40 Great Scholarships for Online Graduate Students

40 Great Scholarships for Online Graduate Students

For many students, attaining a bachelor’s degree is just the first step on their collegiate journey. Due to their career objectives, many students continue on to graduate school to earn their master’s degree.

Demand is on the rise, as more universities develop programs for those wanting to earn an online master’s degree — but so is the need for financial aid. Tuition for a graduate degree, whether on campus or online, is still a considerable expense. 

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports the median graduate tuition for public institutions is around $11,200, while for private colleges and universities, it is $27,350. Tuition for online programs is similar to what you would pay to attend on campus.

One of the best ways to cover this expense is through graduate school scholarships or grants for graduate school. While grants don’t need to be paid back, only 32.8% of graduate students receive grants of any type. Conversely, 39.1% of undergraduate students receive government-funded Pell Grants.

Explore these promoted online degree programs.

These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online graduate degree programs. Figuring out where to apply? Consider one of these online Master’s or PhD programs.

Types of Scholarships

There are many grad school scholarships you could pursue. The most common scholarships for master’s degrees are broken into three categories.

College-based awards

Start your master’s degree scholarships search at the university you wish to attend. Many colleges, especially private ones, offer scholarships for graduate students to attract the best students. Some of the most common types of college-based grants include academic, community service and athletic scholarships. 

Career-specific scholarships

There are many grad school scholarships offered to students pursuing a specific career path like nursing or social work. This can be found by looking at professional organizations, foundations or degree sites for the career you’re interested in. You may also be able to find this type of scholarship from companies in your field.

Fulbright Program

Funded by the U.S. State Department, the Fulbright Program provides 2,000 grants for graduate school to students who are studying abroad in one of 140 countries included in the program. Students from all fields of study may apply.

How to Earn a Grad School Scholarship

To increase your chances of receiving scholarships for your master’s degree, you want to apply to all the programs in which you meet the qualifications.

To make the process easier, collect all the information you’ll need in advance. This includes your high school and college transcripts, your GRE, MCAT, GMAT or LSAT test scores; and personal recommendations from professors, advisors, employers, and other people in positions of authority who can speak to your candidacy.

Prepare a personal essay you can modify for each graduate school scholarship program. And be proactive. Don’t wait until the last minute to apply. Some master’s degree scholarships have limited funding, so you want to have your application completed early for the best chance of receiving a financial award.

Top 40 Graduate School Scholarships

If you’re on the lookout for ways to cover your online education or need more information on current grants, we’ve compiled a list of 40 great scholarships for online graduate students. Although some of these scholarships apply to certain universities, every option listed can help you overcome the financial challenges that come with obtaining a master’s degree.

AAUW Selected Professions Fellowships

Amount: $5,000-$18,000

Application Deadline: December 1

Eligibility:

  • Open to female graduate students in historically underrepresented minorities
  • Must be pursuing graduate studies in law, medicine, or business administration
  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States

The American Association of University Women offers a number of graduate scholarships annually, including the Selected Professions Fellowship. To be eligible for this award, women must pursue a full-time course of study in a designated degree program where the participation of women has traditionally been low.

AfterCollege Succurro Scholarship

Amount: $500

Application Deadline: June 30

Eligibility:

  • Open to any student currently working toward any accredited degree in any discipline
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA

AfterCollege provides various career resources to students. The annual $500 Succurro Scholarship assists current students with paying for college. Applicants must create an AfterCollege profile that details their education and work background, and submit a 200-word personal statement describing their future career goals.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation Financial Need Scholarship

Amount: Not stated

Application Deadline: August 15

Eligibility:

  • Open to full-time graduate students enrolled in an accredited degree program
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Demonstrate community service and involvement

These one-year scholarships, sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha, are awarded to graduate students based upon financial need, as opposed to merit. Applicants must submit a financial need analysis along with their application form, three letters of recommendation, official transcripts and a written explanation of the applicant’s project or research.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation Merit Scholarships

Amount: Not stated

Application Deadline: August 15

Eligibility:

  • Must be a full-time graduate student enrolled in an accredited degree-granting institution
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Demonstrate community involvement and service

This merit-based scholarship sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation is open to full-time graduate students at any accredited institution. This one-time award will be given to a student who demonstrates exemplary service to his or her community. To apply, the applicant must submit the required application form, three letters of recommendation, official transcripts and a written description of their research or scholarly pursuit.

American Association of University Women American Short-Term Research Publication Grants

Amount: $6,000

Application Deadline: November 1

Eligibility:

  • Open to female graduate students
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Must currently hold a Ph.D., Ed.D, D.B.A., M.F.A., J.D., M.D., D.M.D., D.V.M., D.S.W. or M.P.H. at time of application
  • Must be available eight consecutive weeks of final manuscript preparation

The Short-Term Research Publication Grant, sponsored each year by the American Association of University Women, is the United States’ oldest female-specific graduate scholarship and is quite prestigious and competitive. Successful applicants can receive funding to prepare their research manuscripts for publication.

