The Catholic University of America

Financial Aid for Graduate Students

Scholarships, stipends, and federal loans are available for new and continuing graduate students.  Admission to the university is required before financial aid is awarded.  All scholarships are awarded for tuition in fall and spring semesters only. Scholarships are applied toward tuition only and do not cover academic fees, which are the responsibility of the student. Applicants to the National Catholic School of Social Service may contact the school’s Office of Admissions  (202-319-5496) to ask questions about financial assistance.

Descriptions and Application Procedures

1. CUA Scholarships for PhD Students

Full-time PhD students with a minimum score of 1350 (former GRE) or 315 (new version) of the Graduate Record Examination are eligible to be nominated for CUA full-tuition Graduate Scholarships.  There is no application form to complete in order to be considered for this scholarship, however, all application materials including GRE scores must be received by CUA by February 1.  CUA full-tuition Graduate Scholarships are awarded by the university to incoming students only.  CUA full-tuition scholarships are automatically renewed each year as long as the student is in good academic standing.

Full-time incoming PhD students with high GRE scores may be considered for full-tuition scholarships awarded by NCSSS.  These three year scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis to those who have been admitted to the PhD program.

2.  CUA Scholarships for MSW Students

CUA half-tuition scholarships are awarded by NCSSS to incoming full-time MSW students with high GRE scores.  CUA half-tuition scholarships are automatically renewed each year as long as the student is in good academic standing (minimum GPA of 3.0).  

Both full-time and part-time MSW applicants who submit GRE scores as part of their admissions portfolio may be nominated for Provost Scholarships (approximate 25% reduction of tuition). 

The CUA Graduate Scholarships may be awarded to US citizens, permanent residents, or international students.

Please note:  It is the goal of NCSSS to assist as many students as possible with scholarship awards.  Therefore students may receive only one type of scholarship award (CUA or NCSSS).

3. NCSSS Scholarships

Students requesting consideration for scholarships available through NCSSS must submit an application and a one-page essay and resume to the NCSSS Office of Admissions no later than March 1. The essay should outline the student's need, merit, and area of social work interest.

Students requesting NCSSS scholarships must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( FAFSA) with the CUA Office of Student Financial Assistance, since scholarships are awarded based on need as well as merit. Students are awarded NCSSS scholarships for one academic year only. Students may reapply for scholarship consideration in subsequent academic years provided they are in good academic standing (minimum GPA of 3.0).  Graduate students should file their FAFSA as accurate income and tax information is available. 

Please note:  It is the goal of NCSSS to assist as many students as possible with scholarship awards.  Therefore students may receive only one type of scholarship award (CUA or NCSSS).

4. Federal Work Study Program

The National Catholic School of Social Service awards Community Service Federal Work Study (FWS) stipends annually, through the federal work-study program. Federal and university regulations require that MSW students be (1) placed in non-profit agencies, (2) involved in duties other than lobbying or partisan political activities, and (3) not receiving a stipend from the field agency. Students must show financial need in information provided in their FAFSA, submitted each year of enrollment to the CUA Office of Student Financial Assistance. Agencies make absolutely no financial contribution to the student in the federal program.

The amount of the stipend varies each year and is dependent on the total amount of funding the university receives from the Federal Government. For a student to be approved for FWS, his/her field site must sign an addendum to the Statement of Agreement submitted by every agency approved by NCSSS as a field site.

Each year MSW students enrolled in a field internship must indicate interest in FWS funding on the field application form and submit a new FAFSA to CUA in order to compete for FWS awards.

Federal Work Study funds may be awarded to US citizens and permanent residents.  FWS funds are not available to international students.

5. External Scholarships

6. Federal Loans

Please see the Office of Student Financial Assistance website for information on federal loans and other sources of aid.   

7.  Veterans Services

Please see Enrollment Services website for information on how VA benefits can be used at CUA. 

8. International Student

Please see the International Student and Scholar Services website for information specific to international students.