Financial Aid

Visit the Office of Financial Aid website for information on grants and loans. Visit the Scholarship website for a link to the Aztec Scholarships application and important deadlines. Visit the Cal Coast Student Financial Center for questions about Financial Aid, Scholarships and Student Accounts/ Billing inquiries.

Important: If you are enrolled concurrently at both SDSU (home institution) and another campus (host institution), you may receive financial aid from either institution, but not from both institutions during the same semester.

Types of Aid

Teaching assistantships, scholarships, research assistantships, fellowships

A limited number of teaching assistantships, research assistantships and fellowships are available through the Program on a competitive basis. In addition, individual departments can sometimes provide graduate assistantships to doctoral students through grants awarded to the departments.

Information about scholarships and fellowships (from institutional as well as outside private sources) can be obtained from SDSU's Scholarship Office . Graduate students are eligible for university scholarships that may be applied to fees for CGU as well as SDSU course work.


SDSU Research Foundation

The SDSU Research Foundation offers extensive resources for individuals seeking grant support through public and private sources.

Additional grant sources
The Joseph Drown Foundation supports education programs in K-12, at both public and private schools, that seek to solve the existing problems in California schools. These grants for education reform can be made directly to the schools or to independent organizations which are closely involved with this issue. In addition, the Foundation provides funds to private secondary schools, colleges and universities for student financial assistance, in the form of both scholarships and loan programs. Favor is given to those programs directed at talented middle income students who are unable to obtain assistance from sources specifically available to low income students.
The Ford Foundation

is a resource for innovative people and institutions worldwide.

Our goals are to:

  • Strengthen democratic values
  • Reduce poverty and injustice
  • Promote international cooperation
  • Advance human achievement

"To make the most effective use of IBM resources and expertise, IBM has selected priority issues and key initiatives for investment. Our main focus is Education. We also provide smaller grants in the areas of Adult Education and Workforce Development, Arts and Culture, Communities in Need, and the Environment." Link to more information.

The purpose of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is to "aid and promote such religious, charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes as may be in the furtherance of the public welfare or tend to promote the well-doing or well-being of mankind."

Under this broad charter, the Foundation currently makes grants on a selective basis to institutions in higher education; in cultural affairs and the performing arts; in population; in conservation and the environment; and in public affairs.

MetLife's longstanding commitment to education is underscored by its support of education-based activities in precollege education, business, insurance and economic education, and higher education.

The mission of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is "to support efforts that promote a just, equitable, and sustainable society."

The Foundation's particular interests include:

  • Fresh approaches to solving community problems in its defined program areas
  • Approaches that, if proven successful, can generate long-term support from other sources and/or be replicated in other communities when appropriate
  • Public policy development and research and development activities to further existing programs, as well as to explore new fields of interest
  • Approaches and activities that lead to systemic change.

The National Council of Teachers of English Research Foundation provides grants of up to $12,500 for research projects in English/Language Arts. The Trustees welcome research on all topics related to English/Language Arts and especially encourage proposals focusing on underrepresented populations. Applicants must be members of NCTE. Applicants whose proposals arrive at NCTE by the February 15 deadline can expect a response late in May.

The Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) has primary responsibility for NSF’s efforts to provide national leadership in improving science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education. Its comprehensive and coordinated programs address every education level (i.e., prekindergarten through postdoctoral study), as well as early career development and science literacy in the general public."

 The Spencer Foundation is a private foundation that grants funds to support research which contributes to the understanding of education and improvement of its practice.

The Dissertation Fellowship Program for Research Related to Education assists young scholars interested in educational research in the completion of the doctoral dissertation, thus helping to ensure a continued growth of able researchers in the field. The Program was established in 1986 and for the first seven years of its existence was administered by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Since 1992, the Program has been administered internally at the Foundation. Over the 14 years of the operation of the Program, the Spencer Foundation has supported nearly 400 Dissertation Fellows.

Annually the Dissertation Fellowship Program supports 30 to 35 Fellows by providing monetary assistance ($20,000) and opportunities for professional development. For the past six years, each cohort of Dissertation Fellows has come together three times during the fellowship year for exchange across academic and intellectual boundaries. Beginning researchers from a variety of fields and approaches to the study of education share their work with each other and with more senior scholars in ways that are designed to build a strong community of scholars committed to educational inquiry, both within traditional disciplines and in departments and schools of education.

Federal Grants Wire provides information about a number of federal education grant programs managed by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement.  

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education provides support for students through graduate school. Several programs provide funding, directly or through institutions, for graduate fellowships and research and educational experiences abroad.

The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

Type: Private
Deadlines: None
Average grant: @ $50,000

Foundation Focus: Civic/cultural (disadvantaged), education (higher, technology, sciences), health (disadvantaged, elderly, families, youth, medical equipment, services), social (disadvantaged, services).

Funds May Be Used For... Student loans, fellowships, research, equipment, building, program development.

Limitations: Funds in Los Angeles County to 501c3 organizations. No support for: general fund raising; dinners; mass mailings; direct aid to individuals; conferences, seminars, workshops; sectarian, religious, fraternal purposes; endowments; federated fund raising; programs for which there is already substantial support; candidates for political office; lobbyists.

How To Apply: Send a preliminary letter to Executive Director outlining the nature of the project, amount requested and justification, and background of organization. Full proposal will be requested if project is deemed appropriate.

1055 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 1701, Los Angeles, CA 90017


SDSU Financial Aid and Scholarships can also provide information about loan programs available to doctoral students. (See also CDIP, below.)

Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP)

The California State University provides funds each year for the purpose of increasing the diversity of qualified applicants for instructional faculty positions at its various campuses. This program offers loans of up to $10,000 per year to a total of $30,000 while the student is enrolled full time in a doctoral program at an approved and accredited institution. Loans are subsequently forgiven at a rate of 20 percent for each year of full-time teaching in the CSU. Enrollment or employment in the CSU is not required of applicants for this program.

Receipt of the award and successful completion of a doctoral program does not guarantee a faculty position in the CSU. In the event that the student does not or cannot obtain such a faculty position, the loan must be repaid at an interest rate comparable to that of other graduate student loans.

Additional Resources

FinAid offers students a useful resource for seeking out potential sources of financial support.