Graduate Student Funding

Financial Aid From Western

The WWU Financial Aid office determines graduate student aid eligibility, including work-study, via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We strongly encourage all students to submit a FAFSA. Western's priority deadline is usually February 15 for eligibility starting the following Fall. For more information, please visit the Graduate School's financial aid and work-study page. 


You must indicate your interest in work-study on your FAFSA. If you qualify for work-study, you may serve as a graduate research assistant to faculty involved in research projects, as a departmental Lab Manager, or in another position.The typical award amount for work-study is equivalent to approximately 8-15 hours of work per week during the academic year. We recommend contacting financial aid after you apply to request the maximum work-study possible. Please note that students may work on campus a maximum of 20 hours per week, regardless of their role.

Teaching Assistantships (TA)

Teaching Assistantships are available in limited numbers. Assistantships are not available for off-campus programs. To be eligible for a TA position, you must have full admit status to the Graduate School (not provisional status) or, if a current student, make satisfactory progress toward the degree. Teaching Assistants receive a stipend, a full or partial tuition waiver from the Graduate School, and health coverage.

Research Assistantships (RA)

Students should speak directly with a faculty member if they want to become a Research Assistant. Research Assistants receive a stipend from the Professor's research grants and may include Tuition reimbursement and/or health coverage.

WWU Scholarship Center

WWU offers a variety of scholarships at the Scholarship Center. Scholarship application materials are usually available beginning in January at Western's Scholarship Center.

Grants From WWU

Specific rules usually govern grant funds. All funds from these sources must be spent according to Washington State regulations and requirements. Documentation must be approved in advance. Please see your academic department manager for guidance about the required paperwork. For a listing of WWU funding available for Graduate Students, visit the Graduate School website.

Department of Anthropology Research Funds

Contact the Anthropology Department Chair for information regarding department funds.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers a variety of scholarships. Most applications require nomination by faculty in early April. Please visit the College website for current opportunities.

WWU Fund for the Enhancement of Graduate Research (via WWU RSP)

Designed to assist students in accomplishing their thesis/field project work. Awards may be made for equipment, computer software, consumable items, travel, etc. Requests should be confined to activities or equipment that are central to the student's thesis work and which are not available to the applicant through the Department. Any permanent equipment acquired using award funds remains University property. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs announces deadlines for applications.

Ross Travel Grant

The funds are available to support travel for graduate students to present papers at professional meetings and conferences, to exhibit works of art at national and international showings, and to perform, direct or produce within professional performing arts venues.

Student Enhancement Fund

Seeks to give all WWU students access to funding to attend conferences, workshops, and other unique opportunities that enhance their educational experience and professional/personal development in ways that can contribute to positive change in our campus communities.

External Funding

Many organizations offer grants to assist with your research. You must apply/meet the deadline requirements of each of their programs. 

National Science Foundation Research Fellowships(for incoming and first year students)

Charitable Foundations, Professional/Community Organizations, and other scholarships

Many of the programs below provide grants only for nonprofit organizations, not individual students, so you would have to apply via WWU and with your Advisor/Thesis Chair. If one is of interest, review it with your Advisor/Thesis Chair.