Fellowships

Definition

A fellowship (or scholarship) is an award granted by a foundation, university or agency for advanced study or research. A fellowship is “free money” unlike a loan (i.e. you don’t pay it back!). Fellowships traditionally cover tuition, but many fellowships support study abroad, internships and/or living expenses. Fellowships at the graduate level at GW are unrelated to the Office of Student Financial Assistance and loans. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance if you have questions about applying for or receiving loans.

Note: Scholarship and fellowship funding will impact the amount of loan money that may be borrowed. Any awards should be reported to the Office of Student Financial Assistance on the Verification of Outside Awards Form.

If you receive an award from GW or from another entity it's important that you review your award letter to ensure you follow the award's requirements. If you have questions about the award, please contact your awarding department directly. Contact information will be in the award letter.

Fellowship awards from the George Washington University are typically made to newly admitted students. However, current students may be considered for funding, depending on the availability of funds. More information on the awarding process can be found via each school's respective funding page. Because GW is decentralized, each school/department has its own fellowship funding process. 

Outside of GW are fellowships and scholarships at the national (and sometimes international!) level. More information and search engines are available via Find Funding. Most of these programs require that you apply in early fall for awards that will be funded the next academic year. Prospective and current students who search for funding outside of GW should be aware that at the national level, some funding is restricted to U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents.

Award Restrictions

Your award letter will inform you of the requirements and restrictions of the award. Some common language utilized in award letters:

Stackable tuition fellowships can be combined with other tuition fellowships, as long as the combined total does not exceed the cost of tuition. Non-stackable tuition fellowships cannot be combined with other tuition fellowships. If you receive a non-stackable award with a stackable award, you will need to decline one of the awards. 

It is important to note that an outside award that is a tuition fellowship must be reported to your department if you have also received a GW departmental award.

Some awards at the graduate level can be held for more than one year, while others are only for one semester or one academic year. If your award is only for one semester or one year (non-renewable) you may still be able to apply or be considered for the award. Details will be in your award letter or you may contact your awarding department for more information.