American Association of University Women Career Development Grant

Amount: $2,000-$12,000

Application Deadline: November 15

Eligibility:

  • Open to female students who have already obtained a bachelor’s degree
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

AAUW’s Career Development Grant aims to provide monetary assistance to woman pursuing a graduate degree in order to change careers or re-enter the workforce in health and medical sciences, education or physical sciences. The grant can be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, local transportation and dependent care. Though neither is a requirement, priority for this award is given to women of color and those who are working towards their first master’s degree.

American Indian Graduate Center Named Graduate Scholarships

Amount: $500-$5,000

Application Deadline: June 1

Eligibility:

  • Open to full-time graduate students
  • Must be an enrolled member of a federally recognized Alaska Native group or American Indian tribe

The American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) manages a number of private scholarships based on criteria defined by the program’s donor.

Army Nurse Corps Association Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Application Deadline: March 31

Eligibility:

  • Open to students in a graduate nursing or nurse anesthesia program
  • Must be serving, or have served, in any branch of the U.S. Army
  • Army veterans must have received an honorable discharge
  • Must not be receiving any current funding from the U.S. Army

The Army Nurse Corps Association’s annual scholarship, provides opportunities to current or former U.S. Army members who are studying nursing or nurse anesthesia.

Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship Program

Amount: $2,500

Application Deadline: January 20

Eligibility:

  • Open to women who are currently serving or have served in one of the branches of the U.S. Army
  • Open to children of women who are serving or have served in the U.S. Army
  • Must have completed an undergraduate degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA

The Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship is based on a number of factors, including demonstrated leadership, potential, academic merit and history of community service.

The Beinecke Scholarship Program

Amount: $4,000 immediately prior to entering graduate school; an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school

Application Deadline: January 20

Eligibility:

  • Open to graduate students studying at an accredited university

The prestigious Beinecke Scholarship Program rewards graduate students who show outstanding promise in subjects relating to the arts, humanities and social sciences. Students must use their funding within five years.

C200 Scholar Award

Amount: Up to $10,000

Application Deadline: Not stated

Eligibility:

  • Open to female graduate students pursuing an MBA
  • Must be enrolled in an institution that supports the C200 Reachout program

Female MBA students who have proven that they have a unique commitment to leadership and giving back are invited to apply for the C200 Scholar Award. The award is based upon both merit and financial need.

Chicana/Latina Foundation Scholarship Program

Amount: $1,500

Application Deadline: March 31

Eligibility:

  • Open to female graduate students of Chicana or Latina heritage
  • Be enrolled in an accredited Northern California university
  • Have lived a minimum of two years in select Northern California counties
  • Minimum 2.7 GPA

The Chicana/Latina Foundation awards 30-40 scholarships each year. Recipients must agree to volunteer at least 10 hours for the foundation and commit to attending the CLF Leadership Institute for one weekend.

Colorado State University Academic Excellence Scholarship

Amount: Matches tuition and fees for up to 6 graduate credits

Application Deadline: Not stated

Eligibility:

  • Open to CSU-Global graduate students
  • Minimum 3.7 GPA — Must have completed a minimum of 6 credits of graduate work

Recognizing the challenges that come with obtaining a college degree online, the Academic Excellence Scholarship honors Colorado State University—Global students who have proven themselves unusually focused and dedicated. Money awarded must be used towards required courses.

Colorado State University Career Enhancement Scholarship

Amount: Matches tuition and fees for up to six graduate credits

Application Deadline: Not stated

Eligibility:

  • Open to students seeking a master’s degree
  • Must be currently working in a field relevant to their chosen major

The Career Enhancement Scholarship is for adult students of Colorado State University who are working towards a graduate degree in order to advance their current career. Applicants must be currently employed in a field related to their degree. Winners will be chosen based on academic performance and a demonstrated need for financial aid.

Colorado Technical University Advantage Grant

Amount: $500

Application Deadline: Not stated

Eligibility:

  • Open to full-time students of Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University’s Advantage Grant aims to help outstanding students overcome the financial challenges of obtaining a graduate degree. Funds can be used to pay for past, current or future tuition charges. The application includes a 500-word personal statement about how earning a degree at CTU will improve the applicant’s life.

Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships

Amount: Not stated

Application Deadline: Not stated

Eligibility:

  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of certain Commonwealth countries
  • Must have obtained a bachelor’s degree or equivalent

Graduate students residing in a Commonwealth country, such as Canada, are eligible for the Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship. This unique award provides financial assistance to those working on an online master’s degree from a university in the United Kingdom. An application is required and winners are chosen based on academic merit.

