VCU Bulletins

College of Humanities and Sciences

Scholarships, assistantships, fellowships and other financial assistance for graduate students

The College of Humanities and Sciences seeks to attract and support graduate students of the highest caliber and to prepare them, through research and instruction, to meet local and national needs for highly trained men and women. Recognizing that financial limitations may inhibit some qualified students from applying, the college attempts to inform students of the options of various loans, grants and work-study opportunities that are available to them as well as assist them in financing their education by offering various forms of financial aid and facilitating the process of seeking financial assistance from external sources. Additionally, the college believes that the experience of being a teaching or research assistant reinforces the learning that takes place in the classroom. The value of teaching assistants also is recognized as being beneficial to the college’s undergraduate programs.

Types of financial aid that are available to graduate students fall into three basic categories: aid that does not have to be repaid (grants, scholarships and tuition waivers), aid that does have to be repaid (loans) and aid that enables students to earn a portion of their school costs (work-study, graduate teaching assistantships and graduate research assistantships).

Offers of financial aid are based on financial need and/or skill and competency. Financial need is determined by information contained in the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) completed by the student. Not all financial aid is based on financial need. To ascertain your eligibility for the different types of financial aid, contact the VCU Office of Financial Aid at 901 W. Franklin St., P.O. Box 843026, Richmond, VA 23284-3026, (804) 828-6669, and the department to which you will be applying. The university library has reference books listing other types of scholarships and grants. International students should contact: Office of International Education at 916 W. Franklin St., P.O. Box 843043, Richmond, VA 23284-3043, (804) 828-6016.

Graduate teaching assistantships and graduate research assistantships are forms of financial aid that provide teaching and research positions for graduate students within their field of study. These are not loans and do not have to be repaid because the student is actually earning income for services rendered. Usually graduate assistants must work the equivalent of 20 hours per week. Assistantships are awarded to students who have demonstrated academic excellence. Individual departments award the assistantships, which usually include payment of tuition; the teaching and/or research duties of graduate assistants vary among departments. Graduate students interested in seeking these teaching and research positions are advised to contact the departments to which they will apply for admission.

Graduate students applying for financial assistance should remember the following tips:

Students should assume they are eligible, not ineligible.

* Also see departmental listings.

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Last update: 5/31/2007

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