Financial Assistance and Funding
Graduate students fund their education in a variety of ways, including both internal funding options housed within the Graduate School as well as funding sources outside the university (see external funding sources below). Below you will find resources for both internal and external funding options.
Inspired by our commitment to live our social justice values and provide an exceptional student experience, Loyola offers its graduate assistants a competitive package of services and financial aid and learning development resources. For more specifics, please see LoyolaForYou.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students may be eligible for financial support. See these opportunities below. Students experiencing financial hardship are also encouraged to reach out to the Center for Student Assistance & Advocacy (CSAA) for support.
On March 27, 2020, the federal government enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). The CARES Act includes a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”). A portion of HEERF funds must go directly to eligible students in the form of emergency financial aid grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis. For more information visit https://www.luc.edu/heerf/.
Graduate assistantships are awarded to students with excellent academic records and scholarly promise who are enrolled full-time. The awards ordinarily include a stipend, tuition scholarship, and health insurance coverage and are renewable. Depending on whether a PhD student’s degree program is located on the Lakeshore Campuses or on the Heath Sciences Campus, PhD stipend amounts currently range from $28,000 for a 9 month stipend to $34,000 for a 12 month stipend.
Graduate Assistantships are divided into Teaching Assistantships (Guidelines) or Research Assistantships (Guidelines). Accordingly, a student who accepts an assistantship is required to provide teaching or research assistance, or — with approval of the Graduate School — to engage in other duties relevant to the discipline and program. Graduate students may not be assigned both research and teaching responsibilities in the same semester. Assistantship duties should provide students with educational and professional benefits while enhancing their pedagogical, research, and/or administrative skills. Assistantship duties cannot exceed 20 hours per week. Graduate assistants may not be assigned duties to support in the administration of the graduate program.
Applying for Graduate Assistantships
Awardees are chosen from among applicants for admission and no additional application material is required. Admission does not guarantee funding.
The deadline for consideration for merit awards is based on the relevant admissions deadline for each graduate program. The application for admission as well as all supporting documents (e.g., transcripts and letters of recommendation) must be on file by the award deadline.
Period of Appointment for Graduate Assistants
Graduate assistantships are awarded to students with excellent academic records and scholarly promise who are enrolled full-time in the Graduate School to achieve success in their academic program, including access to professional development opportunities such as a research or teaching assistant. These assistantships involve a stipend, tuition scholarship, and health insurance coverage.
The period/s of appointment for graduate assistants over the course of the academic year are as follows:
Fall and Spring Semesters
During the Fall and/or Spring semester, the University classifies graduate assistants as full-time students and graduate assistants are expected to serve as a research or teaching assistant for 19.5 hours per week for each of the sixteen weeks of the academic semester. The University does not permit graduate assistants to hold an additional hourly position on campus during the same academic semester.
Students may serve as graduate assistants over the period composed of the University’s two summer sessions. Graduate assistants are expected to serve in that role for 19.5 hours per week for up to twelve weeks during that time.
If graduate assistants are not enrolled in coursework over the summer, the University does not classify them as full-time students and they also can hold an hourly work position on campus for up to an additional twenty hours per week.
NOTE: Students cannot be asked to work on University holidays. There may be exceptional circumstances (such as with specialized maintenance, data collection from research animals, or when an experimental protocol runs over months and cannot be interrupted or suspended to allow time away) where graduate assistantship activities must be conducted during University holidays/closures and/or immediately prior to or after the end of a semester/session and those tasks cannot be delegated to other individuals. In such circumstances, the equivalent amount of compensatory time away from the assistantship position on a non-holiday weekday during the semester/session must be arranged in exchange. In addition, graduate assistants should be made aware prior to the start of the assistantship appointment of the schedule for the assistantship position, be informed of the amount of compensatory time away, and be able to participate in the determination of the schedule for that compensatory time away.
For any semester in which a student serves as a research or teaching assistant, a student cannot be asked to make up missed hours in the following semester or summer session. Students with concerns about the terms of their appointment as a research or teaching assistant should reach out to their Graduate Program Director.
Fellowships are similar to assistantships in that they provide stipends, tuition scholarships, and health insurance; however, most fellowships do not require service on the part of the student. Recipients of fellowships administered through university must adhere to the merit award policies in addition to the requirements of the fellowship.
Applying for Fellowships
Each fellowship has unique application requirements so it is important to carefully read the guidelines and deadlines for each award.
