Financial Aid

Syracuse University and the Maxwell School are committed to helping students reach their educational goals by providing to qualified students need-based and merit-based financial assistance, such as scholarships, loans, grants, assistantships, and part-time employment.

The Department of Public Administration and International Affairs 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.

How to Fund Your Graduate Studies

The primary mechanism to fund all or part of graduate study 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).

Need-Based Aid

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.

For more information, please review the following websites at SU Office of Financial Aid:

Also, SU's Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs offers several resources for graduate students, both domestic and international.

Merit-Based Aid

Merit-based financial assistance is awarded upon recommendation by PAIA to the Graduate School at SU. 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 full and partial tuition 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. Additional guaranteed awards (upon admission) are available through our partner programs: US Peace Corps, US Fulbright Scholars, Teach For America/Teach For All, USJETTA, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, among others. (see: Funding Partnerships)    


To be considered for any merit-based financial assistance from Syracuse University, simply check the appropriate box on your application for admission. The Snow Fellowships in Nonprofit Management and the Robertson Foundation for Government Fellowships are the only awards that require a separate letter of application. (see:  Fellowships

Once an award is made, the applicant is immediately notified via email with an April 15 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. All admitted students will be notified via email of any financial award (even if no award is being made). Applicants and admitted students should NOT contact faculty or research centers directly about financial aid and merit based awards, including Graduate Assistantships. These are awarded through a central departmental process.

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, application for these awards will be announced during the summer/early fall. Students are also provided information on graduate assistantship opportunities throughout the SU campus when the department is made aware of such opportunities. Through these processes some students are able to secure such funding after they begin their studies.  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. 

While all admitted students will be considered for financial aid, this is a competitive process and many students will be required to help support their studies through personal and outside resources. If you have questions, please contact us at or 315-443-40

Application Fee Waiver Request Policy 

The Department of Public Administration and International Affairs is able to provide application fee waivers for a select group of applicants, as per established university and department partnerships.  Please see our Application Fee Waiver Request Policy under Admissions/Application Materials Guidelines.