Don’t Text and Drive Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Application Deadline: September 30

Eligibility:

  • Open to high school, undergraduate and graduate students
  • Must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States

The purpose of the Don’t Text and Drive Scholarship is to bring further awareness to the dangers of texting while driving. Selection of award recipients is based on a 140-character text message and 500-1,000-word essay on the topic of driving and texting.

Dr. Angela Grant Memorial Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: May 1

Eligibility:

  • Must be a cancer survivor or an immediate family member of someone diagnosed with cancer
  • Must be a legal resident of the United States

Students who have personally been affected by cancer while trying to earn their graduate degree may apply for the Dr. Angela E. Grant Memorial Scholarship. The number of awards and their amounts vary from year-to-year. The application process includes two letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

Dr. John M. Beckem II Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Application Deadline: June 30

Eligibility:

  • Open to students enrolled at SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College students pursuing a master’s degree in a subject related to technology are eligible for this scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to the applicant who can best describe the ways in which current or future technologies can be used to improve education.

Edward Gersich Distance Education Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Application Deadline: February 1

Eligibility:

  • Open to online students of Bemidji State University
  • Must be age 25 or older
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Must be seeking a degree in education

Bemidji State University’s Edward Gersich Distance Education Scholarship alternates each year between a male and female student. Applicants must complete a personal statement in which they describe how the award would help them to reach their academic goals.

eLearners.com Military Scholarship Essay Contest

Amount: $1,000

Application Deadline: Not stated

Eligibility:

  • Open to veterans or active duty military members and their spouses

Each year, eLearners.com presents multiple scholarships to veterans, active duty service members and their spouses based on a 250-word essay in response to a prompt.

Ford Emerging Voices Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Application Deadline: Not stated

Eligibility:

  • Open to female graduate students

The Emerging Voices Scholarship is co-sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund and the Alliance for Women in Media (AWM). The scholarship winner is chosen based on the required essay, and upon winning, may be asked to write two blog posts for AWM. The runner-up receives a $1,000 scholarship.

Ford Empowering America Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Application Deadline: Not stated

Eligibility:

  • Open to female graduate students

The Ford Empowering America Scholarship is open to female students at any accredited U.S. institution. Applicants must profile or interview an inspiring female leader from her own community. The runner-up receives a $2,000 scholarship.

Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Application Deadline: July 31

Eligibility:

  • Open to high school, undergraduate or graduate students
  • Must be a legal resident of the United States

The Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student on the basis of merit. Students must submit a personal statement. It does not take financial need or standardized test scores into consideration. Applicants are judged by an independent panel.

Gladys McKinley Distance Learning Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Application Deadline: February 1

Eligibility:

  • Open to online graduate students at Bemidji State University
  • Must be pursuing an online education degree
  • Must be a resident of northern Minnesota

The Gladys McKinley Distance Learning Scholarship is another monetary award available to graduate students of Bemidji State University. Students must be working toward a graduate degree in education. The application process includes two letters of recommendations and a personal statement.

Harry and Miriam Levinson Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Application Deadline: Not stated

Eligibility:

  • Open to students in an interim master’s program or doctoral program
  • Must be nominated by a COGDOP-member department of psychology

The Harry and Miriam Levinson Scholarship is sponsored by the American Psychological Foundation to assist students financially with the costs associated with conducting research and completing a thesis or dissertation. All applicants must be nominated by their institution’s department of psychology, which must be a member of the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP).

“Inspire Our Future” Scholarship

Amount: $500

Application Deadline: April 1

Eligibility:

  • Must be working towards a degree in a subject related to education
  • Minimum 3.5 GPA

Students working toward a graduate degree in an education-related subject may apply for the “Inspire Our Future” scholarship sponsored by teacher.org. Applicants must submit a themed essay in addition to the required application.

Jack and Audrey Hatmaker Memorial Endowed Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: June 1

Eligibility:

  • Must be enrolled in or accepted for admission at University of Alabama
  • Open to graduate students who are residents of Alabama
  • Must be pursuing a major related to business

Graduate students pursuing or planning to pursue an online business degree at University of Alabama may apply for the Jack and Audrey Hatmaker Memorial Endowed Scholarship. Successful applicants will show a history of academic excellence and prove financial need.

John F. and Marjorie J. Alexander Scholarship

Amount: $600

Application Deadline: Not stated

Eligibility:

  • Open to University of Florida students pursuing an online graduate degree in education
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA

University of Florida’s John F. and Marjorie A. Alexander Scholarship is open to students seeking a graduate degree from the College of Education. In addition to the application, students must submit a C.V, 500-700-word essay and two recommendation forms.