Arthur J. Schmitt Leadership Scholars Fellowship
Diversifying Higher Education in Illinois Fellowship
- See Awards & Fellowships on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources page.
Teaching Scholars Fellowship
Research Experience for Master's Programs Project
-See more information
Samuel A. Attoh Graduate Diversity Fellowship
-See Awards & Fellowships on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources page.
The following policies apply to Graduate School students receiving awards. Awards may include teaching or research assistantships (internal as well as funded by grants or outside agencies), non-service fellowships, and tuition awards. In addition, students are to comply with the academic and financial policies stated on the Graduate School website.
Absent exceptional circumstances, including those relating to public health, your appointment will begin on the first day of the Fall academic semester. To prepare for your assistantship for the semester, please reach out to your faculty advisor by August 15th for discussion. The stipend will be paid on the 15th of the each month (or earlier if the 15th falls on a weekend or holiday) over the course of your 9-month or 12 month assistantship, starting in September.
Deadline for Acceptance of an Award: Admitted PhD students have until April 15th to formally notify the Graduate School of their decision regarding acceptance of the award. For master’s students and for PhD students who receive an offer of admission after April 15th, admitted students have until 30 days after the date of the letter to formally notify the Graduate School of her/his decision regarding acceptance of the award.
Formal Notification of Acceptance: In order to notify the Graduate School formally regarding acceptance of the award, the student must accept his or her award on GSPS by the applicable deadline.
Eligibility to Hold an Award: To be eligible to receive and continue to hold an award, the student must: [a] be in good academic standing and maintain a GPA of 3.0 (which includes having no more than 1 outstanding incomplete by July 15) [b] comply with the Graduate School’s standards of academic honesty and the university code of conduct, and [c] perform satisfactorily assigned assistantship duties. Failure to fulfill these requirements may result in the immediate termination of the award.
Assistantship Responsibilities: The duties of a Research or Teaching Assistantship are assigned by departmental, college, or school administrators. Graduate students may not be assigned both research and teaching responsibilities in the same semester. These assistantships are to provide students with educational and professional benefits, enhancing their pedagogical or research skills. All research and teaching assistantship activities must be supervised by appropriate faculty or staff. Assistantship duties cannot exceed 19.5 hours per week.
Assistantship Hours: Full assistantships should involve teaching or research activities which average between 16 and 19.5 hours per week.
Restriction on Multiple Awards: The Graduate School does not permit students to hold simultaneously more than one full assistantship or fellowship. The Crown Fellowship, the Teaching Scholars Award, Child and Family Research Fellowship, Attoh Diversity Award, and the Schmitt Fellowship are all considered full awards. In addition, the Graduate School does not permit students to hold a full assistantship or fellowship and hold a hourly paid position at Loyola during the academic year.
FAFSA Requirements: All students receiving any type of award (assistantship, fellowship, or tuition) are encouraged to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Loyola’s federal school code is 001710. Students anticipating the need for student loans must file a FAFSA. For further information see the Financial Aid Office website. While there are no priority filing deadlines for graduate students, students should submit the FAFSA as early as possible.
Courses Eligible for Coverage by a Tuition Award: Only those courses that will count toward the fulfillment of graduate degree requirements are eligible for coverage by a Loyola tuition award. In addition, the number of credit hours of tuition eligible for a tuition award are limited by the number of credit hours required of the student by the program. It is the student’s responsibility to register for and satisfactorily complete appropriate courses while receiving a tuition award; the student is responsible for paying tuition for any courses not eligible for payment by the tuition award. Additionally, tuition support will not be provided for course taken for audit. Recipients of tuition awards must register for classes no later than July 1. The student should consult the Graduate School website, the program’s student handbook, and his/her academic advisor for detailed information on degree requirements.
Tuition Bills: Tuition awards are disbursed to fall semester charges in August and to spring semester charges in January. Please note that tuition awards do not cover University student fees (e.g., the University Services and Programs, CTA U-Pass, Late Registration, and Late Payment fees). It is the student’s responsibility to check his or her LOCUS account summary on a regular basis and to notify the Awards Coordinator if there are questions.
Health Insurance: Some awards include health insurance. This is indicated in your award letter if it applies to you. The decision to opt out of this insurance needs to be made by October 1. Please see the Bursar’s Office homepage for further information about this process. This is not a decision that can be changed later in the year, so please review your health insurance options carefully as this is the only opportunity to make use of this portion of your award package.
