Finance Your Graduate Education

AU accepts many different options for financing your education. If financial assistance is needed or desired, please pursue one of the following avenues.

Need-Based Assistance

Both part time and full time students may apply for need-based assistance. Educational loans are managed by American University and offered by various government and private agencies. Interest rates are usually lower than those offered at banks, and the repayment schedule is often extended over a longer period of time. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for federal need-based financial aid.

You must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at The FAFSA priority deadline is March 1. For more information regarding need-based financial aid and application procedures, please call our Office of Financial Aid at 202-885-6500 or visit

Merit Awards

The Office of Merit Awards publicizes major opportunities for nationally competitive, merit-based scholarships and awards and provides candidates with training and assistance. The office also maintains awards listings for students who would like to research discipline-specific, merit-based scholarship opportunities. For more information, please call 202-885-1854 or visit


For information about part-time or full-time employment on campus and work-study opportunities, contact Human Resources at 202-885-2591 or

For help finding off-campus employment, contact the Career Center at 202-885-1804 or visit

NOTE: International students on an F-1 or a J-1 visa may work up to 20 hours a week on campus while classes are in session, with the permission of the international student advisor. Students on all other types of visas should check with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at 202-885-3350 or

Our programs offer 47 different scholarship opportunities.

Additional Scholarships

Individual programs and departments offer additional scholarships. For a full list, please see CAS Graduate Scholarships.

Payment Options

Students may pay tuition through the myau student portal. Credit cards are not accepted for tuition payment. AU also offers two installment plans:

The American Installment Plan allows full-time graduate students to schedule 10 to 12 monthly payments. The enrollment fee is $60, and applications are due on August 1 for fall admissions.

The Semester American Installment Plan allows both part-time and fulltime students to pay for each semester in three equal payments. The enrollment fee is $30, and applications are due by the first day of classes.

For additional information, please call Student Accounts at 202-885-8000 or visit

Other Sources of Funding

For information about independent scholarship organizations:

Federal Student Aid (US Dept of Education)

USA Jobs: Students & Grads (US Office of Personnel Mgmt)

For International Students Institute of International Education Financial aid for foreign nationals