Scholarships, loans, fellowships, assistantships and part-time employment help graduate students finance their study at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.  Syracuse University and the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs provide merit-based financial assistance to qualified students. 

Need-based aid includes federal student loans, grants and federal work-study appointments. Need based financial aid at Syracuse University is the province of the University’s Office of Financial Aid.  All applicants are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (FAFSA) early in the calendar year.  Once filed, the Financial Aid Office will contact the student directly regarding federal student loan approvals and procedures.

It is important to understand that funding graduate school at Syracuse University is different than the way in which many students funded undergraduate study.  Students will not be granted “a financial aid package” nor do tuition assistance programs for graduate study exist from the federal government.  The primary mechanism to fund all or part of graduate study at Syracuse University is through need-based federal student loans and private educational loans.  Therefore application for federal student loans through the initiation of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is highly important and students should not wait for an admissions decision from Syracuse University before filing this document (after January 1 for summer/fall admission).  

Merit-based financial assistance is awarded upon recommendation to the Graduate School by the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs.  Decisions are made through a highly competitive process, and awards are provided to students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement and leadership potential, as evidenced by past professional, internship and volunteer experiences.  Merit-based awards include Scholarships, Cash Awards, Assistantships and Syracuse University Fellowships.  Additionally, the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs offers matching funds for external scholarship holders from the Truman Scholars, PPIA, Pickering, McNair and Rangel Fellowship programs.  A full description of the types of merit-based awards is provided on our website at Admissions/Financial Aid.  In order for an applicant to be considered for any merit-based financial assistance from Syracuse University, all they must do is check the appropriate box on the application.  The Snow Fellowships in Nonprofit Management and the Robertson Foundation for Government Fellowships are the only awards that require a separate letter of application. Details on these awards can be found on our website as above.

The Department of Public Administration and International Affairs actually does quite well in supporting our graduate students.  The majority of students receive some assistance and the average level of assistance is around 55 % of total costs for the degree program enrolled.  Our reasonable costs of living and shortened programs make SU an attractive choice financially for top tier programs in our fields.  That being said, Graduate Awards are competitive.  These awards are made primarily on the basis of merit, although in some instances underlying need is considered.  The Department of will use both merit based and need based aid to assist in recruiting a diverse class, both internationally as well as domestically.  Once an award is made, the applicant is immediately notified via email with an April 15th deadline for acceptance or withdrawal.  The majority of these decisions are made in mid March of each year with formal notifications sent no later than April 1. 

Graduate awards continue to be made until all resources have been committed or we have reached our enrollment target. In the case that funds remain, then application for these awards will be announced during the summer. Students are also provided information on graduate assistantship opportunities throughout the SU campus when the department is made aware of such opportunities.  Each year, a number of students are able to secure such funding after their arrival, however, students should plan their finances accordingly and not count on obtaining additional funding through the University or Department after the original notice of award. 

Funding professional graduate study is a difficult and very personal decision to make.  We hope that this information is helpful to you in planning for the financial obligations associated with professional graduate study at Syracuse University.  Please contact our office directly if you have further questions or concerns.