New Hire Packet: Please contact the Graduate School’s Award Coordinator at 773-508-7479 if you need these forms. Before the beginning of the term of one’s initial Graduate School award, the student is to bring a completed New Award Packet and the necessary documentation in person to the Graduate School (this requirement applies only to first-time assistantship stipend or fellowship recipients). Failure to do so may result in a delay of the student’s stipend payment.
Tax-withholding forms: First-time stipend recipients must return to the Graduate School federal and state income-tax-withholding (W-4) forms. W-4 forms are required only for first-time stipend recipients; however, other students may file a new W-4 to effect a change in withholding.
Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9): An assistantship or fellowship award offer is subject to the recipient providing proof of employment eligibility as required by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Verification of employment eligibility is a federal legal requirement and failure to comply in a timely manner will result in a delay of the student’s eligibility to perform assistantship duties and receive a stipend and tuition award.
Social Security Number: A valid Social Security number is required for payment of stipends and fellowships. If you are an international student in F-1 or J-1 status, and do not yet have a Social Security Number, we recommend you visit the Office for International Programs at Loyola at least a week before classes begin. You will be registered in SEVIS and obtain the documents you need in order to apply for your Social Security Number.
Direct Deposit: The university’s Office of Human Resources requires stipend recipients to participate in the direct-deposit payroll system. Please see the enclosed form for detailed information.
Change of Address. Students are to notify the Graduate School, as well as the university, of a change of address. To ensure timely receipt of important mailings, the Graduate School recommends informing the Awards Coordinator of a change of address in addition to updating your address on LOCUS.
Income Tax Information: As a reminder, stipends, tuition awards, and other awards, such as health insurance, are taxable unless exempt under the Internal Revenue Code. The Graduate School advises students to review IRS publications and forms (www.irs.gov) and to consult the IRS or a tax advisor if one has questions regarding one’s potential tax liability. For additional information see IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.
Non-service fellowships, such as the Crown, Child and Family, Schmitt, Attoh Diversity, and DFI fellowships, are considered by the IRS as “non-qualified” fellowships. Non-service fellowships are taxable and reportable to the IRS as income on the recipient’s personal tax return. Loyola is not required under Section 6041 to file a return of information (W-2 or 1099) to report the fellowship. However, the student may have an obligation to include the fellowship in their gross income. Please review IRS Topic Number 421.
Taxable scholarships, fellowships, and grants to nonresident aliens are generally reportable to the IRS and are generally subject to withholding of U.S. federal and state income tax.
Renewal of Awards: Awards are for one academic year only. Contact your graduate program director for detailed information regarding renewal of awards.
Questions: Please note that the Graduate School website contains important information regarding merit awards and academic policies. The Graduate School encourages students with questions regarding merit awards to contact their graduate program director. In addition, students with questions should feel free to contact the Graduate School’s Awards Coordinator.
If you are chosen to receive an assistantship or fellowship, you will be e-mailed a letter stating the terms of your award such as the length of the award period and the amount of stipend and tuition scholarship you should expect to receive. Awards do not cover University student fees (e.g., the University Services and Programs, CTA U-Pass, Late Registration, and Late Payment fees).
An accept/decline option will be included in your electronic award letter along with a link to The Graduate School merit award policies. Once you have read and agreed to the terms of your award and policies, you must select the option to accept the award on your electronic award letter. Please contact the Awards Coordinator if you are having technical difficulties accepting the award. Award letters are sent in June for the following academic year. In the case of multi-year assistantships, a student may not have any more than one outstanding incomplete grade by July 15, or the assistantship will not be renewed.
If you are receiving a stipend payment for the first time, you will need to fill out new award paperwork. The new award packet must be brought to The Graduate School along with the appropriate ID for the I-9. You will not receive payment until all of the paperwork is sufficiently filled out and submitted.
For PhD students receiving an Assistantship, stipend payments are made once a month or around the 15th of each month. For PhD students receiving a Fellowship, stipends payments are made once at the start of the Fall semester and once at the start of the Spring semester. If you do not receive your stipend payment on this date, please notify The Graduate School immediately. Stipends, tuition, and other awards, such as health and dental insurance, are taxable unless exempt under the Internal Revenue Code (www.irs.gov). Additional information may be found in IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.
