Financial Aid

Graduate Tuition Scholarships

Effective Fall 2014, all enrolled graduate students qualify for tuition scholarships based on their residency and/or work status.  The student will qualify for only one scholarship. 

  • State of Delaware residents receive a 50% tuition scholarship
  • Public or nonprofit employees who work at least 20 hours receive a 50% tuition scholarship regardless of residency.  Verification will be required each year. 
  • Residents of states other than Delaware receive a 35% tuition scholarship
  • International students receive a 10% tuition scholarship

Applicants must complete the Supplementary Information Form and check the appropriate box indicating the their status.

Graduate Research Assistantships

Financial assistance from the School of Public Policy and Administration may also be provided in the form of research assistantships generated by the School’s affiliated research centers.  Research assistantships are competitively awarded to full-time students who are registered for at least nine graduate-level credit hours.  A graduate research assistantship provides a stipend paid semi-monthly over the nine-month period from September through May, as well as 90% of tuition for master’s students and 100% for doctoral students.  The University also pays a portion of health insurance through the graduate student Accident and Sickness Insurance Plan.  Students in the 4+1 program may work as undergraduate research assistants in their first year and be paid hourly.  

Graduate research assistants are required to work 20 hours per week, including during the January winter session. We make every effort to assign students to projects that are related to their research areas, but assignments are also based on the availability of funding. Research assistantships may be renewable in subsequent years, subject to funding availability and provided the student remains in good academic standing and satisfactorily completes project requirements.  Research assistants may not hold outside employment during the term of the assistantship.  U.S. and non-U.S. citizens are eligible.

To apply for a research assistantship:

Applicants must complete the Supplementary Information Form and rank the centers in which the applicant wants to be considered for placement.

University Graduate Scholars Awards

A major source of support for the University of Delaware’s diversity efforts, the School of Public Policy and Administration receives several University Graduate Scholars (UGS) awards each year for graduate students.  University Graduate Scholars awards consist of full tuition scholarships for fall and spring semesters and an academic-year stipend.  University Graduate Scholars are expected to work in one of SPPA’s affiliated research centers for 20 hours per week during the academic year.  

Awards are competitive and are based on many criteria including challenging social, economic, educational, cultural or other life circumstances; academic achievements; first-generation graduate student status; and/or need as determined by federal income guidelines (FAFSA). Awards are granted for one year. Additional information is available at .  Students may be nominated by the program for the award.  Only U.S. citizens are eligible for UGS awards.

Application instructions are included on the Supplementary Information Form. To be considered for nomination, completed applications MUST be received by January 15th each year, including submission of GRE scores, resume and an additional essay addressing all eligibility criteria that may apply to you.

To be considered for a University Graduate Scholar award, applicants must submit an additional essay (two pages absolute maximum) entitled “The issues or experiences in my background that have been challenging or have presented other life circumstances.”  The essay should be submitted as a Supporting Document. Applicants should also indicate interest on page 1 of the Supplementary Information Form.  A completed application (including test scores and all other credentials) MUST be submitted by the January 15 deadline in order to have priority consideration.

Other Financial Aid Information

Students in the 4+1 program are eligible for research assistantships in both years and are eligible for tuition scholarship in their second year.  Students remain classified as undergraduate through their first eight semesters of study and are subject to undergraduate tuition policies, rates, and financial aid requirements.   Fourth year students are eligible to work in a /public service center or other SPPA project and will be paid hourly at an undergraduate student rate.  Students in their fifth academic year of study are classified as graduate students and are subject to graduate tuition policies, rates, and related assistantship and scholarship opportunities.  Fifth year students who work in a research/public service center or other SPPA project will be paid at the graduate funding rate.

Eligibility for research assistantships is renewable, subject to availability of funds, satisfactory academic progress, and completion of any required project work.  Master’s level financial assistance awards generally do not exceed two years; doctoral awards do not exceed four years. Eligibility for continued funding is contingent upon academic progress as evaluated by the graduate program directors and faculty and satisfactory performance in the research assistantship as evaluated by the supervisor and Center Director.  

Students on research assistantships or fellowships must be enrolled full-time (at least nine graduate level credit hours) during the fall and spring semesters.  Students receiving a research assistantship, fellowship or scholarship are eligible for coverage by the University’s graduate student Accident and Sickness Insurance Plan at a reduced cost. The University requires full-time students to pay the Student Health Fee, which is different than the basic health insurance, and entitles them to certain medical care at Student Health Services.  Part-time students may elect to pay the fee for Student Health Services.  For more information, visit

To guarantee consideration for financial assistance, applications for fall semester should be completed by January 15.  Those who apply later are not guaranteed consideration for financial assistance. Applications are accepted after January 15 and admission continues on a rolling basis until the final application deadline of July 1, or until the class fills. Most financial assistance commitments are awarded during the fall semester.  There is no guarantee, implied or otherwise, that financial assistance will be available for any semester or for any applicant.   

Additional financial aid and/or student loans are available through federal, state, and private programs.  Contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for details at or phone 302-831-2126.