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Financing Your Education - Master's Programs

Master's students receive financial support from a variety of sources, including personal savings, fellowships, and hourly/assistantship work. In addition, the financial aid office will help graduate students cover the cost of attendance from a variety of loan sources. All applicants are considered for merit-based fellowships.

Dean's Fellowship

The GSE offers the Dean's Fellowship Award, a highly prestigious award that recognizes excellent academic record and potential to contribute to the diversity of the program and the field of education. This fellowship is part of our ongoing commitment to recruit diverse students and enrich our community. Automatic consideration for this award is given to all applicants.

Tuition Fellowships

Tuition fellowships for MA students are merit-based and are awarded along with the offer of admission. Program Directors and the Deans, who carefully review each file, award tuition fellowships. In the case that an offer letter does not include fellowship information, a fellowship could not be offered. Fellowship offers are final and are not able to be negotiated.

GSE Grant: need-based funding for MA students

The GSE offers a limited number of need-based grants for MA students. Applicants interested in being considered for a need-based GSE Grant must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) AND the Stanford University Graduate Loan Application as indicated on Stanford's Financial Aid Office website at .

Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program (KHS)

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program cultivates a diverse, multidisciplinary community of emerging leaders from around the world and guides them to collaborate, innovate, and communicate as they prepare to address the complex challenges facing society. Knight-Hennessy Scholars become part of a supportive family of fellow scholars. Through the King Global Leadership Program, scholars will broaden knowledge, develop skills, and strengthen character; this platform provides a collection of community experiences, workshops, meetings with leaders, domestic and global study trips, and personal development opportunities. Knight-Hennessy Scholars also receive funding for graduate study at Stanford University. 

Apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars by October 14, 2020 (1:00pm PDT) AND to your GSE degree program of interest by November 16, 2020 (11:59pm PST). 

Financial Aid Loans

It is important for all prospective students who will need financial aid to apply for loans through the Financial Aid Office. Students who are applying for financial aid (loans) through the central financial aid office should answer "Yes" to the question on the application form asking whether or not financial aid from Stanford is being sought. We encourage all applicants to apply by the March priority deadline to ensure financial aid package information by April 15.

Applying for loans requires two forms (the FAFSA and the Graduate Loan Application form). Both forms are available at the financial aid office website. After completed both forms, processing by the central financial aid office can take 6-8 weeks. Communication regarding financial aid occurs in Axess, so please follow the directions from the financial aid office to set up your account.

International Students

International students are not eligible for federal loan programs, but may qualify for private/alternative loans. Many lenders, however, typically require that a US citizen or permanent resident be a co-signer on the loan. A comprehensive list of private loan programs is available at

Travel Fellowships

Stanford GSE provides travel fellowships to master's students who present a paper at a conference. Students must provide proof of their presenting a paper at a conference, and must be registered in the quarter in which funds are awarded. Students may receive one travel fellowship while in the program.

Paid Internships

For those programs that require completion of an internship or practicum, students are able to work off-campus in paid or unpaid internships up to 10 hours per week, during the academic year. Availability of paid internships varies with economic conditions in the area. Paid internships may be arranged based on agreement between the student and the internship organization. Internships cannot be arranged in advance of admission to the program. For more information please contact the Director of Career Services at the Graduate School of Education.

Part-Time Work and Consulting

Educational laboratories, educational consulting firms, and local school districts sometimes need part-time employees. Students in master's programs, other than STEP, may have the opportunity to participate in part-time paid work. Permission from the Program Director should be granted before beginning work.

Fellowships and Grants

Graduate education is a significant investment and students should learn as much as possible about the financial aspects before applying. The majority of MA students in our programs fund their education through loans and personal savings. Admits who are eligible are encouraged to fill out their FAFSA and Stanford’s Graduate Student Loan application as soon as possible.

The ICE MA Fund was established in 2004 by graduates of the ICE/IEPA MA Program to support academic and professional development (e.g., MA paper research, conferences) in the field of International Comparative Education and to create the opportunity to further explore individual or group ideas, interests, and/or projects for students currently enrolled in the ICE/IEPA MA Program. Awards are based on merit and are given to students who show exceptional commitment to developing the field of International Comparative Education. Current ICE/IEPA MA students are provided with application materials in January of their program year. Awards range from $50-550 depending on research needs.

