Financial Assistance for On-Campus Master's Degree Students

We have concluded all 2020-2021 Merit Scholarships and Need-Based Grant Awarding.

The Master’s Scholarship and Grant Priority Deadline for residential (on-campus) students is January 15, 2021 for Summer starts. Applications for admission must be submitted, verified, and completed by this deadline to be reviewed for scholarship consideration. More information about other funding opportunities are available below.

Online students are encouraged to visit the GW Tuition, Billing, and Financial Aid FAQ document for more information specific to online students.

Merit-Based Funding 

Merit-based funding represents the largest portion of institutional aid for students enrolled in on campus degree programs at the Milken Institute School of Public Health.  In 2018 we extended over $20,000,000.00 in offers of merit based scholarship funding to applicants for the fall term.  Selection criteria for these awards can vary but in general award amounts will be determined by a combination of cumulative undergraduate GPA and GRE scores.  For the current academic year individual Merit Scholarship awards provided total tuition support ranging from $7,500.00 up to 100% tuition coverage.  Admitted students are automatically reviewed for eligibility. 

Need-Based Grants

Need-based grants will be awarded as part of our institutional funding for on campus students. 

  • GWSPH will award institutional grants to students who demonstrate need on the CSS Profile.
  • An Academic Year 2020-2021 CSS profile can be completed here using the GWSPH school code: 9608. 
  • Our scholarship & grant priority deadline is January 15, 2020

The CSS Profile is not required to apply for federal student aid.  The CSS Profile is only required for students who want to be considered for institutional need-based grants.  Applicants do not need to submit a CSS profile if they do not wish to be considered for institutional need-based aid.  

Coverdell Fellowships

GWSPH is a proud partner with the Peace Corps and the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program.  This program offers financial assistance and leadership opportunities to returned Peace Corps Volunteers. Additional program information is available here.

Applicants who indicate Peace Corps service on their application for admission will be reviewed for eligibility. Students may only qualify for merit-based scholarship OR the Coverdell Fellowship, whichever award is greater. Eligible students will be notified by Financial Aid via email and encouraged to submit the application. For funding questions please contact our staff

Assistantships & Student Employment

Graduate Assistantships and student employment at GWSPH include opportunities to work with faculty in the classroom as well as serving in roles that support research and administrative functions.  Many students locate a position through the relationships they build with faculty and administrators.  Our financial aid staff is available to answer your questions about these opportunities.

Capital Connection Fund

The Capital Connection Fund is supported by the Milken Institute SPH and the school’s alumni association.  The fund was established to provide financial assistance for students engaged in off-campus research, internship, conference, and other professional development activities.  Current students can apply for funds using the application.  In some cases a CCF award may be extended to incoming students who demonstrate excellence in their field.  Current students are also eligible to apply for funding through GW’s Knowledge in Action Career Internship Fund, which provides funding for unpaid internship expenses.

Federal Unsubsidized Loan

GWSPH graduate students may be eligible for the federal unsubsidized loan. In order to qualify, please complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 academic year. It takes approximately 10 business days for us to receive your FAFSA. Once we receive your FAFSA, please allow at least three business weeks for processing. This application needs to be completed annually in order to continue to receive federal financial aid and opens October 1 every year.

MPH, MHA, and MHI students may be eligible for $33,000 between fall and spring ($16,500 in the fall and $16,500 in the spring) with minimum enrollment at 4.5 credits. Students taking courses in the summer may be eligible for $1,389 additional unsubsidized funds per month. So if your courses span two months, you may request an additional $2,778, if they span 3 months you may request an additional $4,167. MS students may be eligible for $20,500 between the fall and spring semester ($10,250 in the fall and $10,250 in the spring). There is no additional loan eligibility for the summer term.

Continuing Students: If you would like to request the additional unsubsidized loan funds for the summer 2020 term, please complete the 2019-2020 Supplementary Loan Questionnaire. If you are interested in receiving additional unsubsidized loans for Summer 2021, please complete the 2020-2021 Supplementary Loan Questionnaire

Incoming Students: If this is your first time borrowing while a graduate student at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, be sure to complete the Loan Agreement and Entrance Counseling. This only needs to be completed once per loan and is valid for six years. Please note that it takes between five to seven business days to receive the Loan Agreement and Entrance Counseling from the Department of Education

Accepting Unsubsidized Loans: You can accept your loans on your BanWeb account. If you would like to make any changes, please email, and include your GWID email.

Previously Borrowed Student Loans: If you have previously borrowed any subsidized and/or unsubsidized loans from either an undergraduate or another graduate program, please note your aggregate lifetime loan limit for the subsidized and unsubsidized loans combined (from any program) is $244,000. Once you hit that lifetime limit, you will no longer be eligible for any unsubsidized loans, however, the Graduate PLUS loan will remain an option. 

