Scholarships and Funding Opportunities

If you are considering applying to the Master of Public Administration Program at the University of Arizona, you are likely wondering how much it costs, and how Financial Aid functions. Please review the following, and feel free to contact SGPP Graduate Programs Manager at SBS-sgppmasters@email.arizona.edu with further questions!

Prior to looking into any Scholarship or Funding Opportunities, it is highly recommended that you complete your FAFSA for the academic year. You will likely not be considered for the majority of the below opportunities without a FAFSA on file.

 

Scholarships and Funding Opportunities from the School of Government and Public Policy (Departmental Funding)

There are limited Graduate Assistantships (in the form of a Teaching Assistantship) in our department. A Teaching Assistantship would allow you to work for the department as a Teaching Assistant in exchange for a tuition waiver and a stipend ($15,900/year, divided into the semesters that you work). These assistantships are extremely competitive, and with this in mind, we recommend also looking for assistantship opportunities in other departments. You can do this through the University of Arizona's student job/internship posting page, entitled Handshake. You may also contact other departments directly to inquire if they will hire students from outside of their department for graduate assistantships- some departments do, and some do not. 

The department also offers scholarships for Graduate Tuition, entitled RC Waivers. These partial tuition scholarships go toward tuition only, and are evaluated on a semester by semester basis. RC Waivers are not guaranteed to students every semester.

Students applying to the program will indicate their interest in either of the two above funding opportunities on their GradApp application. There is no need to re-indicate interest- all eligible students will be reconsidered for these funding opportunities each semester.

Finally, students interested in local government may apply for the Keane Fellowship (even years only) or the Valdez Fellowship (odd years only). Both Fellowships are designed to identify the country's most talented students aspiring to executive levels in local government. Please see the links for more information about what is required, and to view the separate application. 

Students using QTR (Qualified Tuition Reduction) are not eligible for department funding through either of the above.

 

Scholarships and Funding Opportunities from the University of Arizona (University Funding)

If you are not eligible or do not receive funding from the School of Government and Public Policy, there are many other opportunities for earning Graduate Funding at the University of Arizona.

Some departments will offer Graduate Assistantships to students in programs outside of their departments; eligibility would be between you and the offering department. You can find Graduate Assistantships from departments across the University at Handshake. Some departments may not have posted their job openings on Handshake, so it is recommended that you email departments directly to inquire about potential Graduate Assistant opportunities. 

It is highly recommended that you contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid so you can discuss your options with an expert on the subject. Prior to contacting OSFA, you will need to complete your FAFSA for the academic year.

You may also want to check out Scholarship Universe for scholarship opportunities for University of Arizona students.

Please note that this type of funding regularly has alternative application processes. 

 

External Funding

Please also feel free to apply to external scholarships you may be eligible for; this includes private funding or scholarships not affiliated with the University. An example of external funding for MPA students are the ACMA scholarships, found here

Our program is designed to allow students to complete their degree within two years by taking classes between the hours of 5pm and 8pm; with this in mind, many of our students also choose to work while they are in school.

 

The University of Arizona Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program

This fellowship is available to students who are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who wish to attend graduate school. For more information and application details, please see information on the Coverdell Fellows website

Please keep in mind that the Coverdell Fellows Program allows you to work at .25 FTE; Graduate Students at the University of Arizona are allowed to work up to .66 FTE. The School of Government and Public Policy only offers Teaching Assistantships at a .50 FTE, so this is not a possible financial aid opportunity in conjunction with the Coverdell Fellows Program (as this would equal .75 FTE, exceeding the .66 FTE limit for Graduate Students). That being said, it is possible find another .25 FTE employment opportunity on campus, to not exceed the .66 FTE limit. Please keep this in mind when deciding on graduate funding possibilities. 

 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Assuming alumni of the program will be working in the public or nonprofit sector after graduating, you may wish to check your eligibility for PUblic Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Qualification requires that you:

1. Work full-time for a government agency or for certain types of nonprofit organizations.

2. Have Direct Loans (or consolidate other federal student loans to qualify).

3. Repay your loans on an income-driven repayment plan.

4. Make 120 qualifying payments (10 years).

For more information, please see the Department of Educaiton website: 

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service/questions