Where can I find funding in my second year as a master’s student?

Date: November 2016


Dear Dean,

Could you please tell me some funding or fellowship resources within and outside Cornell which can support my tuition fees and living expenses? I may really need help with that in my graduate school second year.

Thank you so much,

1st Year Master’s Student


Dear 1st Year Master’s Student,

Many students have concerns about how to pay their tuition and living expenses. The cost of enrolling in a graduate program at Cornell, and indeed most U.S. universities, can be quite high. Students who completed their undergraduate studies in the U.S. may be familiar with the financial aid system that awards need-based grant, loan, and scholarship aid to American citizens and permanent residents. The support available for graduate students, however, is quite different and options for international students can be further limited.

Most master’s degree programs offer very limited grant, scholarship, or fellowship aid, so students typically fund their studies through loans or personal resources. Students in master’s programs may apply for fellowships offered by organizations outside of Cornell. Master’s students may also be eligible to serve as Teaching Assistants (TAs), although these positions are usually prioritized for Ph.D. students. U.S. citizens and permanent residents can apply for educational loans. Loans are not usually available for international students so we require documentation that students have funds available to cover their anticipated tuition and living expenses before Cornell can issue an F1 visa, in accordance with U.S. law.

If you have not done so already, I would encourage you to discuss your situation with the staff of CIPA to see whether any additional support may be available. You could begin seeking TA assignments in subjects where you have some experience, perhaps by making inquiries to professors that you already know. If you are eligible for educational loans it’s not too early to make inquiries for next year, and if you are an international student I’d recommend that you explore fellowships or funding opportunities that might be available to students from your home country.

Finally, please know that you can set up a time to meet with Heidi Hart-Gorman (hh456@cornell.edu), the Graduate School’s fellowship director, or with me at any time. 



Jason Kahabka
Associate Dean for Administration