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Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financing Graduate School

The UNI Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships strives to make graduate college an affordable investment in your future.  There are several factors to consider when attending graduate school.  Below we have outlined important information for graduate students and their advisors.


Step 1:  Calculate your anticipated costs for the academic year:

  • Focus on the direct costs you will owe to UNI
  • Consider any other education-related expenses you may need pay
    • Books and supplies
    • Rent
    • Utilities
    • Groceries
    • Car insurance and gas
    • Childcare
    • Cell Phone

Step 2:  Consider any financial resources you already have:

  • Savings
  • Current Income if you are employed full- or part-time
  • Campus departmental and off-campus employment—visit the UNI Job Board
    • Graduate students enrolled at least half-time are eligible for work positions supported by departmental funds
    • Note:  If you have a graduate assistantship, you cannot work as an hourly employee on campus
    • The job board also lists openings for off-campus employers
  • There is an excellent budget calculator included in the Financial Awareness Counseling at

Step 3:  Apply for Assistantships and Scholarships:

  • Graduate Assistantship
    • Graduate Assistants can work full-time (20 hours per week) or half-time (10 hours per week). 
    • There are approximately 300 Graduate Assistant positions in a variety of campus departments and offices
    • Only full-time students (enrolled in at least 9 hours per semester) are eligible for assistantships
    • Out-of-state students holding graduate assistantships may qualify for in-state tuition
    • Covers up to the cost of tuition each semester; scholarship amounts may vary.
    • Does not cover student fees, books, or other expenses
    • Unlike graduate assistantship, there is no work obligation
  • Departmental Scholarships
    • Contact your academic department to learn if scholarships are available
  • Outside scholarships
    • There are numerous free websites where you can search for scholarships
    • Also look for scholarships from your home community, employer, etc.

Step 4: Explore Grants and Loans:

In order to receive financial aid, graduate students must be a degree seeking student and enrolled at least half-time (5 semester hours in the fall or spring or 4 hours in the summer). 

If you choose to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (available starting October 1), you may qualify for:

    • Limited funds are available to graduate students, so complete your FAFSA as early as possible to maximize the possibility of receiving grants
    • Fixed interest rate of 6.00%
    • Borrowing limit of $20,500 per year
    • Available for all graduate students
    • Fixed interest rate of 7.00%
    • Available for graduate students who have exhausted their Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
    • Borrower is subject to a credit check prior to approval
    • Offered through private banks and lenders
    • This is a last-resort option
    • Financial aid counseling is required with the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Remember that you will be charged interest on your loans as soon as you receive them. You will be responsible for paying back the amount of your loan plus any interest that has accrued.


Other important information:

 If you have any additional questions, please contact our office.