Financial Aid Process

Financial Aid Process

Financial aid for graduate school can be complicated. You may have received a financial aid “package” along with your undergraduate admission offer, but aid at the graduate level is very different.

Merit aid

This is what is offered by the individual department or school. Since Newhouse is somewhat centralized among our graduate programs, we have one aid “pool” that is administered by Associate Dean Joel Kaplan.

To be considered, you must have answered “yes” to the questions related to merit aid consideration on page four of the application.

At the time of your application review, both the program director and associate dean are also reviewing it for merit aid. Recommendations for scholarships or instructional associate (IA) positions are made. This is based on several factors, including but not limited to, grades, test scores, letters of recommendation and previous experience. Since this is merit aid, need is not taken into consideration.

Based on these recommendations, IA candidate lists are generated and shared with the various faculty who supervise those positions. The supervising faculty review the applicants and make ranked lists. Dean Kaplan then makes offers based on the ranked lists.

Scholarship lists are also generated and ranked by Dean Kaplan. He determines the amounts, and then offers are made.

For joint degree and dual degree programs, we also coordinate with the other related school or college to make aid award determinations. If you are applying to one such program, you may receive an offer from Newhouse or the other school, but not from both. If an accidental duplication occurs, we will withdraw one of the awards.

Newhouse School offers for scholarships or IA positions are made directly from Dean Kaplan and the Graduate Records Office. These offers usually come separately from the admission decision. Applicants will not be offered more than one type of award. If an applicant receives an IA position, which includes an associated scholarship, an additional scholarship will not be offered. If you receive a scholarship offer, you will not receive an IA offer.

We have limited funds to offer and more than 200 students across our graduate programs. Merit aid awards are competitive. We try to spread our aid to as many deserving applicants as possible.

To review the types of merit aid we offer, click here. Please note that our Newhouse Foundation Fellowship for Minorities does require an interview component for the finalists.

International students

If merit aid is offered, this amount will be subtracted from the amount of proof you are required to show. We share this information with the Enrollment Management Processing Office, who will update your file and consider it along with any other financial documents you have submitted. They will notify you or our office requesting any additional proof you may need to show.

Need-based aid

The only type of need-based aid offered at SU is federal loans. These are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents by filing a FAFSA for both 2015-16 and 2016-17. You should complete this online form as soon as possible. This process takes into account your need (and does not consider the finances of your parents, unlike undergrad) and you will be granted loan funds accordingly, up to the maximum of $10,250 for the summer and $20,500 for the academic year. If more loan funds are needed, Graduate Plus Loans are also available, and require a credit check. More information is available through our Office of Financial Aid.

Additional opportunities

We will not have any additional scholarship opportunities for enrolled students. However, we will advertise any unfilled instructional associate positions twice more: in July for the fall and in November for the spring. If you received a scholarship, you are still eligible to apply for available instructional associate positions. Just keep in mind that you will not be awarded more scholarship credits than you need.

Other potential sources

You may find other opportunities on campus via SU JobOpps. Additionally, feel free to reach out to specific departments or non-academic units in which you have experience. You can also search for outside funding opportunities. In the past, students have successfully applied outside funds to their tuition and living expenses.

We hope this helps to clarify the aid award process at Newhouse. Feel free to reach out to us with more specific inquiries at

Martha Coria on Email
Martha Coria
Assistant Director of Professional Master's Programs at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
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