Student Financial Services

Fellowships & Scholarships

There are many opportunities available for funding graduate education.  Funding available from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (HKS) is limited and we therefore encourage students to first investigate funding opportunities outside of the school.  Funding sources can be former employers, affinity organizations, philanthropic foundations, NGOs, private organizations and government agencies. Seeking funding for graduate study is a very individual process, but we are available to guide applicants through their search.

HKS offers the following designated fellowships for which admitted applicants are automatically considered and therefore do not submit a financial assistance application.  Awards are administered based upon merit, as defined by the Admissions Committee.

Dean's and Kennedy Fellowships

Incoming applicants who demonstrate exceptional academic ability and professional distinction, as defined by the Admissions Committee and the Financial Aid Committee, may be designated as Deans or Kennedy Fellows. These fellowship awards include a minimum of half-tuition, which may be augmented by need-based scholarships, depending on individual financial need.

Presidential Scholarships and Public Service Fellowships

Presidential Scholarships and Public Service Fellowships are among HKS' most prestigious student awards. These up to full-tuition and possible stipend fellowships have been established by alumni, friends and former president Lawrence Summers to support students who are committed to working in public service. As a demonstration of their commitment, successful applicants must be professionally employed in the public sector, broadly defined, for three years upon graduation. If the three-year commitment is not met, recipients repay the tuition portion of the grant.

Partnership Programs with United States Military Branches

HKS participates in partnerships with branches of the United States armed forces, including: United States Army, United States Air Force (through the Air Force Academy), United States Coast Guard (MC/MPA only.)

Yellow Ribbon Program

The Harvard Kennedy School is pleased to announce its participation in the Post 9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program. The Yellow Ribbon Program provides additional financial assistance to those veterans who qualify for 100% of Post 9/11 GI Bill Educational Benefits. For the upcoming academic year, the Harvard Kennedy School will provide 35 veterans scholarship assistance in the amount of $7,500 which will be matched by the Federal Government for a total assistance amount of $15,000. Participation is limited to 35 veterans and VA regulations stipulate that assistance must be provided on a first-come first-served basis. For the 201/2013 academic year, the Harvard Kennedy School will begin accepting applications for Yellow Ribbon on June 1, 2012.

An application for Yellow Ribbon will consist of the submission of a Notice of Enrollment Form (available in the Forms section on the MYFAID website) and either a copy of your VA Certificate of eligibility or a copy of your DD-214 (report of separation).  We will not accept application materials submitted prior to June 1. 

Please note: scholarship assistance cannot exceed tuition and fees from all sources. If an applicant receives scholarship assistance from the Kennedy School, $7,500 of this scholarship amount will be designated as the Yellow Ribbon match. If the total of scholarship assistance from the Kennedy School, the Yellow Ribbon program, and Chapter 33 benefits exceeds tuition and fees, the scholarship assistance offered by the Kennedy School will be reduced commensurately.

For more information of the Yellow Ribbon program, you are encouraged to review the terms at the United States Department of Veteran Affairs website. For additional information feel free to contact the Office of Student Financial Services

Tuition Assistance Plan (TAP) for Harvard University Employees

Harvard University employees may use TAP to pay tuition:

  • Only in the Mid-Career MPA program;
  • Only on a part-time basis (two credits per semester maximum);
  • Only with advance approval of the Admission Office;
  • Applicant must be TAP eligible per University guidelines (consult Harvie).