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Financing Your Graduate Education

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There are many places to look for financial support at Michigan State University. Students are eligible to apply for graduate research and teaching assistantships and fellowships. 

A. Assistantships

MSU offers more than 3,000 assistantships to graduate students. These include research, teaching, administrative, outreach, and residential life positions. Assistantships are provided in 1/4-time increments, with each 1/4-time requiring approximately 10 hours of work per week. Typically students are appointed for 1/4- or 1/2-time positions. Permission from the student's advisor and the Dean of the College of Education must be obtained in order to receive a 3/4-appointment. An assistantship appointment provides the following benefits: a monthly stipend, a tuition waiver of nine credits during fall and spring semesters (five credits during summer), and payment for single-enrollee health insurance provided by the University. Additionally, for out-of-state students, a graduate assistantship entitles students to in-state rates on tuition for their remaining credits.

The College of Education offers many opportunities for assistantships, each providing valuable professional experiences in addition to the financial compensation. Available graduate assistantships are listed on the College of Education homepage. Students are not required to restrict themselves to assistantships provided by their home department, but instead are free to choose from any of the departments in the College of Education or across the university. 

Other possibilities to pursue are the Residence Life and Minority Aide Assistantships. The primary role for these graduate assistants is to serve as resources to the student populations living in the residence halls. These assistantships are typically 1/2-time appointments, and they require that you live in the residence hall to which you are assigned. In addition to the standard benefits listed above, these assistantships also pay for room and board. For more information on these assistantships, contact the Office of Residence Life. 

B. Scholarships/Fellowships

Upon admission to the College of Education, all graduate students are automatically considered for Departmental, College, and University fellowships. As students progress through the program, they have the option of applying for scholarships and fellowships made available throughout the school year. Information about these scholarships and necessary application materials are available from the Student Affairs Office.  In addition, the College web site provides information on scholarship and fellowship financial packages and eligibility requirements. Students may also wish to check with professional organizations, including the American Educational Researchers' Association and National Council on Measurement and Evaluation, for possible funding opportunities. 

C. Loans

The first place to seek loans and grants is the Office of Financial Aid, which is located on the third floor of the Student Services Building.  Important information can also be accessed via their web site at  In order to determine eligibility for financial aid, a student must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, available online, or from the Office of Financial Aid. 

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