Resources for Funding Your Education

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Financial Aid

Funding your education is a concern for many students, and yet there are a range of resources available to help make it affordable.  In addition to the information below, Mount Holyoke's Office of Student Financial Services works closely with students to talk about what can meet your needs.

Mount Holyoke College Partnerships

Learn more about our partnerships.

Mount Holyoke College Scholarships

Scholarship Applications are available online.

Applications for scholarships are accepted on a rolling basis, on a first-come, first served basis. Each program has a priority deadline; applications submitted before the deadline will take first priority. After the deadline, scholarship applications will be considered on a funding-available basis.

Priority Deadlines

  1. Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT): Rolling
  2. MAT, Mathematics Teaching: April 30
  3. MAT, Teacher Leadership: April 30

Community Scholars Scholarship

Qualification Criteria

This award is open to nondegree seeking students taking a course for credit.

Scholarship Application

To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must address the following question in 500-1000 words: How will this course and award empower you in your work or to achieve your professional goals? How might you use the knowledge you gain from it to pay it forward?

Award

Scholarship amounts usually range from $200-$500 per course. Several scholarships are awarded each year depending on funds available.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Scholarship

Qualification Criteria

This award is open to students who received their bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College who are committed to serving students in order to build a stronger education system. This award is open to degree and institute candidates.

Scholarship Application

To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must submit a 500-1000 word personal statement on their qualifications for this scholarship and their professional goals as they relate to being educational leaders.

Award

Scholarship amounts usually range from $1,000 - $3,000. Several scholarships are awarded each year depending on funds available.

Promising Teacher Scholarship

Qualification Criteria

This award is open to students who demonstrate a dedication to education, student learning, and aspire to affect change in their school, district, or beyond. Preferred candidates should demonstrate evidence of academic and professional potential and personal commitment to social justice, equity, and/or leadership in education. This award is open to degree and institute candidates.

Scholarship Application

To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must submit a 500-1000 word personal statement on their qualifications for this scholarship and their dedication to educational excellence and leadership.

Award

Scholarship amounts usually range from $1,000 - $4,000. Several scholarships are awarded each year depending on funds available.   

Sonia Nieto Diverse Educator Scholarship

Qualification Criteria

This award is open to students who demonstrate a dedication to education, student learning, and aspire to affect change in their school, district, or beyond. The purpose of this scholarship is to create a pathway for preparing teachers who represent the diverse range of children we serve in schools. Preferred candidates will be from underrepresented groups, demonstrate evidence of academic and professional potential, and have a personal commitment to social justice, equity, and/or leadership in education. This award is open to degree and institute candidates.

Scholarship Application

To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must submit a 500-1000 word personal statement on their qualifications for this scholarship and explore how your work will either (1) address the issue that “A community that is diverse, but not equitable and inclusive, cannot achieve its full potential”, or (2) reflect on how you believe diversity drives innovation and fosters creativity, and how you would anticipate incorporating and supporting diversity, equity and inclusion into your professional practices.

Award

Scholarship amounts usually range from $3,000 - $5,000, with a maximum of $10,000. Several scholarships are awarded each year depending on funds available.

Global Educator Scholarship

Qualification Criteria

This award is open to students who have demonstrated actions focused on “thinking globally and acting locally” and a commitment to integrating global themes into their work. The themes addressed could include: global languages and culture; intercultural competence, environmental sustainability, or human dignity and rights. Preferred candidates will demonstrate (1) evidence of global experience through academics, extracurricular participation, community involvement, or work experience, and, (2) professional potential and personal commitment to social justice, equity, and/or leadership in education. This award is open to degree and institute candidates.

Scholarship Application

To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must submit a 500-1000 word personal statement about their qualifications for this scholarship, describing what it means to be a global citizen and how they would anticipate incorporating global perspectives in their academic and professional endeavors.

Award

Scholarship amounts usually range from $3,000 - $5,000, with a maximum of $10,000. Several scholarships are awarded each year depending on funds available.