You should consult a tax advisor regarding the taxability of these awards to you under the Internal Revenue Code. As discussed in the Graduate School’s terms and policies, Loyola is not required under Section 6041 to file a return of information (W-2 or 1099) to report a non-service fellowship. However, you may have an obligation to include the fellowship in your gross income. Please review IRS Topic Number 421. If your fellowship has a service requirement, you will receive a W-2 for your stipend.
Along with stipend payments, some assistantships come with tuition awards. Tuition awards pay the tuition for only those courses that count toward the fulfillment of degree requirements and are limited by the number of credit hours required for the student to complete the program's degree requirements (e.g., if a student is in a program that requires 60 credit hours of graduate coursework, once the student has completed the 60-credit-hour degree requirement, the tuition scholarship normally will not pay tuition for additional credit hours).
Students are responsible for paying tuition for any courses not eligible for payment by tuition awards. Recipients of tuition awards must register for classes no later than July 1 for the fall semester and January 1 for the spring semester.
Full-time awards come with health, dental, and vision insurance coverage for the student. Students may purchase supplemental insurance for a spouse/significant other or family, rates and additional information can be found on Bursar’s Office webpage.
To receive student health, dental, and vision insurance benefits, students must be registered for classes no later than July 1 for the Fall semester of the upcoming academic year. To accept the award and coverage, students must "Fast-Track" into the plan by logging into LOCUS and clicking on the "Student Health Insurance" link in the "Campus Finances" section. Fast-tracking into the insurance confirms accepted coverage, activates enrollment into the plan, and generates an insurance ID card.
If a student has health insurance coverage, he or she must waive out of student health insurance coverage. To waive out, students must log on to LOCUS and click on "Student Health Insurance" in the "Campus Finances" section by October 1 of the academic school year.
Stipend payments may be subject to Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax. There are, however, a number of exceptions to the FICA tax; for example, student employees who are enrolled and attending classes on at a least half time basis may be exempt. For more information about this, please read Loyola's Student Employment FICA Exemption Policy.
Information can also be found at www.irs.gov – Internal Revenue Service Website
IRS Pub 970: Tax Benefits for Education
IRS Pub 501: Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information
Students may obtain support from faculty members who receive funding from sources outside the university (e.g., research grants). The Graduate School normally matches funding from external sources with tuition awards.
The Graduate School also encourages students to apply for funding from sources outside the university. A list of external monies available to graduate students is available through our page of External Funding Sources.
The Office of Research Services also provides an extensive lists of searchable databases that contain funding opportunities.
Note: If vaccinated for COVID-19, domestic travel for conferences is allowed; international travel is allowed (within State Department guidance and at discretion of department leadership); exercise caution when traveling to areas with substantial or high COVID-19 virus transmission; compliance with City of Chicago emergency travel order required upon return.
The Graduate School encourages students to present their work at conferences throughout the United States and abroad. Students may apply for up to $750 (per academic year) in travel costs associated with presenting at a conference. Please note that travel awards are only available to current students whose programs are housed on the lakeside campuses. Students enrolled in graduate programs at the Health Sciences campus should consult with the Graduate School at the Health Sciences Campus or the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing for travel-related funding programs. Students whose conferences fall after their thesis/dissertation defense date (for programs with a thesis/dissertation requirement) or after their final course (for those programs without a thesis/dissertation) are not eligible to apply for travel funding.
To be considered for funding, you must apply online BEFORE the conference takes place. To apply, log into GSPS, navigate to Award Forms > Internal Awards section, and click the "Add" button to begin. You will be required to upload proof of acceptance to a conference (i.e. an email or letter of acceptance from the conference sponsor) and a preliminary budget in one single PDF. The budget should include expected travel and lodging costs, conference registration fees, poster printing costs, and food (students must adhere to the university's current per diem rates for food). You will receive confirmation to your LUC.edu email account to let you know if your application has been approved or rejected.
Within three weeks of completing travel, please submit a completed and signed Expense Reimbursement Form (instructions here), your receipts (in a single PDF file, in the order they appear on your reimbursement form), and any other related conference documents to the Communication & Records Coordinator in The Graduate School. Please note that you may be required to fill out an Electronic W9/W8 Form if you haven’t filled one out in the past academic year. Incomplete or incorrect claims will cause a delay in reimbursement, so please make sure that you have filled out the forms completely, and that all necessary receipts are included. Please note: according to Accounts Payable policy, expense reimbursements submitted more than 90 days following the date of the expense or the last date of travel will be considered taxable income.