In addition, the Fellowships and Grants information offers an array of external funding opportunities designed to respond to a wide range of interests.

Yellow Ribbon Program

Stanford is committed to providing benefits through the Yellow Ribbon Provision of the Post 9/11 GI Bill® to students in degree-seeking programs. GSE students who qualify for Chapter 33 benefits at the 100% level, may be eligible for additional funding through the Yellow Ribbon Program. Under this program, Stanford provides an annual contribution to supplement the Chapter 33 base tuition benefit. The VA matches Stanford's Yellow Ribbon contribution. For the 2020-2021 academic year, Stanford's maximum annual Yellow Ribbon contribution for GSE PhD students will be $12,000, and for MA students $6,000, with the VA providing a matching amount of up to $12,000 and $6,000 respectively. Please note that for GSE students receiving GSE Fellowship funding, the Yellow Ribbon match may reduce and in some cases replace institutional grants and scholarships. Instructions for activating VA educational benefits for enrollment at Stanford are on the OMAC web page for Activating VA Educational Benefits.

Special Note to International Students

To meet immigration regulations, international students must show proof of adequate financial support to cover the length of time of their graduate program. Students from foreign countries compete equally with U.S. citizens for fellowship support from the Graduate School of Education. However, international students are not eligible to receive loans through Stanford. Many international students at Stanford GSE support their cost of attendance from family funds or from corporations, universities, or governments.

In 2020-2021, the Lemann Foundation will award tuition expenses and majority of living expenses for selected students from Brazil in each of these programs: ICE/IEPA, LDT, Joint MA in Education/MBA. Candidates to the Lemann Fellowship must demonstrate a firm commitment to work for the country´s development, indicating how the expertise obtained in the program can be useful for their purpose of helping to solve Brazil´s social issues. After being admitted in the Graduate School of Education´s regular selection process, students may apply for a Lemann Fellowship. For more information, please contact

Some international applicants to the MA programs in ICE/IEPA may be eligible for special fellowships. In all cases, recipients are selected by Graduate School of Education faculty. The Bei Shan Tang Foundation International Scholarship Fund allows the Graduate School of Education to provide scholarships to applicants from Hong Kong. The Claudio X. Gonzalez Graduate Student Aid Fund provides financial support through fellowships to ICE/IEPA students who are citizens of Mexico. For more information on these programs, please contact the ICE/IEPA Program Director Prof. Christine Min Wotipka:

Cost of Attendance and Tuition

All MA programs are one-year programs, with the exception of the Joint MA/MBA program, Joint MA/MPP, and the Joint MA/JD. Some MA programs include a summer quarter and some do not. Tuition varies between Master's programs and depends on the units taken by the student. The costs in the table below reflect tuition in 2020-21.

TUITION 2020-2021

MA Program Autumn Winter Spring Summer


$18,105 (11-18 units)

$18,105 (11-18 units)

$18,105 (11-18 units)

No Summer Quarter


$18,105 (11-18 units)

$18,105 (11-18 units)

$11,770 (8-10 units)

$7,062 (6 units)***


$18,105 (11-18 units)

$18,105 (11-18 units)

$11,770 (8-10 units)

$7,062 (6 units)*


$18,105 (11-18 units)

$18,105 (11-18 units)

$18,105 (11-18 units)

No Summer Quarter

*LDT students are required to enroll in 6 units in the summer quarter. The remaining 39 units need to be completed in Autumn, Winter, Spring quarters. The number of units an LDT student completes across Autumn and Winter Quarters will determine whether the student is eligible to take 8-10 units (or must take 11-18 units) in the Spring  
**LDT students in the Honors Cooperative Program are charged tuition at the SCPD rates.

***Alternatively, ICE/IEPA students could choose to enroll as follows: $18,105 /quarter (11-18 units/qtr) for Autumn, Winter and Spring, plus $3,531 (3 units) for Summer.

The total cost of attendance includes rent, board, travel, books, etc. Stanford's central Financial Aid Office provides estimated costs for student budgets.
The Student Budget

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