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Most Harvard Kennedy School international students depend on scholarships from external organizations and government agencies in order to cover the entire cost of attendance. If a student plans to rely on financial resources to fund their education other than personal savings, applications for scholarships and fellowships must be done quite early. Researching funding opportunties requires much planning and persistence. Many grants and fellowships are competitive and require candidates to begin the application procedure 12 months or more before enrollment. Students are required to secure and certify full funding (for a minimum of the entire first academic year) in order to be approved for a student visa. With this in mind, it is to the students benefit to extensively research all potential sources of funding.
While in the home country, it is helpful for prospective students to contact the US Information Service (USIS) or the Educational Advising Center designated by the American Embassy or Consulate in the home country. These centers contain libraries with useful free publications that list institutions or organizations that offer financial aid to foreign students. They may also offer special lectures on funding possibilities as well as electronic databases on US institutions. These offices can always be found in a country's capital city, but there may be branch offices elsewhere in the country.
If a prospective student already resides in the US, foreign student offices and career planning and placement offices on college campuses can be valuable sources of current financial assistance information. These offices may have catalogs and books on scholarships, fellowships, and grants for review. However, the best place to start a graduate school funding search is the internet.
There are various types of sources of financial assistance available for graduate study in the US. They include:
There are numerous fellowship and scholarship opportunities offered through outside organizations and are not affiliated with the Harvard Kennedy School. The Student Financial Services Office has researched many organizations and agencies in order to create the HKS External Resource Database. Applicants should contact the organization directly for further information, noting that some of these fellowship programs may have certain restrictions and deadlines. This information listed in the database is intended to launch the funding search and is not meant to be comprehensive. Applicants should also conduct an individual search for possible funding opportunities Click on the link below to begin your search.
There are plenty jobs available for students at HKS. However, it is highly recommended that students do not work in the first semester of study as the course schedule is rigorous and the degree program is the first priority. Once students have arrived and adjusted to the schedule, students may then consider working as a research assistant, teaching assistant, course assistant or the like. Please see Course Assistants and Teaching Fellows for more information on academic and faculty support employment.
International students interested in employment should view the information on Harvard International Office (HIO) and then make an appointment to meet with the Assistant Director (located at Holyoke Center 864) in order to begin the process for employment authorization from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
Incoming students are unable/should not apply for employment before arrival in the US for a number of reasons:
Students should investigate employment only after enrollment at the HKS. Working part-time is certainly a possible source of income for the second year of study as long as it does not interfere with degree program obligations.
EduPass: a fairly comprehensive site of information for international students interested in study in the US.
International Education Financial Aid: a site that contains a free searchable database of several hundred scholarships and awards for international students.
Institute for International Education (IIE): An independent not-for-profit founded in 1919, IIE is among the world's largest and most experienced international education and training organizations.