Funding opportunities are limited at Harvard Kennedy School. We strongly encourage you to research possible funding resources offered by:
- Your former employers
- Affinity organizations
- Philanthropic foundations
- Your previous school, college, or university
- Government agencies
- Nongovernmental organizations
- Private organizations
Harvard Kennedy School Fellowships
HKS awards competitive fellowships and scholarships based on merit and need, as determined by our Admissions Committee. Additional institutional funding is restricted to specific criteria such as students’ area of study, citizenship, or region.
You are expected to complete the Application for Financial Assistance during the admissions process. All available funds are committed for the length of your master's degree program. There are very few opportunities to apply for fellowship or scholarship funding after you are enrolled at HKS.
Several fellowship and scholarship opportunities are listed below that you will automatically be considered for as part of the financial assistance process.
Presidential Scholarships and Public Service Fellowships
These are among our most prestigious student awards, and they typically cover the full HKS tuition. These fellowships were established by former Harvard president Lawrence Summers, alumni, and donors to support students committed to careers in public service. As demonstration of their commitment, recipients must be professionally employed in the public sector, broadly defined, for three years after they graduate from HKS. If they do not meet their three-year commitment, they are required to repay the tuition portion of their grant.
Dean's and Kennedy Fellowships
You may be considered for a Dean’s or Kennedy Fellowship if you demonstrate exceptional academic ability and professional distinction. The amount of these fellowships varies depending on your financial need.
Harvard University’s Committee on General Scholarships
The Committee on General Scholarships (CGS) awards a range of financial assistance to Harvard students. CGS funding is very competitive—admitted applicants and current students from across Harvard are eligible.
CGS restricted scholarships are awarded to recipients who live in specific cities, states, or regions, or are descendants of a particular ancestry or family. These scholarships range in amount—typically a few thousand dollars—and are meant to provide supplementary funding. You will be considered for CGS restricted scholarships based on the information you provide in your Application for Financial Assistance.
CGS international fellowships are country specific. They are not awarded through HKS and require a separate application. Application details, contact information, and a full list of fellowship and restricted scholarship opportunities are available on the CGS website.
Partnerships with United States Armed Forces
HKS has developed partnerships with these branches of the United States Armed Forces:
- United States Air Force (Air Force Academy)
- United States Army (Military Academy West Point)
- United States Coast Guard (MC/MPA Program only)
Yellow Ribbon Program
We are proud to participate in the Post-9/11 GI BillTM’s Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides additional financial assistance to veterans who qualify for 100 percent of the Post-9/11 GI BillTM’s educational benefits.
Veterans who are eligible will receive $7,500 in scholarship assistance from HKS for the upcoming academic year. The U.S. government will match this amount, providing veterans with a total of $15,000 in assistance.
Yellow Ribbon applications will be accepted starting on June 1 for the upcoming academic year. We will not accept applications before this date.
If you are a qualified candidate and plan to apply, you will need to submit:
- A Notice of Enrollment Form (available in the “Forms” section on MYFAID) and
- A copy of your Certificate of Eligibility issued by the VA or your DD 214 (report of separation)
Scholarship assistance cannot exceed tuition and fees from all sources. If you receive scholarship assistance from HKS, $7,500 of this scholarship amount will be designated as the Yellow Ribbon match. If the total of scholarship assistance from HKS, the Yellow Ribbon Program, and Chapter 33 benefits exceeds tuition and fees, the scholarship assistance offered by HKS will be reduced commensurately.
Tuition Assistance Plan (TAP) for Harvard University Employees
If you are a Harvard University employee, you may be eligible to use TAP to pay for your tuition if you are enrolled in the MC/MPA Program on a part-time basis, eight credits per semester at most, and received advance approval of the Office of Admissions.
Visit the Tuition Assistance page in HARVie to see if you are eligible.