Approved by: Provost
History: Issued              -- August 2005
Revised            -- October 5, 2020
Last Reviewed -- October 5, 2020
Related Policies: Satisfactory Academic Progress-Graduate (policy and appeal process)
Additional References:
Responsible Official:

Vice President for Enrollment Management tel. (202) 319-6535


I. Introduction


The Catholic University of America offers a wide variety of scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study appointments to new and continuing students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Federal funds are, by statute, awarded solely on the basis of financial need as determined by a federally approved needs analysis system. These funds are available to as many qualifying students as funding will allow.

II. Application Procedure


Prospective applicants should request information and forms from the Office of Student Financial Assistance or visit the financial aid web site. Applicants for the schools of law, nursing, and social service should contact the Office of the Dean for information on funds administered by those schools. Those interested in graduate assistantships should write directly to the school or department. A completed application for admission must be on file by Feb. 1 to be considered for The Knights of Columbus, The Board of Trustees and the St. Vincent Pallotti scholarships. It is recommended that students applying for the other merit-based scholarships also submit their applications by Feb. 1. Admission is required before financial aid is granted. Those graduate applicants who wish to be considered for federal aid must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid known as FAFSA.

To be considered for graduate scholarships, applicants must submit scores on the General Aptitude Test of the Graduate Record Examination even if the scores were not required in connection with the application for admission. Graduate scholarships are usually awarded for September entrance and for up to three years with reapplication required annually.

Applicants for graduate assistantships who are international students, not permanent residents of the United States, or who are members of religious institutes and orders with a vow of poverty, are not required to submit either the FAFSA or the University application.

III. International Students


Government-funded scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial support are restricted to United States citizens or resident aliens. Graduate students who are not citizens are eligible for very limited University-funded aid. All international students must be prepared to meet the costs of education and living expenses in this country with personal or family funds or with funds from other institutions. For the 2003-2004 academic year, a minimum amount of $31,500 (U.S. dollars) must be documented by an admitted international student before the Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or where appropriate, IAP-66) will be issued.

For additional information concerning financial aid, the applicant should contact the United States Information Agency, the Institute of International Education, the American consulate in the applicant's country, or the government of that country.

IV. Federal Programs


A. Federal Direct Loan Program


This program, administered by Catholic University, enables a student to borrow money from a savings and loan institution, credit union bank, or other eligible lender. Maximum amounts available vary with a student's course load and the amount of federal loans a student has previously borrowed. All students who want a Federal Direct Loan file a FAFSA and submit a master promissory note and entrance counseling electronically through the Federal Student Aid web page. The general yearly subsidized borrowing limit for a graduate student is a maximum of $20,500 in Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Members of religious orders who wish to be considered for federal loans and who do not have their studies directed and take a vow of poverty should file a FAFSA.

Refer to the University's Financial Assistance web page for complete information on procedures required to receive federal aid.

B. Federal Perkins Loan


The Federal Perkins Loan program expired on September 30, 2017. No new Perkins Loans can be issued. Students who previously borrowed the Perkins Loan will still be responsible for exit counseling and repayment. Catholic University’s Perkins Loans are serviced by University Accounting Services(UAS). To fulfill your Federal Perkins Exit Loan Counseling requirement and to better understand the repayment details of your Federal Perkins Loan(s) go to the UAS Exit Counseling website. 

C. Federal Work Study


Graduate Assistantships funded by the Federal Work-Study Program are offered on a funds available basis to eligible students.

D. Traineeships


Agencies of the federal government may provide traineeships for graduate study in the schools of nursing and social service. Interested students should write directly to the dean of the appropriate school.

E. Veterans Benefits


Often overlooked are many benefits available to veterans and to children of deceased veterans or those disabled in military service. In addition to the benefits offered directly by the Veterans Administration, others are available through their various service organizations, such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Catholic War Veterans, and directly through the branches of the armed services. Any possible claim resulting from the current or past military service of the student or a member of his or her family should be investigated.

V. University Programs


Students do not apply for these merit scholarships. Chairs and deans nominate their most qualified applicants.

A. Knights of Columbus Scholarship/Fellowship


The graduate scholarship committee awards these prestigious scholarships to the University's most exceptional applicants. It provides full tuition and a living stipend for full-time, lay students in all programs except law.

B. Board of Trustees Scholarships


These awards provide full tuition for outstanding applicants, those with superior undergraduate records and GRE scores. Some schools and departments also provide a living stipend with this award. Students must be full time to qualify.

C. St. Vincent Pallotti Fellowship


This is a special, competitive, full-tuition scholarship for those interested in serving the Church for two years after graduation. Interested applicants for full-time study should describe their plans for postgraduation service in a letter to their prospective deans.

