Financing Your Education
"How am I going to pay for this?" It's a major concern for most people pursuing a graduate education. OSU and the Graduate School value the contributions our graduate students make to the university as active participants in the creation and discovery of knowledge, and we have a strong commitment to supporting your graduate education through a variety of funding opportunities.
But often the money won't just come to you. Luckily, the very skills and abilities that fuel your graduate pursuits will aid your search for funding: creativity, intellectual passion, thorough research, and good communication skills. The first step in the funding process is to educate yourself about the different types of funding available, application procedures, and deadlines. As you explore these pages, keep in mind that your academic department is your primary resource for many of the programs described here and many more opportunities that are unique to your field.
Each year, the Graduate School and Valley Library present a joint presentation to graduate students on the topic of financing your graduate education. The workshop is focused on locating sources of support, both internal and external to OSU. It presents ways in which graduate students may be supported at OSU and also explores search tools and techniques for locating external sponsors. Students may find these presentation slides helpful: Financing Your Graduate Education
The most common form of student support, graduate assistantships are employment-based appointments where students, in exchange for their service, receive a stipend, tuition remission, and an institutional contribution toward the health insurance program available only to graduate assistants. Teaching and research assistantships are offered on a competitive basis and are generally administered by the academic departments. Learn more about graduate assistantships.
Fellowships and scholarships for graduate study are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or financial need. Fellowships usually provide a stipend and, in some cases, tuition support and a research allowance. Scholarships usually cover direct educational expenses, such as tuition and fees. Some fellowships and scholarships are awarded institutionally, either by the Graduate School or by an academic college, department committee, or graduate program, while others are awarded by external agencies such as the National Science Foundation.
Effective fall 2009, OSU will offer mandatory health insurance coverage for select graduate fellows that meet specific eligibility criteria. Health insurance will be offered under the graduate assistant health plan with premiums subsidized at the same rate (currently 85%) as is the case for graduate assistants. For more details, see For Graduate Fellowships on the Funding Policies page.
The links on the Fellowships and Scholarships page provide an extensive catalog of fellowship programs at OSU, hundreds of links to external fellowship opportunities, scholarship search engines, and some helpful hints to aid your search.
OSU offers tuition remission as part of a financial package to recruit and retain the highest quality of graduate students.
Graduate assistantships provide full tuition remission (excluding student fees) during the terms of the appointment. Keep in mind that graduate assistantships do not change your residency status. When the graduate assistantship ends, you will be assessed tuition charges according to your student residency status.
The Graduate School also offers some tuition remission scholarship programs. These awards are provided on a competitive basis to students who are not funded under a graduate assistantship. Students may not apply directly for this support, but must be nominated by their academic program. These scholarships provide full or partial tuition remission to recipients according to the guidelines for each tuition remission program.
Tuition remission recipients must enroll for a minimum of 12 credits each term of the award. Audit registrations and enrollment in E-campus courses may not be used to satisfy these enrollment requirements.
Follow this link for instructions on completing and filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well as information on various financial aid programs such as the Federal Perkins Loan and work-study. Some scholarships and fellowships use the FAFSA to evaluate financial need, so it's a good idea to file an application, either on-line or by mail, even if you don't plan to take out any student loans. APPLY EARLY!
Career Services at OSU can help you locate part-time, student hourly wage employment on and off campus, and graduate students often find positions related to their course of study or fields of interest. Follow this link and log-on to the Beaver Recruiting site to begin your job search.
OSU is not able to provide students with specific tax advice, but there are IRS publications that you may find helpful, such as Publication 970, "Tax Benefits for Education." For more details, we recommend you consult with a tax professional.
OSU withholds taxes from wages received under graduate assistantships or under student hourly-wage appointments. Taxes are not withheld from fellowships or scholarships. The OSU Business Office issues IRS Form 1098T at the end of each year which reflects transactions associated with your student business account, including tuition and fee charges and institutional scholarship and fellowship awards.
For the enterprising student determined to explore every avenue available financial aid, the funding process is like a personal research project. The OSU Valley Library has a large collection of resources to help you identify possible funding opportunities and fine tune your application materials.