Graduate School – Financial Aid

  • Assistantships are usually campus-affiliated work assignments (e.g. graduate teaching instructor, research associate) that provide an individual a stipend (salary) and often waive tuition. Assistantship availability is discipline-specific, and most graduate students in the animal or food sciences are provided with assistantships.
  • Assistantships are often associated with a specific professor – that’s why it is important to identify potential research mentors before sending an application to the graduate program. Even if you meet admission requirements, admission will only be granted if a research mentor agrees to accept you into their lab and fund your assistantship.
  • The graduate school office will send all the applications for a department to the faculty in the department.
    • If you’ve already been corresponding with someone, they’ll see your application and say –“Oh – I know them and we’ve been chatting over email. I want him/her in my lab!”
  • Fellowships are typically granted to individuals to cover their stipend and tuition while they conduct their graduate work. Awards may be single or multiple-year and may come from a university or outside organization. Awards are highly competitive and based on an individual’s merit as measured by grades, GRE scores, publications, and letters of recommendation. If you are a strong student, fellowships are an excellent way to get you in virtually any lab of your choice.
  • Grants are most often awarded to cover expenses associated with carrying out research or other specific projects, such as travel, materials, or computers.