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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Department of Public Administration & International Affairs

Merit-Based Financial Aid

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, Graduate Assistantships, Fellowships and Grants. 

Maxwell is appreciative of a great number of loyal alumni and friends who make annual contributions to Maxwell/SU to help support students financially. A number of endowed awards are available to our incoming students each year.  We are pleased to administer these awards.

Central Process

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.  All admitted students will be notified via email of any financial award (even if no award is being made) in mid March, with all notices going out by April 1. 

To be considered for merit based assistance, applicants must simply check the box, "Do you wish to be considered for financial aid?" on the application. All students selecting that option will be considered for any and all merit based aid for which they are eligible. Most awards, including Graduate Assistantships, do not require a separate application. A few Fellowship programs do require a separate letter of interest and these are noted below.

Fellowships Requiring Separate Application

Several highly desirable and prestigious Fellowships exist at Maxwell.  The Snow Fellowships in Non-Profit Management and the Robertson Foundation for Government Fellowships along with a few others require a separate application for consideration.  The timing of these fellowship selections is generally consistent with our departmental awards process.  The following awards require a separate application and more information on them is found below. 

Partnership Programs and Matching Awards

Additionally, the Department of Public Administration offers matching funds for external scholarship holders or participants from the Truman Scholars, Charles B. Rangel Scholars, Thomas R. Pickering Fellows, Teach For America and the PPIA Fellowship programs. The Department is also able to recommend McNair Scholars for University McNair Fellowship consideration, though candidates pursing the PhD are given primary consideration for these awards. Syracuse University and the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs are also proud supporters of the men and women who have served or are currently serving in our US military.  Partnership programs exist with advanced schooling programs across several branches of the military. Additionally, SU is proud to be a dedicated Yellow Ribbon University and to support students through on campus ROTC programs.

Several Outside Funding Options

Graduate students entering Maxwell have been successful in obtaining funding through a variety of external funding sources. The most complete listing of external funding resources is the SU's Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs bulletin board.  Below is a small sampling of external sources from which recent students entering the Department have benefited. 

  1. Financial aid for study abroad: International Education Financial Aid  
  2. Scholarships & loans for study abroad & exchange programs: InternationalStudent.com  
  3. For International Students: IIE's Funding for United States Study: A Guide for International Students and Professionals
  4. Scholarships and other information for students interested in studying the Central and Eastern European Studies: EastChance.com   
  5. The National Academies' list of fellowships, scholarships and grants   
  6. The Department of Education's site on Financial Aid for Students, with link to "The Student Guide"
  7. Fastweb, which claims to be the Internet's largest free scholarship search.   
  8. Mach 25: a customized scholarship search service with a futuristic motif -   
  9. The College Board's online scholarship search.
  10. Sallie Mae's Online Scholarship Service.  
  11. North Carolina State University's excellent database on graduate fellowships - www2.acs.ncsu.edu/grad/funding/fellows.htm  
  12. Peterson's information on financing education and other topics - www.petersons.com/  
  13. H-GRAD website
  14. Cornell University's Graduate Fellowship database for domestic and international fellowships - http://cuinfo.cornell.edu/Student/GRFN/  
  15. Fellowship & Postdoc Opportunities at the National Academie - http://www.nas.edu/subjectindex/fel.html  
  16. Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority web site - www.mefa.org  
  17. NSEP Graduate International Fellowships  For more details, please contact Mehrzad Boroujerdi (mborouje@maxwell.syr.edu ) in the Political Science Department  
  18. Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, with a link to other peace and security fellowships.  
  19. IREX-IARO: INDIVIDUAL ADVANCED RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM (IARO) - Grants of one to three months are available to U.S. graduate students for research in the social sciences and humanities in Europe and Eurasia.  
  20. Fulbright Grants for Educational and Cultural Exchange Program  
  21. www.studentawards.com  

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Fellowships Requiring Separate Application

The John Ben Snow and Vernon Snow Fellowships in Non-Profit Management: These two fellowships are outside awards. The Snow Foundation provides each Fellow a stipend of $15,000, disbursed in equal monthly installments of $1,250 over the duration of the MPA program. Syracuse University matches this award with a 40 credit hour tuition scholarship. Additionally, Snow Fellows serve up to 16 hours per week at a local foundation (CNY Community Foundation) during the academic year. To be considered for a Snow Fellowship award a separate letter of application is necessary. This letter should summarize your background and interests in non-profit management and state your commitment to enter this field upon graduation. Please enclose a resume/curricula vita with the letter and address it to: The Snow Fellowship Selection Committee, c/o the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs, 215 Eggers Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244. You may include this letter with your application. Deadline for consideration is February 15.

