Graduate Funding & Financial Aid

At American University we strive to help prospective and current students cover the full cost of their education to welcome a diverse and thriving student body.

From scholarships to military and veteran's benefits and financial aid to student employment and employer tuition assistance, explore the many funding resources available to you as a degree-seeking or certificate student.

Graduate Degree: Three female students American University graduate students dressed in graduation regalia
Law Degree: New graduates from American University's Washington College of Law
Certificate: Three American University graduate certificate students
Current Student: professor teaching a group of graduate students sitting around a table

 

Prospective Graduate Students On-Campus & Online Degrees

  1. American University Scholarships

    These awards may include a scholarship, assistantship, or fellowship.


    Selection Criteria: These scholarships are based on a holistic review of your application which includes, but is not limited to: your relevant work experience, motivation for graduate studies, academic performance, your potential to excel, and more. American University strives to make education as accessible as possible and our award process reflects our goal of equitable access.

    How to Apply: To be considered for American University Scholarships, simply answer “yes” to the financial aid/scholarship consideration question located in the online admission application. For most programs, you need to complete your admissions application by the priority admissions deadline to get full consideration for scholarships.
     

  2. Partner Program Scholarships

    Some graduate programs team up with local, regional, and national organizations to offer scholarships. These awards may include a scholarship, assistantship, or fellowship.

    Selection Criteria: These scholarships are based on varying criteria such as interest in the topic, specific skills, experience, academic performance, and more.

    How to Apply: To be considered for Partner Program Scholarships, simply answer “yes” to the financial aid/scholarship consideration question located in the online admission application. For most programs, you need to complete your admissions application by the priority admissions deadline to get full consideration for scholarships.

    School of Communications Only: Several of the Partner Program Scholarships require a separate application. If you are applying to the School of Communication, please view detailed procedures (listed by program) to determine whether you need to fill out a separate partner program scholarship application. If there is no separate application process, please follow instructions in the paragraph above.
     

  3. Office of Graduate Studies Scholarships

    We offer a number of master's and doctoral scholarships through the Office of Graduate Studies. Click the link below to find eligiblity requirements, application deadlines and materials for each scholarship. 

    Questions? Alexa Martinez | (202) 885-8210

    How to Applyfor Office of Graduate Studies scholarships.

  4. Federal Aid

    Federal aid for graduate students includes Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans and Federal Work-Study. Please note that for online students interested in federal work-study, there are some location restrictions.

    How to Apply: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  American University’s FAFSA school code is 001434.

    Questions? Contact a Financial Aid Counselor (based on the first letter/s of your last name). 

    The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program offers loan forgiveness for Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments (approximately 10 years) under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer (government and non-profits organizations).

  5. Veteran & Military Benefits

    The Office of Veterans' Student Services can assist veterans, active-duty military members, and their dependents with specific funding opportunities, including the Yellow Ribbon Program and the GI Bill. This office also provides additional resources and support for those who have served in our armed forces. Funding is available to eligible veteran and active-duty military students.

    Follow the "How to Apply" link below for step-by-step instructions on using your VA education benefits.

    Questions? veterans@american.edu | Book an Appointment

    How to Applyfor military and veteran benefits

  6. Student Employment

    Search for on-campus, professional jobs, internships, on demand part-time and neighborhood jobs, and federal work-study positions.

    Questions? careercenter@american.edu | (202) 885-1861

    Search Student Jobson American University's Student Employment site.

  7. External Scholarship Resources

    Fast WEB Scholarship Search
    Scholarships.com: Free College
    Scholarship Search and Financial Aid Resource

    College Connection Scholarships
    College Board Scholarship Search
    College Scholarships
    The Point Foundation for LGBT Students
     

  8. Employer Tuition Assistance and Reimbursement

    Your employer benefits package may help cover the cost of furthering your education. Check with your employer, usually the human resources department, to determine if it's a part of your benefits package.
     

