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Financing Your Graduate Degree

There are multiple types of funding sources/opportunities to support your pursuit of a graduate degree. This page provides comprehensive information, links and steps to pursue each. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Center for Graduate Studies at (315) 267-2165 or by email, graduate@potsdam.edu.

Graduate Assistantships & the Graduate Advantage Program

Graduate Assistant Program (GAP) positions cover $2000 in tuition in both the fall and spring semesters. There is a stipend of $850 in both the fall and spring semesters with a service commitment of 10 hours per week when classes are in session.

Graduate Assistant (GA) positions cover $5000 in tuition in both the fall and spring semesters. There is a stipend of $1250 in both the fall and spring semesters with a service commitment of 20 hours per week when classes are in session.

Please contact the Center for Graduate Studies (315) 267-2165 or graduate@potsdam.edu for more information.

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Graduate Diversity Fellowship Program

The Graduate Diversity Fellowship Program is a SUNY-wide initiative that offers fellowships to students who have been admitted to graduate or professional study. This program is intended to assist in the recruitment, enrollment and retention of students in doctoral and master's level programs who can demonstrate that they contribute to the diversity of the student body, especially those who can show that they have overcome a disadvantage or other impediment to success in higher education.

The Center for Graduate Studies accepts applications for fall awards, as well as spring. Application deadline for the fall semester is June 30th. Applications for the Spring have a deadline of December 1st. Please note that awards are given each semester, and applications must be submitted for each semester. There are no automatic fall to spring awards.

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Graduate Opportunity Program

The Graduate Opportunity (GOP) program is a tuition waiver program specifically designed for students who have graduated from SUNY's Education Opportunity Program (EOP), City University of New York's Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) Program or the Higher Educational Opportunity Program (HEOP) conducted by private colleges.

The Center for Graduate Studies accepts applications for fall awards, as well as spring. Application deadline for the fall semester is June 30th. Applications for the Spring have a deadline of December 1st. Please note that awards are given each semester, and applications must be submitted for each semester. There are no automatic fall to spring awards.

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Graduate Student Scholarships

There are several scholarship opportunities for students to apply to. This includes new students entering a program, as well as returning students. There are institutional scholarships (see below), as well as several scholarship programs that are established and administered within the schools on campus. Contact the Center for Graduate Studies with any specific questions you may have:

New Student Scholarships (Merit-based, awarded for first two semesters):

Other Scholarships:

As we become aware of other scholarships available outside of the school, we will post them here. Note that these are external award opportunities, and we are not responsible for the upkeep of their website, information, and specific time frame. You are encouraged to contact the organizations/entities offering these awards as questions arise.

Residence Life Graduate Assistantships

Federal Loans

Graduate students are eligible for federal loan funding when enrolled in at least 6 credits. While full-time status for graduate students is 9 credits or more, all financial aid packages are estimated based on enrollment in 12 credits when FAFSA information is received. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you are enrolled in fewer than 12 credits. In most cases an adjustment is made only for tuition, fees and books; funding for living expenses is not affected.

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Pre-filled FAFSA application online: Before you begin you will want to have your tax information or estimates from last year. You will also want to have your PIN available so that you can sign your application upon completion. All students must apply each year for Federal aid by completing the FAFSA application. Continuing students may decide to complete the Pre-filled FAFSA on line. All filers will need the SUNY Potsdam Federal Code (002850) to input on the applications. More application information is available at www.fafsa.gov.
  2. Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) The Federal Government will provide you with access to your Student Aid Report via e-mail if you apply on line. Please review this FAFSA summary and return the form to the Federal Government or our office with any corrections you may have to the application.
  3. Notify the Financial Aid Office of any Private Scholarships You will want to notify the Financial Aid Office if you will be receiving outside scholarships or grants from local, state, national, or corporate organizations. These awards may impact your financial aid eligibility.
  4. Receive Your Award Letter Once we have received your FAFSA information from the Federal Government, and we have received any other requested data needed from you, we will process your financial aid package and notify you of your aid eligibility. Continuing students will receive an award notification via e-mail directing them to the BearPAWS system. Notification begins in early March.
  5. Respond to Inquiries Respond promptly to any inquiries from federal and state agencies, or from our office. We will notify continuing students via e-mail to access the BearPAWS system to see what information is missing in order to process your financial aid. Delays in receipt of pertinent information will delay the review process, mailing of award letters, and disbursement of funds.

Aid for Content-Core Courses

You may be eligible for federal student loans for one consecutive 12-month period for prerequisite courses you are required to take before full admission to a graduate program. You must be enrolled at least half-time (six or more credit hours) in order to receive federal loans for prerequisite courses. You may be eligible for up to $5,500 in federal Stafford Subsidized or Unsubsidized loan funding, and up to $7,000 in additional federal Stafford Unsubsidized loan funding for the classes required for that program.