Kansas State University Maurine Allison O’Bannon Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Application Deadline: Varies

Eligibility:

  • Must be enrolled in a degree program at Kansas State University
  • Minimum 3.25 GPA
  • Available to students age 25 and older

Students working toward an online graduate degree from Kansas State University are eligible to apply for the Maurine Allison O’Bannon Memorial Scholarship. Adults who are returning to their education after an absence are especially encouraged to apply.

The LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $3,750

Application Deadline: February 26

Eligibility:

  • Open to minority and/or underrepresented students
  • Must be pursuing a master’s degree in advertising, public relations or marketing
  • Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or DACA recipient
  • Minimum 3.2 GPA

The LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship is a monetary award of $3,750. It is open to graduate students who are of African American/Black, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino or Native American/Alaska Native descent. Successful applicants will submit the required application, along with a detailed resume, a letter of recommendation, official transcripts, three brief personal statements and a head shot. The scholarship winner(s) will be asked to attend specific foundation events.

Lee Hakel Graduate Student Scholarship

Amount: $3,500

Application Deadline: Not stated

Eligibility:

  • Open to graduate students pursuing careers in industrial and organizational psychology
  • Must be a student affiliate of SIOP

Graduate students who are working toward a career in industrial and organizational psychology are eligible for the Lee Hakel Graduate Student Scholarship sponsored by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). The recipient may choose to receive the monetary award directly or have it sent directly to the institution in which they are enrolled. The application packet includes a 12-page (maximum) written summary of the student’s dissertation research.

Oregon State University eCampus Grant

Amount: $1,000

Application Deadline: Not stated

Eligibility:

  • Open to students enrolled in an Oregon State University eCampus degree program

The Oregon State University eCampus Grant is for graduate students pursuing any online degree. Applicants must submit a FAFSA to the university’s Office of Financial Aid, who will award the grants to eligible recipients on a first come, first served basis.

P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship

Amount: Up to $12,500

Application Deadline: December 15

Eligibility:

  • Open to international women pursuing graduate studies in the United States or Canada

Each year, the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) sponsors the International Peace Scholarship, which helps female international students fund their graduate studies in North America. Though this generous scholarship is not meant to fund an applicant’s entire education, the amount given can reach $12,500 depending upon individual need.

Ralph Johnson Bunche Distinguished Graduate Fellowship

Amount: $15,000 stipend, plus tuition remission for up to two years

Application Deadline: Not stated

Eligibility:

  • Open to African American graduate students enrolled at Rutgers Law

When students apply to Rutgers Law, they are automatically eligible for various merit-based scholarships, including the Ralph Johnson Bunche Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, which is available to new full-time students.

Ralph W. Shrader Graduate Diversity Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Application Deadline: April 30

Eligibility:

  • Open to women and minority graduate students at an accredited U.S. university
  • Students must be enrolled in their second semester of graduate study
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5

Open to any student pursuing a master’s degree in a STEM-related subject at an accredited U.S. institution, the Ralph W. Shrader Diversity Scholarship rewards students of outstanding academic achievement.

Return 2 College Scholarship Program

Amount of Scholarship: $1,000

Application Deadline: January 31

Eligibility:

  • Open to college students currently attending a two- or four-year college or graduate school
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident

The Return 2 College Scholarship applicants must submit a three-sentence personal statement describing their reason for pursuing a graduate degree.

Ruth G. and Joseph D. Matarazzo Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Application Deadline: Not stated

Eligibility:

  • Open to students in an interim master’s program or doctoral program
  • Must be nominated by a COGDOP-member department of psychology

The Ruth G. and Joseph D. Matarazzo Scholarship is sponsored by the American Psychological Foundation  to assist students financially with the costs associated with conducting research and completing a thesis or dissertation. All applicants must be nominated by their institution’s department of psychology, which must be a member of COGDOP.

Tillman Military Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: February 28

Eligibility:

  • Open to veteran and active-duty military service members and their spouses
  • Must be pursuing a full-time graduate degree

This well-known and highly respected scholarship aims to financially assist those who have demonstrated outstanding leadership potential. Each year, up to 60 veterans, active military members, and military spouses are chosen to receive a scholarship that can total up to $10,000. To apply, applicants must submit the required application and financial worksheet, a resume, a letter of recommendation, a short personal biography, and two essays on a given topic. Another step is to consider all types of financial aid available to you if you don’t find a scholarship or grant on our list that matches your credentials.

Laurie Garrison picture

Laurie Garrison

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Laurie Garrison is a contributing writer who covers higher education, online graduate programs, college planning, and more for Grad School Hub. Her writing has also appeared in The Charlotte Business Journal and the Dallas Business Journal.

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