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The Robertson Foundation For Government- Robertson Fellows Program: Founded in honor of Charles and Marie Robertson, RFFG seeks to further their mission of helping to strengthen the Government of the United States and increase its ability and determination to defend and extend freedom throughout the world. Admitted students at the Maxwell School can pursue programs in the following two year joint and concurrent degree programs that will prepare them for careers with the Federal Government: Public Administration/International Relations, International Relations/Economics, or Public Administration/Economics. For this purpose Robertson Fellows receive: Full tuition for both years, living stipend of $20,000/yr plus health insurance, and Summer internship assistance. In turn, Robertson Fellows are required to work for the Federal Government for 3 of the first 7 years after graduation and must have proficiency in a foreign language upon graduation. To be considered for a Robertson Fellowship, applicants must submit an additional (250 word) statement outlining their academic and career goals and how these are aligned with the mission of the RFFG. This statement must also reaffirm the applicant's commitment to a career in the federal government upon graduation. The deadline is February 15.

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Birkhead-Burkhead Research Apprenticeship: Matriculated MPA students will have the ability to apply for the Birkhead-Burkhead Research Apprenticeship during their time of study.  The apprenticeship will allow the student to work with a faculty member on a research project. The Birkhead-Burkhead Research Apprentice will also receive a cash stipend for the work completed.  Matriculated students will be invited to apply in late Summer or early Fall once the project and faculty mentor is determined.

This apprenticeship position is made possible by the generous contributions of alumni and friends to the Birkhead-Burkhead Scholarship Fund.

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 Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships: Syracuse University's Center for European Studies Center announces Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship competitions. The FLAS program provides tuition and stipend for SU graduate students who are US citizens of permanent residents to undertake intensive language training (HINDI only) and area studies that complements their program of study. FLAS awards are open to SU graduate students in any program, with interests in contemporary European Studies. Preference may be given to professional program students and those who may want to work in public service in the future. Deadline for consideration is in early March of each year.  

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John and Mabel deSardon and Joan deSardon-Glass Financial Awards: Two or three full-funding (tuition and stipend for one year of study) financial awards are provided from this endowed fund to students who are nationals of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela and any other South American/Andean countries who intend to return to their home countries to work in the public or non-profit sector. These awards are administered through the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs of the Maxwell School. Deadline for full consideration is February 1st. In order for the department to nominate an applicant for deSardon-Glass funding, the department must have officially admitted the student to their graduate program, therefore it is crucial that applicants submit a complete application, including all official test scores, to the department by the February 1st deadline.  Admitted and qualified applicants will be nominated internally by the department for these awards, so a separate application is no longer necessary.    

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Global Programs Award for Internship Support:  The Maxwell School has funds available to help support second year students participating in our off-campus Global Programs.  The "Global Programs Award" is given to meritorious students who can demonstrate significant financial need and the commitment to participate in one of our off-campus Global Programs, especially those that require international travel and long-term study. Please note that we do not provide awards for one week, Winter Intersession or May-mester programs.  Programs offered through The Maxwell School and SU Abroad are eligible for funding. Please visit this website for more information and the applications form. The application deadline for second year study awards is in the spring of each year. 

Partnership Programs and Matching Awards

Harry S. Truman Scholarship Program: The Maxwell School has had a long-standing relationship with the Truman Scholarship program. Beginning in 2018, the Truman Scholar matching award will be a partial tuition scholarship (50%) and be granted at time of admission to the MPA or MA IR program. Please note on your application that you are a Truman Scholar. For more information please visit their website.

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Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program: Students who have participated in the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship program and have been awarded a PPIA Fellowship through the new APPAM consortium are invited to apply to the Maxwell School's MPA program. Upon admission, the University is committed to providing a minimum $5,000 cash award to all PPIA Fellows and waives all mandatory fees associated with graduate study at the University (including the application fee). PPIA Fellows are eligible for all other forms of merit based financial aid. Typical awards provide for a partial (50%) tuition waiver and will be granted on the basis of merit.  Please note on your application that you are a PPIA Fellow and have your Summer JSI reports forwarded to the school. Please contact us at paia@maxwell.syr.edu for an application fee waiver code, which can be provided once we have confirmed your PPIA Status.  For more information see the PPIA website.

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 McNair Graduate Fellowships: Syracuse University is a participating institution in the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program. Not only does the University provide research training and mentoring to promising undergraduate students preparing for graduate study, but it also provides a limited number of Graduate Fellowships to incoming McNair Scholars accepted into the graduate programs across campus. The Ronald E. McNair Graduate Fellowships provide full tuition support and a stipend. Once admitted to a program, the departments will internally nominate all Scholars for the Graduate Fellowship. Announcements of these awards will be made by the McNair Fellowship selection committee in mid-Spring. To be competitive for these limited graduate fellowships, McNair Scholars should be careful to include a letter of recommendation from their primary mentor with their application. Additionally, the application fee is waived for all McNair Scholars applying to graduate programs at Syracuse University. Be sure to have the application and all supporting materials submitted by February 1st. For more information please visit the website.

