Looking for Funding? Follow these Steps

Students in Union South’s Sun Garden

Current or prospective students can maximize their chances of finding funding by following the suggestions below.

Always stay in close contact with the Graduate Coordinator and faculty members in your program and in related programs. Let them know you are looking for funding. They can be your best allies and sources of information about funding opportunities. Don’t get discouraged if those contacts do not lead immediately to a funded position. Keep the contact going.

Regularly check the Graduate Assistant job postings at the Student Job Center.  Any assistantship listed at 33.3% or higher (based on a 40-hour work week) will provide you with full in- and out-of-state tuition coverage.  Jobs are posted relatively close to the employment start date, so positions starting in September are usually posted in July/August.

Think about what skills you have that may be useful to a department other than your own. For example, are you fluent in Portuguese? If so, you may consider approaching the Portuguese program about teaching assistantships they may have for language courses. Do you have experience teaching or working extensively with K-12 students of color? If so, you may want to consider contacting the P.E.O.P.L.E. Program about project assistantship openings the program may have.

You may also want to consider applying for positions off campus in the local community (although these will not provide you with tuition remission).

Read GradConnections.  This weekly e-newsletter contains a range of funding announcements.  If you are currently a grad student at UW–Madison, you will automatically receive this newsletter by email.  If you are a prospective student, you may subscribe to the newsletter by clicking on this GradConnections link.

Look for scholarships, awards, and fellowships at UW–Madison by clicking on this Scholarships@UW–Madison site.  Check the “Graduate Students” filter.

Consider applying for an external scholarship or fellowship by:

a) checking out the list of major external fellowships prepared by the Office of Fellowships and Funding Resources.The Graduate School automatically provides supplements to some external agency fellowships and will consider requests to supplement other external agency fellowships. For a list of these fellowships and more information about the supplementation policy, visit the External Agency Fellowship Policy web page.

b) using a publicly-available on-line searchable funding database to help you find opportunities for financing your education from sources outside UW–Madison.  Some examples of such databases are:  Pivot and FastWeb.  If you are currently a college or university student, your institution’s library may have subscriptions to additional funding databases.

c) visiting the Grants Information Collection (GIC) website to get help identifying potential sources of funding for your education or research. The GIC is a great collection of print and on-line resources to help students find external fellowships and scholarships.  If you are currently a UW-Madison student, you can learn how to set up a personalized profile on several on-line funding databases, and get regular notices of relevant funding opportunities.

Please remember: the timetable for identifying, applying for and receiving such external funding is generally quite long; plan on 9-12 months between the time you start your search and the time you may receive funding.

Although it may seem like the least attractive option, consider contacting the Student Financial Aid Office about loan information.

If you are looking for fellowships for international study, contact the International Fellowship Office. That office provides information about opportunities for international research, grants, scholarships and other funding.

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