How Graduate Student Funding Works

Figuring out how to pay for graduate school is an important part of the process when deciding to attend graduate school. Financial support for Ohio State graduate students is typically awarded in the form of associateships or fellowships. About 55% of graduate students (primarily doctoral students) receive some form of funding to pursue their degree. Funding decisions are made largely by each graduate program and are typically based on merit. Note that funding options for Master's degrees may be limited, so it is important to talk about funding with the program coordinator for the graduate program that you are interested in.


Graduate fellowships are limited in number and are competitively awarded each year to applicants who show exceptional potential for graduate study. Your program decides whether or not to nominate you for a fellowship; you cannot apply directly. Your program will notify you if it decides to nominate you for a fellowship. Most graduate fellowships provide a full tuition and fee authorization covering all instructional and general fees (including non-resident fees), a stipend, and subsidized health insurance. The Graduate School runs the competition for these fellowships for incoming graduate students.

View fellowships offered by Ohio State University.


Graduate associateships are the primary source of financial assistance provided to graduate students at Ohio State. These take the form of graduate research associateships (GRA), graduate teaching associateships (GTA) and graduate administrative associateships (GAA). Graduate associateships are awarded by graduate programs to support the research, teaching and administrative needs of each graduate program. Recipients are selected by the graduate program. Most graduate associateships provide a full tuition and fee authorization covering all instructional and general fees, including non-resident fees, a stipend and subsidized health insurance.

External Funding

There may also be other funding options available depending on the program you plan to study. For example, various agencies and organizations may provide funding for graduate students as grants or scholarships. Additionally, some employers may either assist or fully pay for graduate education for their employees. Other students may take out a loan to fund their graduate degree. Though you may be eligible for federal loans or other options, you should first be sure that this is a viable option for you since loans will need to be repaid in the future.