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Funding your graduate study

Graduate students at Ohio State have a variety of funding options available to them, including associateships and other employment, fellowships, loans and scholarships. About 55 percent of graduate students are supported by associateships or fellowships from the Graduate School or their graduate programs, and some graduate programs fully fund 100 percent of their students. Many doctoral students are funded through research grants or external funding sources.

Graduate associateships

Associateships, awarded for teaching, research or administration, are the primary source of financial assistance provided to graduate students. Most graduate associateships provide a 12-month tuition waiver, a nine-month stipend and subsidize health insurance in exchange for 20 hours of work per week for nine months. Last year, Ohio State employed more than 4,500 graduate associateships, including Graduate Teaching Associates (GTAs), Graduate Research Associates (GRAs) and Graduate Administrative Associates (GAAs).

Recipients are selected by the graduate programs. To be eligible for consideration, you need only meet the admission and deadline requirements of your program.

International students
If you wish to be considered for an associateship and English is not your native language, you are required to certify your oral proficiency in English by scoring 28 or higher on the spoken portion of the TOEFL iBT or 8.5 on the IELTS, or by scoring at the appropriate level on Ohio State's Oral Proficiency Assessment (OPA).

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations limit the employment of non-immigrant international students and their families. However, international students may work up to 20 hours per week on campus (learn more about employment). In additional, international graduate students may do a year of work in their fields during or after their studies.

Other employment

  • Student Financial Aid's Student Employment website posts on-campus jobs, including graduate associateships and research positions.
  • Your graduate program may be able to point you toward good resources.
  • Many companies offer tuition assistance to employees pursuing advanced degrees.


Graduate fellowships are limited in number and are awarded on a competitive basis each year to applicants who show outstanding scholarly accomplishment and exceptional potential for graduate study. Most graduate fellowship awards pay a monthly stipend, provide a tuition waiver and subsidize health insurance. Ohio State’s graduate programs offer more than 700 fellowships annually, with an average value of up to more than $60,000 for nonresident students. Fellowship awards are announced March 2 each year. Acceptance of the award is due April 15 each year.

Your program will decide whether to nominate you for a fellowship. Read about eligibility criteria for Ohio State Graduate School Fellowships, and check with your graduate program regarding specific deadlines and additional criteria.


U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply for government-sponsored loans. Applicants should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 1 each year to be considered for federal loan programs, which typically have low, fixed interest rates and good repayment options. Learn more about your federal loan options.

The annual borrowing limit is $20,500 for most graduate students. Read about borrowing limits and other information about federal loans. Although you may not be informed of an admission decision prior to the financial aid priority deadline of February 1 each year, you should still apply for financial aid by that deadline.


There are a limited number of scholarships open to graduate students.

File Ohio State's Special Scholarships Application to be considered for any special-eligibility scholarships for which you may be eligible. These applications are available after August 1 and must be submitted by February 1. Note that most special-eligibility scholarships require the FAFSA and a personal statement, and more documentation may be required later.