Critical Impact Scholarship

Qualification Criteria

This award is open to students who demonstrate a dedication to working in areas of high need and/or in underserved areas or communities. Current areas of high need include: English as a Second Language, Special Education, and STEM. The purpose of this scholarship is to prepare educators to contribute in the areas of highest need. Preferred candidates will demonstrate evidence of academic and professional potential, and personal commitment to excellence and leadership in education. This award is open to degree and institute candidates.

Scholarship Application

To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must submit a 500-1000 word personal statement on their qualifications for this scholarship and their professional goals as they relate to the area of high needs they would like to work in.

Award

Scholarship amounts usually range from $3,000 - $5,000. Several scholarships are awarded each year depending on funds available.

Emerging Leader Scholarship

Qualification Criteria

This award is open to students who show potential and interest in assuming a leadership role in their field. This award is open to degree and institute candidates.

Scholarship Application

To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must submit a 500-1000 word personal statement on their qualifications for this scholarship and their professional goals as they relate to being leaders in their field.

Award

Up to $5000. Several scholarships are awarded each year depending on funds available.

Mount Holyoke College Fellowships

Fellowships provide partial tuition remission for students who have the potential to contribute to the state of knowledge and scholarship in the field. Graduate student fellows develop their capacity to become leaders in the field and contribute to Mount Holyoke College’s research, professional engagement, and global initiatives. Fellows work closely with faculty to develop fellowship projects and are encouraged to publish and present on their work.

Up to two fellowships will be awarded each year in each category.

Amount Awarded: Fellowship amounts usually range from $6,000 - $8,000 up to a maximum of $12,000. Please fill out a Fellowship Application to be considered.

Accessibility and Media Fellowship

Area of Focus: The purpose of this fellowship is to assist in unique projects and research focused on accessibility, differentiated learning, and how media and technology can be used to support a wide range of diverse learners, including those with learning, cognitive, physical or emotional disabilities. The work may include working with a range of stakeholders, including educators, social workers, families, technologists, or other constituents committed to increased accessibility, outreach, involvement and the success of all learners.

Global and Intercultural Education Fellowship

Area of Focus: The purpose of this fellowship is to assist in unique projects and research focused on global and intercultural education, which could include working with global educational systems or learners, adapting pedagogies and resources to be more accessible to learners from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, supporting intercultural education and advocacy, or projects that help enhance diversity and equity. The work may be done in the context of formal educational institutions, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, or in cross-sector partnerships.

Entrepreneurship in Education Fellowship

Area of Focus: The purpose of this fellowship is to promote innovative projects and research focused on entrepreneurship in education, which could include interventions in the classroom, creating educational materials, using new pedagogies, developing new technologies, advocacy or policy work to promote the field, or creating new programs or organizations. Projects can focus on contexts including: public schools, charter/magnet schools, independent schools, across schools systems, in non-profit/public service outreach and advocacy campaigns; or in contexts where education is being used to support other initiatives like child welfare, health, information literacy, community development, environmental stewardship, global citizenship, or peace and reconciliation.

Vulnerable Youth and Child Welfare Fellowship

Area of Focus: The purpose of this fellowship is to assist in unique projects and research focused on improving educational outcomes for youth who are vulnerable or whose families have been involved with the child welfare system, the juvenile justice system, the immigration system, or other health- or welfare-based organizations or government agencies.

Global Teacher Leader Fellowship

Qualification Criteria

This award provides tuition remission for students who are seen as leaders in the field and have the potential to support scholarship in the field of education. Graduate student fellows are responsible for contributing to Mount Holyoke College’s efforts in research, professional engagement, global initiatives and they work closely with faculty to develop unique projects. Up to two fellowships will be awarded each year.

Fellowship Application

To be considered for a fellowship, applicants must address the following question in 500-1000 words: How do you see yourself contributing to Mount Holyoke College’s efforts in research, professional engagement, and global initiatives? Please include information about why you need the fellowship to attend, including any relevant information on your background, particularly what your goals are and how having the opportunity would help advance those goals. A letter of recommendation is also required.

