Financial Support

The following financial information is a listing of the categories of financial help that may be available to graduate students. However, in many instances, specific sources of assistance are available only at certain times of the year and require application with a deadline enforced. With respect to campus-based aid (special non-resident waivers, loans, and college work-study), applications should be made the January preceding the fall/spring semester for which aid is desired. To obtain specific details about a particular type of financial assistance, contact the Office of Financial Aid, Museum Building, Stop 8077, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209-8077, (208) 282-2756.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To acquire and retain financial support as a graduate student, almost all sources of funds require that the student must maintain satisfactory academic progress.

For graduate assistantships and fellowships, students ordinarily must earn nine graduate credit hours or more each semester and maintain a 3.0 grade point average. Some departments may require additional evidence of satisfactory progress for a student to remain eligible to receive assistantship or fellowship support. Students who receive financial aid through the Office of Financial Aid must meet the criteria established by that office for satisfactory progress to remain eligible for further aid.

Assistantships and Fellowships

Assistantships and fellowships are awarded at the departmental or college level. Requests for consideration of these awards should be directed to the graduate program director, department chair, or academic dean of a specific academic unit. Most assistantships and fellowships are awarded on an academic year basis. These awards are generally made in the spring for the following academic year. To ensure consideration, a request for such financial support should be made to the academic unit by February or March. Contact individual departments or colleges for specific application deadlines.

Only those applying as classified (degree-seeking) students are eligible to apply for graduate assistantships or fellowships. Classified with Performance Requirements and Unclassified students are not eligible for internal graduate assistantships or fellowships. Because full-time graduate assistants are expected to work up to 19.5 hours per week, the maximum number of graduate credits an assistant may earn in a given semester is 12. Normally, a full-time graduate assistant is expected to carry a minimum of nine graduate credits, which is a full load. DA Fellows are expected to carry a minimum of nine graduate credits per semester. Permission to carry fewer than nine or more than 12 credits may be granted by the Dean of the Graduate School upon written recommendation of the student's advisor or program director. However, since the Idaho State Board of Education requires that graduate assistants be full-time fee-paying students, graduate assistants who are approved to take fewer than full-time graduate credits will still be charged full-time tuition/fees.

Doctoral graduate assistants ordinarily receive higher stipends than those at the master's level. Full-time graduate assistants and fellows may also be awarded scholarships to cover in-state student fees, student health insurance, and nonresident tuition in addition to the stipend.

A student with a graduate assistantship or fellowship may be employed in addition to the awarded stipend. This employment may only occur with permission of the Dean of the Graduate School and usually must be limited to 6 hours per week. Requests for permission for such employment must be sent in writing by the department chair or graduate program director to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Graduate Assistantships

There are about 200 assistantships available across the University; most of these require serving as an instructor or research assistant for a department. Most assistantships are awarded in the spring semester for the next academic year. Full-time assistants are expected to work up to 19.5 hours/week for their stipend. Contact the department chair or graduate program director for assistantship application information.

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA)

Graduate Teaching Assistants are involved in classroom instruction, supervision of laboratory sections, grading papers and/or examinations, or other equivalent duties related to the delivery of instruction or the assessment of a student’s mastery of it.  While Graduate Teaching Assistants play a valuable role in delivering curriculum to undergraduate students, they should not merely be used as a departmental instructional resource.  Time spent as a Graduate Teaching Assistant should prepare emerging scholars to become effective and impactful instructors as part of their professional development. 

Graduate assistants who are international students, whose native language is not English, and who have been assigned to teach, must complete an English speaking proficiency examination, usually the Spoken English Assessment Kit (SPEAK), administered at the ISU Student Success Center. In order for an international student to be awarded a GA and teach a course, the student must score 23 or above on the Speaking Section of the TOEFL iBT. An exemption from this examination will be made for students from countries where English is the official language. Examples of such countries include: Australia, Canada, Commonwealth Caribbean countries, Ghana, the Republic of Ireland, Liberia, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland).