D. Doctoral Scholarships


These scholarships are full-tuition awards for students entering one of the University's doctoral programs full time. To be considered for these awards, applicants must have strong undergraduate records and cumulative verbal and quantitative GRE scores of 1300 or above.

E. Half Scholarships - University and Centennial Halves


These half-tuition scholarships are open to most prospective full-time graduate students with strong undergraduate records and combined verbal and quantitative GRE scores of 1200 or higher.

F. Assistantships


Teaching and research assistantships are available to students who want to apprentice or gain professional experience in their fields. Most of these pay stipends. Interested students should contact their prospective chair or dean.

G. Magi Scholarships


The Magi Endowment for the Liturgical Arts offers scholarships to students whose postgraduation goal is to serve the Catholic Church as a teacher, composer, choral director, sculptor, craftsman in bronze or iron or some other mediums. The scholarships are restricted to half tuition only.

H. Tuition Remission for Seminarians


Remission of one-half of tuition is granted to diocesan seminarians and members of religious institutes preparing for ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood. To be eligible, seminarians must have been admitted to a degree program in either the School of Philosophy or the School of Theology and Religious Studies. A separate application, with certification of the applicant's status from his bishop or major superior, is required.

I. Divinity Hall Burses


A limited number of partial tuition awards are available for candidates for the priesthood or for priests from particular archdioceses and dioceses. Information may be obtained from the dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies. Applications must be directed to the ordinary of the diocese, whose recommendation is required for receipt of the award.

J. Endowed Scholarships


The University is endowed with several other scholarship awards. These vary widely in intent and amount. A few are described below. Consult your prospective dean to learn if you may qualify for an endowed scholarship.

K. The Johannes Quasten Scholarship


This award is made to students admitted to the School of Theology and Religious Studies and School of Philosophy with a proposed concentration in patristics.

L. Basselin Scholarships


An integral part of the University, the Basselin Foundation provides scholarships for a special course of studies to young men preparing for the Catholic priesthood. It receives candidates who have finished two years of the classical curriculum in an American Catholic college and carries them through three years to the completion of the seminary course of philosophy and one year of postgraduate work in philosophy. Students admitted to the Basselin course of studies must qualify for the honors program of the School of Philosophy and must maintain an acceptable average to retain their scholarships. A distinctive feature of the training, in fulfillment of the will of Theodore Basselin, is the attention given to voice culture, elocution, and the art of writing.

M. Andrew White Fellowship


This award provides tuition plus fees and a book allowance for study in the School of Philosophy.

N. Philosophy Scholarships


The Anna Hope Hudson Scholarship, the Most Reverend Francis M. Kelly, D. D., Scholarship, and the John K. Ryan Scholarship provide partial remission of tuition for study in the School of Philosophy.

O. Penfield Fellowship


This award provides partial support for studies in diplomacy, international affairs, and belles lettres. Applicants must have completed one year of graduate work. Not available every year.

P. Social Service Scholarships


A number of endowed scholarships are available to students in the National Catholic School of Social Service. The amount of the award and requirements vary. Specific information may be obtained from the dean of the school.

Q. Drama Work Grants


A limited number of work grants are available to students in drama. Inquiries should be directed to the chair of the Department of Drama.

R. Music Scholarships


Awards based on musical ability, academic record, and financial need are available each year to students in the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music. Among these awards are the John Paul Music Scholarship, the David Burchuk Memorial Scholarship, the Marie Fitzgerald Connor Scholarship, the Clifford E. Brown Scholarship, the William Masselos Scholarship, and the Benjamin T. Rome Endowment Scholarship and Graduate Scholarship. Applicants should write directly to the dean of the school.

S. Lorraine Elizabeth Cella Memorial Award


This award is reserved for students of medieval studies who demonstrate financial need. Information may be obtained from the director of the Medieval and Byzantine Studies Program.

T. Euphemia Lofton Haynes Student Loan Fund


This fund provides low interest loans of up to $5,000 per academic year to students in the Department of Education.

U. Nursing Alumni Fund


Loans for nursing students are available through the Loan Fund of the School of Nursing Chapter of The Catholic University of America Alumni Association.

V. Mary McCarthy Memorial Fund


Provides small grants to assist doctoral students in the School of Nursing with the final production of their dissertations. Apply to the Office of the Dean, School of Nursing.

W. Heltzel Memorial Scholarship


The Heltzel Memorial Scholarship is designated for Roman Catholics from the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, enrolling in the School of Engineering.

X. School of Nursing Scholarships


A number of endowed scholarships, including the Archbishop Hannan and the Loretta Beale Manderfield, are available to undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Nursing. The awards are small and are based on academic achievement, documented need, and participation in School of Nursing activities. Applications are accepted twice each year and the application form is available in the School of Nursing.

A tuition waiver of 25 percent is offered to full-time military personnel pursuing graduate studies in the School of Nursing.