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Financial Support

Several types of financial assistance are available to full-time graduate students. Applicants must be admissible to a graduate program, have an outstanding academic record and present favorable recommendations. Students admitted conditionally are not normally eligible for graduate financial assistance until all conditions have been met. Specific financial aid appointments are made by the appropriate academic dean.

The University recognizes six types of graduate financial awards. The following award categories provide partial or whole tuition awards and often include a stipend which will be divided over the length of the appointment: usually 9 or 12 months. Stipend amounts are determined by the coordinator of the graduate program unit or other awarding unit.

Fellowship recipients are not required to support the academic missions of the university through duties. Fellowship awards provide financial assistance through tuition awards and/or a stipend. Fellowships are awarded by the head of each graduate program unit and awards are disbursed at the beginning of each semester. Graduate Fellows may be encouraged to take additional semester hours and/or participate in professional development and leadership roles based on the needs and expectations of the graduate program unit. Fellowship recipients are not exempt from teaching and research training obligations that are core components of their program of study but recipients are not obligated to perform duties above and beyond their program requirements.

Graduate Assistants (GAs) assist with program-related work for a graduate program unit, or other awarding unit. GAs are assigned to departments or graduate colleges (units) and directors of academic programs rather than to assist individual faculty or staff members with research or teaching duties.

Graduate Instructors (GIs) usually teach full sections of undergraduate classes. They are recommended by the coordinator of their graduate program unit and appointed by the Dean or Dean’s representative of the course program unit. To be eligible to teach undergraduate courses, GIs must hold at least 18 earned credit hours of graduate work in the discipline of the course. Doctoral students who have completed a master’s degree may teach master’s level courses, depending on the discipline and determined by the coordinator of the graduate program unit. Maximum teaching assignment for a GI is one (1) writing intensive course, two (2) lecture courses, or three (3) labs each semester. These assignments carry a work load of no more than 20 hours per week.

Research Assistants (RAs) are graduate students engaged in research and creative activities directly related to their program of study under the direction or in collaboration with a faculty member. RAs provide research support to designated faculty members through: experiment design; data collection; proofreading or copyediting written or other presentations of results; managing correspondence related to the research project; and/or scheduling, organizing, or completing library, online, or field research. These appointments may, or not, be grant supported and RAs are not exempt from teaching training obligations that comprise a core component of their program of study.

Teaching Assistants (TAs) perform work relating to the Teacher-Scholar Model, blending experiences of teaching and scholarship as they assist a TCU faculty member or GI. TAs support core teaching duties within each graduate program such as: monitoring undergraduate laboratories; supporting large lecture sections through attending class, taking attendance, calculating averages, grading exams, monitoring online discussions; and providing occasional lectures. TAs may also assist a professor through: data collection; proofreading or copyediting written materials; managing correspondence; and/or library, online, or field research that is related to the course development and delivery. These assignments carry a work load of no more than 20 hours per week.

Merited tuition: some awards of tuition only (no stipends) are made without the expectation or requirement of duties performed by the awardee. These are usually one or two semester awards of less than 6 tuition hours each semester.

Candidates for fall admission who are applicants for merit financial aid must complete all application procedures by March 1st preceding the fall semester they plan to begin study.

Eligibility and Available Awards

Financial aid, including student loans and grants are available for full-time and part-time students with demonstrated financial need. Many of these awards are subsidized by the U.S. Federal Government and therefore are available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents only. See below for information on loans available for international students.

How To Apply

Applicants can file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) after January 1st of every year at

When To Apply

The FAFSA should be completed as soon as the required income tax information is available. Please note that the FAFSA is processed by the U.S. Federal Government and that processing will take 2-3 weeks before your results will be available to TCU. Priority for some grants is given to students who complete the financial aid application process by May 1st. Applying after that date will not affect the applicant’s loan eligibility.

Special Loans for International Students

Citizens of other countries with a qualified U.S. co-signer may be eligible for private student loans. For information on private education loans, click here.

Special Grants – For Applications –  click here.

Personal/Professional Development Grant Application

Eligibility: Year-round part-time students (enrolled for 8 hours or less) who are at least 22 years of age by the final day of late registration may apply. Student must not exceed income limitations stated on application. May not be combined with other TCU administered aid. Good academic and financial standing at all colleges and universities attended is required. Students receiving this award must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

More detailed information is available through the TCU Financial Aid Office.