Applications for conference travel awards will be accepted on the following schedule:
|Conference Date||Application Submission|
|June 15 to September 30||May 15 through 19|
|September 15 to December 31||August 17 through September 2|
|December 15 to March 31||November 15 through 19|
|March 15 to June 30||February 17 through 24|
After April 15 and until June 1, students who did not receive conference funding during the appropriate application period, which includes all conferences during the current academic year, may resubmit their application.
Only $750 in travel funding per student can be granted per academic year. However, if you are awarded a partial award to cover conference registration fees, you may apply for a second award for a different conference during a later round of travel awards. Funds are limited and will be awarded based on a distribution of students in different programs, so while we do encourage you to apply earlier in the application period if you can, the applications will remain open for the full period, and simply applying on the first day of the application period will not guarantee funding.
Graduate School students who are approved in advance for a Research Funding Request may receive reimbursement of up to $500 for expenses related to the research and preparation of a dissertation, thesis, or major research paper if applicable. The Graduate School will only grant one research funding award per student, and reimbursement for the funds must be claimed within the same academic year. To apply, please submit a Research Funding Request Form.
Note: Research Funding is only available to students whose programs are housed on the Lakeside Campuses.
The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) is committed to helping students finance graduate education. Our financial assistance professionals will work with you to create a package that makes the most of the available financial resources. As partners, we’ll work together to reach toward a common goal: making your Loyola education achievable and affordable.
For more information about financial assistance, check out these publications:
All students receiving any type of award (assistantship, fellowship, or tuition) are encouraged to also file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Loyola’s federal school code is 001710. Students without funding as well as students anticipating supplementing their assistantship or fellowship support with loans must file a FAFSA. There are no priority filing deadlines for graduate students, but students should submit the FAFSA as early as possible.
The Center for Experiential Learning seeks to serve students, faculty, staff and community partners of Loyola University Chicago as a resource for experiential learning opportunities and partnerships. The Center can assist graduate students with finding internships and community based federal work study.
Internships offer students an opportunity to put their knowledge to work in an applied setting while learning the dynamics of particular workplace settings. Many programs require or encourage internships as part of the degree process. While many of these experiences offer course credit rather than more direct financial remuneration, others offer students stipends to cover their time in the field. Students interested in internships should work with their programs as well as utilize the resources available in the Center for Experiential Learning.
Community-Based Federal Work-Study
Graduate students eligible for work-study as part of their financial aid packaged can work on campus or at a community-based service organization. Per Federal regulations, FWS monies fund 75% of student workers' salaries at community-based service sites; the agency must fund the other 25% of student workers' salaries. For further information visit the Center for Experiential Learning's website.
Many departments in the University hire graduate students on a part-time basis. Listings for these opportunities can be found on Handshake. Please visit the Career Development Center website for more information about Handshake in addition to other job search services the Center offers. The mission of the Career Development Center (CDC) at Loyola University Chicago is to counsel, educate and empower the Loyola student and alumni community.
The Installment Plan (iPlan) is an optional arrangement to make educational payments more affordable by spreading payments over a selected number of monthly installments instead of making one payment each semester. Loyola's in-house iPlan is available through LOCUS (Loyola's Online Connection to University Services), to help you and your family customize your budget for the upcoming academic year.
Loyola Installment Plan benefits include:
Additional monthly installment options
- Clear, step-by-step budgeting process
- Streamlined account information
Loyola's iPlan is available in a variety of monthly options. For more information on The Installment Plan (iPlan), please visit http://www.luc.edu/bursar/iPlan.shtml#enrollment.
Students can use the charge authorization form to add Rambler Bucks to your Campus Card for buying textbooks at the Follett Campus Bookstore. You may add funds to your card in increments of $100 to $800 without pre-paying. The charge will be added to your student account and must be paid in full along with all other tuition and fees.
Students can only submit one form per term, and must comply with the assigned deadline for each term. If a student is unsure of the total cost of books, supplies and other expected purchases, the Card Office suggests requesting a greater amount on the Charge Authorization Form. Any funds not used in the purchase of books, supplies, etc. at the bookstore are non-refundable, but can be used at any location Rambler Bucks are accepted, as listed. Graduate Students: If you are a quarter semester student, please contact the Card Office for more information.
If you have questions, please contact the Campus Card Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research Funding & Grant Funding Resources
Other Resources and Funding Sources
Students should also familiarize themselves with the Financial Aid Office's statement on student rights and responsibilities.