Graduate Aid at Stanford

Planning for Your Educational Expenses

Most graduate students at Stanford need help to pay for their educational expenses.  Sources of funding range from government agencies, employers and foundations to academic departments and schools.  Financial assistance can be divided into three broad categories:

  • Grants, Scholarships and Fellowships — "Free money" that does not need to be repaid upon completion of enrollment.
  • Loans — Funds advanced to you by a governmental or private lender, to be repaid (or possibly forgiven) after graduation.
  • Earnings — Wages paid for research, teaching or other work performed during enrollment.

We strongly recommend that you investigate all possible funding options in order to maximize your grants and scholarships and minimize loan obligations.

First Stop:  Your Academic Department

When you start your search for funding, your first stop should be the office of your individual academic department.  Department offices can provide you with information about fellowships and other forms of grant assistance; research assistantships; teaching assistantships; and external funding sources.  Many Ph.D. candidates and some Masters students obtain enough funding from these sources to cover all of their expenses.

To find contact information for your prospective academic department, you can use the Registrar’s directory of academic department websites.

Next Stop:  Your Financial Aid Office

If you do not qualify for aid through your department to cover all of your costs, you may want to consider borrowing from one or more education loan programs.  The process for applying for loans depends on your School.  Some schools have separate financial aid operations, so you need to make sure that you apply through the right Financial Aid Office. Follow the link listed for your School to learn about the application requirements.

Financial Aid Offices
School Where to Apply for Student Loans


GSB Financial Aid Office

Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; Education; Engineering; Humanities & Sciences; Medicine (PhD, MS)

Central Financial Aid Office, Applying for Aid


Law School Financial Aid Office

Medicine (MD)

Med School Financial Aid Office

Updated on October 16, 2015 6:59 AM