  9. Payment Plans

    American University offers the American Payment Plan (APP) as an alternative to paying the bill by splitting the balance into convenient monthly payments, with no added interest.

    How to Enrollin a payment plan.

  10. Private Loans

    You can also apply for private loans to help cover the cost of your graduate certificate. We provide step-by-step instructions and tips for applying including historical list of lenders for AU students. Be sure to let the prospective lender know that you are pursuing a graduate certificate as a non-degree student. 

    How to Applyfor a private or alternative loan.

Graduate CertificatesNon-Credit & For-Credit

At American University, we offer both non-credit and credit-bearing certificates to help you up-skill or change career paths. Non-credit certificates have a total tuition cost that is unrelated to the graduate per credit hour rate. Credit-bearing certificates are based on the graduate per credit hour cost.

Non-Credit Certificates

  1. Employer Tuition Assistance and Reimbursement

    Your employer benefits package may help cover the cost of furthering your education. Check with your employer, usually the human resources department, to determine if it's a part of your benefits package. 
     

  2. Payment Plan

    American University offers the American Payment Plan (APP) as an alternative to paying the bill by splitting the balance into convenient monthly payments, with no added interest.

    How to Enrollin a payment plan.

  3. Private Loans

    You can also apply for private loans to help cover the cost of your graduate certificate. We provide step-by-step instructions and tips for applying including historical list of lenders for AU students. Be sure to let the prospective lender know that you are pursuing a graduate certificate as a non-degree student.

    How to Applyfor a private or alternative loan.

For-Credit Certificates

  1. Federal Aid

    The Pre-Medical Certificate is the only certificate currently eligible for Title IV funding.

    Questions? Danette Burgess | (202) 885-6110

    How to Applyfor Financial Aid (Pre-Medical Certificate only)

  2. Veteran & Military Benefits

    The Office of Veterans' Student Services can assist veterans, active-duty military members, and their dependents with specific funding opportunities, including the GI Bill. This office also provides additional resources and support for those who have served in our armed forces. Funding is available to eligible veteran and active-duty military students.

    Follow the "How to Apply" link below for step-by-step instructions on using your VA education benefits.

    Questions? veterans@american.eduBook an Appointment 

    How to Applyfor military and veteran benefits

  3. Payment Plans

    American University offers the American Payment Plan (APP) as an alternative to paying the bill by splitting the balance into convenient monthly payments, with no added interest.

    How to Enrollin a payment plan.

  4. Employer Tuition Assistance or Reimbursement

    Your employer benefits package may help cover the cost of furthering your education. Check with your employer, usually the human resources department, to determine if it's a part of your benefits package.
     

  5. Private Loans

    You can also apply for private loans to help cover the cost of your graduate certificate. We provide step-by-step instructions and tips for applying including historical list of lenders for AU students. Be sure to let the prospective lender know that you are pursuing a graduate certificate as a non-degree student.

    How to Applyfor a private or alternative loan.

Current Graduate Students Online & On-Campus Degrees

  1. Research Grants

    There are nearly 100 external funding opportunities available to researchers at American University. Once you establish a faculty member to serve as the Principal Investigator (PI) of your research project, you can apply for funding. You can search on AU’s research funding database to find funding for your project.

    Questions? Office of Sponsored Programs | (202) 885-3440

    Search for Grantson the Office of Sponsored Programs website.

  2. Merit Awards

    American University’s Office of Merit Awards provides intensive mentorship through the selection and application process of hundreds of merit awards including the Boren and Fulbright scholarships.

    How to Apply: 
    1. Identify scholarship possibities on AU's National Scholarship Directory. Reach out to mentors and faculty/staff in your program of study to help determine a scholarship/ fellowship program that best fits your goals and interests.

    2. Once you’ve identified a program, you’re ready to work with an advisor to complete the application process. Please note that it takes about 3 months to complete a competitive application. Email meritawards@american.edu or call (202) 885-1854 to schedule an appointment.

    Questions? meritawards@american.edu(202) 885-1854