Funding & aid

Funding dollars drive innovation at KU. You’ll investigate a number of funding resources, from KU and elsewhere, and choose the opportunities that best fit the needs of your graduate work. First step: File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid — many funding applications require you to have an up-to-date FAFSA. If you’re from outside the U.S., file your International Student Need Analysis Worksheet.

Departmental funding

Most of the funding opportunities available to new graduate students are administered by departments. Start by thoroughly reviewing the application requirements, which can be found after starting an application and selecting a program of interest. Reach out to the program contact listed in the requirements for more information. Other things to consider:

  • Some programs automatically consider all applicants for funding through fellowships or assistantships.
  • Some programs have specific deadlines for funding consideration.
  • Some programs require additional application materials to be considered for funding.

Other KU funding opportunities

You may be eligible for funding through merit-based, discipline-specific fellowships. Each of these awards has its own application process and requirements, which you would complete in addition to your departmental application for graduate study:

KU also offers or connects students with grants. Many are based on need or merit, and some are specific to departments, disciplines, or federal statuses. Refer to this list of KU grants, or contact your department for more information.

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs), Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs), and Graduate Assistants (GAs) receive tuition, wages, and/or funding in exchange for teaching or administrative support. Students should reach out to graduate programs about departmental assistantships and their benefits, or scan the Jobs at KU listings for outside opportunities.

Learn more about assistantships

Students may apply for funding to support or advance their research, such as the Doctoral Student Research Fund

Learn more about research funding

KU’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships connects graduate students with federal aid. To take advantage of these opportunities, domestic students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); international students must file the International Student Need Analysis Worksheet (ISNAW). Contact a KU Financial Aid counselor for more information.

Veteran, active duty, and family members of military-affiliated students may be eligible for KU and external funding opportunities. 

Learn more

Students who have incurred an immediate, unexpected expense due to circumstances beyond their control may qualify for the Emergency Aid Network. Eligible expenses may include emergency medical bills, travel costs due to the death of a family member, shelter or housing concerns, and more.


When it comes to searching for funding, students have several tools at their disposal. Pivot, a searchable database for finding funding opportunities, is a go-to resource for graduate students. Additionally, many KU offices and organizations help students find funding or offer their own opportunities. 

Search funding »

External funding

Students may seek private or outside funding. We encourage students to use the Pivot database, as well as speak to their advisors, departmental contacts, or graduate mentors for guidance in finding funding specific to their field or discipline. 

See private scholarships »

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