Award

Fellowship amounts usually range from $6,000 - $8,000 up to a maximum of $12,000. Two fellowships are awarded each year depending on funds available.

Private Scholarships

Professional organizations, community organizations and fraternal organizations are all places to consider when looking for private scholarships. Additionally, there may be career-specific scholarships, or scholarships based on particular aspects of your life (for women, for veterans, for people living in certain countries, etc.). For instance, many students in our Mathematics Teaching graduate program apply to National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Education Trust for scholarships and support. Mount Holyoke College undergraduate alumnae may apply for Alumnae Fellowships.

Employer Tuition Assistance

Students should explore tuition benefits that may be offered by their employer. Benefits may include tuition reimbursement, scholarships, or waivers. Employers may provide up to $5,250 in employer education assistance benefits for undergraduate or graduate courses tax-free each year, per section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code. You do not necessarily need to be seeking a degree to be eligible. Many employers will require that you stay at the organization for some time once you’ve completed the degree.

Veterans Benefits/GI Bill®

For veterans who qualify, GI Bill® benefits may offer the cost of tuition, fees, books and housing.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Loans and Grants

There are a variety of federal and private types of financial aid available for graduate students, including (more information follows the list):  

Student Financial Services works closely with students to ensure that they are aware of the different financing options available to best suit their individual needs.

TEACH Grant

The federal TEACH Grant Program provides grants to full time graduate students who are completing or plan to complete the coursework needed to become teachers. (A graduate student may receive a total of two scheduled awards, provided they are in attendance full-time for two years.) There are a number of conditions and requirements that must be met in order to receive the TEACH grant.

Federal Direct Student Loan

Graduate students are eligible for the Federal Direct Student Loan (FDSL) provided they are enrolled in at least four credits per semester. Repayment begins six months after the student is no longer enrolled in at least four credits. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and complete entrance counseling and a promissory note.

Grad PLUS Loan

Grad PLUS loans are available for up to the cost of attendance minus any other awarded financial aid (including loans). Repayment begins two months after the last disbursement for the academic year. Graduate students must be enrolled in at least four credits to be eligible for federal loans. Students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a Grad PLUS application to be considered for a Grad PLUS loan.

MEFA Graduate Student Loan

Massachusetts Educational Financial Authority (MEFA) is a non-profit state agency that offers financing to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are studying at least half time at an accredited degree-granting non-profit colleges and universities.

Private Student Loans

Student Financial Services strongly suggests that all federal financing options be maximized prior to turning to non-federal financing alternatives. Federal loans offer repayment options based on income and have forbearance and deferral options during times of extreme economic hardship that other loan programs do not offer. Also, some federal loan programs offer loan reductions or forgiveness for public service and teaching in high need areas.

Students interested in private (alternative) student loans may find more information by contacting Student Financial Services.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. Under this program, those who teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications may be eligible for forgiveness. Those who have PLUS loans only are not eligible for this type of forgiveness. The Federal Student Aid website is a good resource for more information.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. To qualify for PSLF, you must:

  • work for a government agency or for certain types of nonprofit organizations;
  • work full-time for that agency or organization;
  • have Direct Loans (or consolidate other federal students loans to qualify);
  • repay your loans on an income-driven repayment plan; and
  • make 120 qualifying payments.

Private Loans for International Grad Students

Many of the private lenders who lend to Mount Holyoke undergraduates will also lend to graduate students who have qualified co-signers who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Tax Benefits for Education

There are a variety of Qualified Tuition programs that allow for tax-free college savings plans, including 529 plans, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, and others.

Graduate students may also be eligible for education related tax credits, including the Lifelong Learning Tax Credit (up to $2,000 annually), qualified educational expense deductions, student loan interest deductions, and business deductions.  

Please see IRS Publication 970 “Tax Benefits for Education” for more information.

 

Questions?

What else are you wondering about?  Let us know so we can add more resources for you! Contact us at graduateadmissions@mtholyoke.edu or 413-538-3478