What should all students know about funding and aid?
If provided, graduate assistantships are designed to provide experience directly relevant to their advisor’s research. Income from assistantships may aid a student over the course of their studies; however, it is important for students to appreciate that assistantships, if provided, are not guaranteed. Summer funding may not be available or may be dispersed late into the summer.
According to the graduate school, “The holder of a full assistantship devotes one half of available time to studies and one-half (approximately 20 hours per week) to assistantship duties, while the holder of a half assistantship ordinarily devotes three-quarters of available time to studies and one-quarter (approximately 10 hours per week) to assistantship duties.” Students with assistantships have a lower academic credit minimum (6 credits per semester versus 9 for unfunded) to accommodate their assistantship project.
What important notes should students consider?
We strongly encourage filling out your FAFSA as early in the application process as possible – even if you have not sent in applications for admission. The FAFSA application is a generic application. Do not forget to send FAFSA results to the school.
Students with Graduate Assistantships should be aware that school fees are not covered by a tuition waiver (but can be covered by student loans). The current rates for school fees are available via the Bursar’s Office (typically amount to about $1,000). These are due prior to class registration.
The Office of Financial Aid typically offers loan money to both funded and unfunded students. This is based on anticipated needs for rent and other living expenses (more information available through The Office of Financial Aid). The Office of Financial Aid will determine the amount you are eligible to receive (on average, funded students are offered under $10,000 each semester, which is split between subsidized and unsubsidized student loans).
The Graduate Student Senate also offers short-term, interest-free loans in case of an emergency to graduate students performing coursework on the Storrs campus (in addition to students in the Public Policy or Marine Sciences programs). To qualify for the loan, students must also be in good financial standing with the university. Additional information on these interest-free loan opportunities, including supplementary critera, can be found here.
The Graduate School also offers a list of internal and external funding opportunities available for students. To learn more about internal funding opportunities within the university, please click here. External funding opportunities can be found here.
Where can I get information about financial aid?
- Office of Financial Aid
- Graduate School – Financial Aid
- Neag School of Education – Dean’s Doctoral Scholar Program
We strongly encourage filling out your FAFSA as early in the application process as possible – even if you have not sent in applications. Do not forget to send FAFSA results to the university.
How do I apply for a graduate assistantship?
There is no formal application process for graduate assistantships in the Department of Educational Leadership. Indicate your interest in a position on your application. A limited number of assistantships are available through the department. It is advisable to work with your prospective advisor to pursue assistantship opportunities that may be available.
What types of assistantships are available?
Most internal graduate assistantships involve teaching or research. Sometimes, there are other limited options external to the department including graduate assistantships within the Division of Athletics or other offices on campus. It is advisable to contact those offices and work with your prospective advisor to pursue assistantship opportunities.
Many master’s students work in the Division of Athletics as either assistant coaches or administrators. Their work experience involves practical experience in NCAA Division I athletics. Ph.D. students typically work as either teaching or research assistants for individual faculty members. That experience is outlined and managed by the faculty member. A full graduate assistantship is 20 hours of work per week. A half graduate assistantship is 10. For more information on pay rates please see the Payroll Department’s information for Graduate Assistants.
What are the financial benefits of an assistantship?
If awarded, students generally receive a half graduate assistantship and may receive a full assistantship. More information is available via the Graduate School’s Funding Resources pages.
The Residence Requirement of the University of Connecticut requires that a student devote “full-time effort to studies, without undue distraction caused by outside employment”. In addition, funded students may not work outside of their assistantship without prior approval from their advisor. According to this policy, your advisory committee may record and report a “description of the nature, extent, and period(s) of outside employment” to the graduate school as part of your Plan of Study. Please discuss your plans with your advisor in advance. We recommend that students inquire about loan programs available through Financial Aid to offset costs of attendance if necessary.