Maintaining Loan Eligibility: Please note to maintain federal loan eligibility, you will need to be enrolled in at least 4.5 credits in the fall and spring terms and 3 credits in the summer. You will also need to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress by maintaining a 3.00 GPA both cumulative and each semester. you will also need to pass 67% of the cumulative credits you have attempted. For example, if you have taken 70 credits total, you will need to be sure to pass 47 of the attempted 70 credits (47 credits passed / 70 credits attempted = 67%). The first time you fail to meet SAP standards, you will receive a warning email and will continue to receive financial aid for one semester. The second term you will need to complete a SAP appeal. If you have any questions, please email 

Repayments: Repayments don't begin until six months after you graduate or drop below part-time. A loan servicer assigned by the federal government will be in touch about next steps. If you would like to make payments while you are enrolled, please contact the Federal Student Aid Office

Federal Graduate PLUS Loan

GWSPH graduate students may be eligible for additional loan funds by applying for the graduate PLUS loan. There is no lifetime limit and the amount that you borrow will be determined by your cost of attendance. The way to determine your eligibility is to use the Cost of Attendance excel document that is available on the Cost of Attendance page, input the number of credits that you plan to take each term which will calculate the total cost of attendance. Then subtract your scholarships and your unsubsidized loan, the remaining balance is the amount you can request in a graduate PLUS loan.

Below is an example of a student's cost of attendance, excluding summer, taking six credits each term is $52,361.

Sample Cost of Attendance

This student also has the Dean's Scholarship at $8,000 per academic year ($4,000 per semester) and requested the maximum $33,000 in an unsubsidized loan. In order to calculate the amount of PLUS loan, this student should borrow, take $52,361 subtract $8,000, and $33,000, which equals $11,361.

To borrow a graduate PLUS loan, please follow the three steps below:

(1) Apply for the Plus Loan: In order to be considered for a graduate PLUS loan, please go to and click on the "In School" tab. Click on the second link on the right-hand side titles "Apply for a PLUS Loan for Graduate School." You will then be taken to another page that will allow you to log in using your FSA ID and password. 

Applying for Graduate PLUS Loan

FSA ID Login

(2) Complete the Loan Agreement (MPN) for the Graduate PLUS Loan: Please go to and click on the "In School" tab. On the right-hand click on "Complete a Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note)." This will take you to another page, and you will want to complete the loan agreement for the unsubsidized loan, which is the first option. Log in with your FSA ID and password, the same one used to log in to your FAFSA. You will also want to complete the Entrance Counseling. You can do this by returning to the main page on and click on the "In School" tab. The fourth option on the right is "Complete Entrance Counseling," which will take you to another page to complete it. Again, you will log in with your FSA ID and password.

Graduate PLUS Loan Agreement


(3) Complete a Supplementary Loan Questionnaire: Once you have completed this, make sure you complete the Supplementary Loan Questionnaire.

  • Write your name and GWID at the top.
  • Check the "Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan" and input the amount that you want. Please keep in mind that every time a disbursement is run, there is a loan fee that reduces your loan amount. 
    • The current loan fee is 4.236%. For example, if you take out $10,000 in PLUS loans, you will receive $9,576.40 (minus the loan fee).
    • If you are taking it out for two semesters, please make sure that you double the loan. For example, if you want $5,000 for the fall and $5,000 for the spring, make sure you take out the total $10,000
  • In Section 2, choose for which semester you would like the loan.
  • Select where your courses are held.
  • For the number of credits, please make sure you complete the credits for all terms under the correct campus.
  • Check "Yes" for the last question.
  • You can either print and sign the form or you can use the approved signature technology.
  • Once you're done, email the form to and cc

Private/Alternative Loans

If you are interested in borrowing a private/alternative loan, which is a non-federal loan, we do not have a preferred lender list and will work with any private lender of your choice. Once you have selected a lender and have been approved for a student loan, please complete the 2020-2021 Supplementary Loan Questionnaire indicating the amount that you would like the borrow. 

External Scholarship Resources

The External Scholarship Resource document is a great tool to assist public health graduate students in funding their education. While this is not an exhaustive list of all external scholarships, this document serves as a great starting point. The Milken Institute School of Public Health does not endorse any specific external scholarships.

To maximize this resource:

  • Don't discount smaller scholarships. These scholarships may be less competitive and scholarships of varying amounts add up over time!
  • Stay organized throughout the process. You can use the external scholarship document as a guide. It may be helpful to keep track of when scholarships will announce awardees.
  • We want to hear from you if you were awarded any external scholarships. So please share your success with us by sending us a quick email at