Graduate Research Assistants (GRA)

Graduate Research Assistants are involved in advancing the research mission of the institution primarily by supporting faculty-led research initiatives in the lab or similar research space.  Research assistants are generally involved in gathering and/or analyzing data, running experiments, directing lab activities, drafting research reports, etc.  Time spent as a Graduate Research Assistant should prepare emerging scholars to become effective and impactful researchers as part of their professional development. 

Graduate Research Assistantships may be funded through the Graduate School or through grant monies or other external sources. Conditions of employment and amounts of compensation vary. Questions about such sources of support should be directed to the academic departments or colleges.

Graduate Assistant (GA)

Graduate Assistants are involved in advancing the programs or departments they serve by supporting the development and execution of strategic initiatives.  Duties of Graduate Assistants vary, but they typically support program or departmental leadership in such things as recruiting efforts, communications and outreach, event planning and execution, special initiative development, etc.  Graduate Assistants should not be used as administrative assistants, and their experience should prepare them to become effective professionals who understand the broader contexts of working in a higher education environment.


Doctor of Arts Fellowships are awarded each year to students admitted to and enrolled in Doctor of Arts programs. These fellowships are available in the Departments of Biological Sciences, Mathematics, and Political Science. Most of these fellowships are awarded in the spring semester for the next academic year. Contact the departments for details and applications. Please be aware that the entire DA Fellowship award (tuition/fee scholarship and the monthly stipend) is disbursed as scholarships and will impact a student's federal financial aid eligibility.

Contact, Location, and Phone Number:

Biological Sciences, Life Sciences Bldg., 208-282-3765

Mathematics, Physical Sciences Bldg.,208-282-3350

Political Science, Graveley Hall, 208-282-2211

Tuition and Fee Scholarships

Departments may offer tuition and fee scholarships as separate awards to graduate assistants, research assistants, and DA Fellows. However, these offers are at the discretion of the departments. Non-resident tuition waivers accompany all graduate assistantships and DA Fellowships but are offered as separate scholarships.

Non-Resident Tuition Waivers (NRTW)

There are several categories of non-resident tuition waivers. In each case a different contact person or procedure must be followed in applying. It is important to note that these waivers do not cover the required in-state enrollment fees, but only the non-resident tuition. Unless other scholarships are awarded, the student must pay the in-state enrollment fees each semester, including summer.

Limited numbers of these awards are distributed on a competitive basis. To be eligible for consideration for an NRTW, a graduate student must have Classified admitted status and have submitted GRE/GMAT/MAT scores to the Graduate School. Students should apply using the form supplied by the Graduate School. NRTW applications must be received by May 1st for the following fall semester consideration and by December 1st for the following spring semester. The non-resident tuition waiver may be granted for the academic year or for one semester only. Awards are made after final grades for the current semester are recorded.

Minimum Criteria:

· Must be full-time (at least 9 graduate credits each semester)

· Must be a degree-seeking graduate student

· Must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 at the time of award and for award renewal

· Awards are renewable for up to eight semesters based on meeting the minimum criteria

· Preference given to academically superior students in under-subscribed majors

Graduate Programs that currently do not qualify for a NRTW:  Speech-Language Pathology, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, & Physical Therapy.

Other Non-Resident Tuition Waivers (NRTW)

Additional waivers beyond those described may be available and require application to the appropriate office. These waivers are awarded on a competitive basis. Contact and application may be made to the offices listed below:

  • Financial Needs — contact: Financial Aid Office, RM 337, Museum Bldg., phone: 208-282-2756
  • International Students — contact: Division of Student Affairs, RM 184, Hypostyle, phone: 208-282-2315 

Loans and Grants

Loans may be available to graduate students. To inquire about application and eligibility requirements contact the Office of Financial Aid, Room 337, Museum Building, Stop 8077, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209-8077, (208) 282-2756.

