The fellowship money is meant to serve as a salary that covers living expenses. Sometimes fellowships include a small allowance specifically designated for travel or research expenses; they may also cover payment of tuition and fees. Fellowships exist for those at the early graduate level of study, for doctoral candidates who have passed their comprehensive exams, for dissertation support, and for those who have completed their doctoral study.
Fellowships for graduate students range from about $1000 to $15,000, with an occasional award of $25,000 or more. Fellowships at the postdoctoral level can range from $1000 to $35,000 or more. In both cases, awards may be single-year or multiple-year. Most general fellowships allow recipients to carry out graduate or postdoctoral study and/or research at the institution of their choice. Selection is based on the merit of the individual applicant (i.e., achievement and promise of achievement, as evidenced by grades, GRE scores, publication, and letters of recommendation). Financial need is only occasionally a consideration.
One variation of the general fellowship is the residential fellowship. This type of award is given to support work undertaken at a specific location, generally a facility operated by the sponsoring organization. For instance, a number of research libraries across the country award fellowships to persons wishing to conduct research using their collections. The fellowships usually cover travel and living expenses during the time of residence. These may be awarded in the form of a fixed stipend or on a monthly basis.
Graduate Assistantships Think of these as “work study for the graduate student.” Positions awarded are often tied to roles in teaching, research or positions with administrative offices. When awarded by a college or university, the work can be awarded along with a tuition stipend or full tuition. Depending on the level of award, schools may also include a living stipend, health insurance or other benefits.
Grants and Grants-in-Aid
Grants are usually awarded to support research or specific projects. Grants-in-aid are small grants meant to contribute to the expenses of a research project, often for a short period of time. Grants and grants-in-aid provide funds to cover expenses directly related to carrying out the proposed research (e.g., materials, interview costs, or computer time). They sometimes include funds for travel and living expenses incurred while conducting research away from a home institution. They usually do not include basic living expenses of students while in residence at their own university. Grants are available for research at all levels of graduate and postdoctoral work. Grants-in-aid usually provide limited funds, on the order of $1000 to $3000. Grants specifically for graduate students rarely provide more than $10,000. Selection is based on the quality, originality, and importance of the research proposed and on the applicants' personal qualifications indicating their ability to carry out the project successfully.
Internships and Traineeships
During an internship or training program, individuals spend a defined period of time working with and under the supervision of the professional staff of an organization. Often the intern or trainee works on projects of interest to the host organization or learns specific techniques. Stipends can be in the form of an hourly wage or a fixed allowance for the duration of the program. Internships can range in length from several weeks to an entire academic year. They provide participants with practical experience in their field of interest.
Awards-in-Recognition and Prizes
Awards-in-recognition and prizes are presented—after the fact—to recognize outstanding achievements. For example, a number of prizes are offered for outstanding doctoral dissertations. Winners receive a small amount of money, on the order of $250 to $2,500, but a great deal of prestige. Publication of their work is often included with the award, as is an expense-paid trip to the annual meeting of the organization sponsoring the award or prize, where recipients may be asked to present their research.
The number of programs providing travel funds for graduate and postdoctoral scholars is extremely limited. When available, the funds enable an individual to travel to a research or fieldwork site, consult with a colleague or authority, make use of a library or collection, or attend a specific conference.
Some programs defy classification as either fellowships or grants since they provide for both living expenses and research funds. These major prestigious awards may provide as much as $35,000 per year. There are also awards for summer study or research and study or research abroad.