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US Army ROTC Opportunities: Graduate students admitted to the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs and perhaps another program and whom are planning on being at SU for two years may be eligible for participation in the Army ROTC program fro graduate students. While this program offers much more than funding- participation may have financial benefits. Please visit SU's website on the ROTC benefits for more information.

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 GI Bill-Yellow Ribbon Program Education Benefits: As a veteran of the U.S. armed forces, you have earned educational benefits. We are pleased that you are considering our programs and Syracuse University as you plan your future. Please visit the Veteran's information portion of SU's website.

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Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program, Graduate Fellowship Program: This program seeks to attract and educate outstanding young people who desire careers in Foreign Service. Funded by the US Department of State and managed by the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University, these fellowships prepare students to enter exciting and rewarding careers in public service as Foreign Service Officers, The Rangel Program encourages the application of members of minority groups or historically underrepresented in Foreign Service and those with financial need. Fellows receive up to $37,500 annually in assistance for tuition, room, board and other related expenses for a two year masters degree in international public service. Maxwell matches the Rangel Fellowship funding with an additional $15,000 per year for students admitted to the joint MPA/MA IR program. Students admitted into just one of these programs will receive $5,000 in matching funds each year of study. For more information please visit the Rangel Program website.

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Teach For America Partnership: The Maxwell School's Department of Public Administration and International Affairs has a long standing partnership with Teach For America. Any applicant admitted to the one of our programs who is then accepted into the Teach For America corps, will be automatically granted a two year deferral so they may fulfill this service opportunity. Additionally, any Teach For America alumnus accepted into one of our programs will receive at least $5,000 in tuition assistance from the department. For more information visit the Teach For America website.

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USAID's Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program: This initiative is designed to promote excellence and diversity in the USAID Foreign Service. The USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship seeks outstanding young people interested in careers in international development as USAID Foreign Service Officers. The Payne Fellowship Program provides benefits valued at up to $90,000 over two years to fund a two-year master's degree, arranges internships on Capitol Hill and at USAID missions overseas, and provides professional development and support activities. Fellows who successfully complete the program become USAID Foreign Service Officers. Fellows may use the fellowship to attend a two-year master's program in a U.S. institution to study an area of relevance to the USAID Foreign Service, including international development, international relations, public policy, business administration, foreign languages, economics, agriculture, environmental sciences, health, or urban planning at a graduate or professional school approved by the Payne Program. At the end of the two-year fellowship, Fellows enter the USAID Foreign Service. Applicants must be college seniors or graduates looking to start graduate school in the fall of the year they apply, have GPAs of at least 3.2 and be U.S. citizens. The program welcomes applications from those with any undergraduate major and encourages applications from members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the USAID Foreign Service and those with financial need. Information and application materials for the program are available at www.paynefellows.org. The application deadline is in January of each year. The Program is funded by USAID and managed by Howard University.

Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship Program Howard University 202-806-4367; 877-633-0002 paynefellows@howard.edu www.paynefellows.org.

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Civil Society Leadership Awards: The Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) provide fully funded Masters' degree study to individuals who clearly demonstrate academic and professional excellence and a deep commitment to leading positive social change in their communities.  Syracuse University's Maxwell School, College of Law and School of Education partner with the administrators of the CSLA Scholarship program to bring talented scholars to study at our University.  CSLA scholarships are available to citizens of the following countries:  Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Laos, Libya, Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Application Deadline, December 15.  Complete Program Details and Applications Instructions can be found in this PDF.

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CBCF – Maxwell Fellowship Award  The Maxwell School's Department of Public Administration and International Affairs has a long standing partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.  Any current of former CBCF Intern admitted into the MPA or MA IR degree program (including any PA/IR joint degree with the exception of dual JD candidates) will be granted a CBCF – Maxwell Fellowship Award upon admission.  The CBCF – Maxwell Fellowship Award has a value of $10,000 which will be credited toward tuition. Admitted CBCF – Maxwell Fellows will also be considered for additional funding via our traditional awards process. A letter of support attesting to the successful completion of the CBCF internship will be required for the official administration of this award.  

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CHCI – Maxwell Fellowship Award  The Maxwell School's Department of Public Administration and International Affairs has a long standing partnership with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.    Any current of former CHCI Intern admitted into the MPA or MA IR degree program (including any PA/IR joint degree with the exception of dual JD candidates) will be granted a CHCI – Maxwell Fellowship Award upon admission.  The CHCI – Maxwell Fellowship Award has a value of $10,000 which will be credited toward tuition. Admitted CHCI – Maxwell Fellows will also be considered for additional funding via our traditional awards process. A letter of support attesting to the successful completion of the CHCI internship will be required for the official administration of this award.  

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