Federal grant programs administered by the Office of Financial Aid are not available to graduate students. Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and State Student Incentive Grant Programs are only available to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s degree. Special non-resident waivers administered by the Office of Financial Aid are available to graduate students who are citizens or eligible non-citizens and meet other financial need criteria.

Research Grants

A small fund in the Office of Research has been created to provide money to graduate students on a competitive basis to conduct thesis or dissertation research. Research proposals with budgets must be submitted to the Office of Research by deadlines established and posted on the Office of Research website. Guidelines for research grant proposal preparation are available from the Office of Research. The Call for Proposals is typically sent out the first Monday in February for the following fall semester, and the last Monday in September for spring semester awards.


Scholarships are available to graduate students in some instances. Announcements of scholarships currently available are posted on the scholarship bulletin board located outside the Office of Financial Aid (Museum Building, Room 327). Please note that some scholarship categories are discontinued at times and new ones are created. Therefore, a regular check at the Office of Financial Aid may be useful to interested students. In addition, there may be off-campus scholarship sources such as parents’ or spouses’ employers, fraternal organizations, churches, businesses, or national foundations. These sources may be discovered by a systematic and careful search by the student. Departments/colleges may also have specific scholarships.

Limited numbers of ASISU scholarships, which are derived from student fee payments, are available to graduate students. These are awarded on a competitive basis. Application materials can be obtained from the offices of Deans of academic colleges, the Office of Research and the Graduate School near the middle of each semester. The Graduate Student Scholarship Committee recommends awardees to the Scholarship Office and the ASISU Senate. Graduate student applications for consideration of ASISU scholarships must be returned to the Graduate School to be considered for a graduate student ASISU scholarship.

Employment Information

A student with a graduate assistantship or fellowship may seek additional on-campus employment. Such employment is traditionally limited to 6 hours a week and requires permission of the Dean of the Graduate School. Requests for permission for such employment must be sent in writing by the department chair or graduate program director to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Student employment opportunities can be found at the Career Center’s website or call (208) 282-2778.

Work Study positions are part of a financial aid package and are administered through the Office of Financial Aid. A complete list of work study positions is available on their website

Travel Funds

Graduate students may request aid for travel expenses to present papers on thesis or dissertation research at regional or national meetings. Such requests should be presented only after a paper has been accepted by the official sponsoring organization of the discipline. Funds for such purposes are very limited, and only modest requests are likely to be funded. Funds for such purposes should be requested sequentially from the following contact points:

Academic Department

Academic College

Office of Research

Graduate School

When submitting written requests to the Office of Research for travel funds, a breakdown of expenses for registration, lodging, travel, and per diem is necessary. See the Office of Research website for details.

Thesis and Dissertation Research Costs

Some academic departments meet at least some of the costs of thesis and dissertation research. In some instances, such costs may be met by extramural funds obtained by faculty and/or departments. With the exception of the small research grant program listed previously, the Office of Research does not provide funds for such purposes and will refer students to the department chair or dean of the college when such requests occur. Publication costs of theses and dissertations are met by the student unless a faculty member or department chooses to pay such costs with available funds.

Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP)

The Western Regional Graduate Program WRGP) makes high-quality, distinctive graduate programs and healthcare-related programs available to students of the West at the resident tuition rate. As part of the Student Exchange Program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, WRGP helps place students in a wide range of graduate programs, all designed around the educational, social, and economic needs of the West.

Through WRGP, residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are eligible to enroll in available programs outside of their home state at resident tuition rates. Students need not demonstrate financial need.

To be included in WRGP, programs must meet the criteria of distinctiveness (if they are not related to healthcare) and quality. Programs are nominated by their institutions. At this time, some 250 programs from more than 45 Western institutions participate. A full list of WRGP programs is on the WRGP website,

To be considered for the WRGP tuition rate, students simply apply directly to the department of the enrolling institution and identify themselves as WICHE WRGP applicants. Contact information for each participating program is listed in the WRGP online directory. WRGP students must fulfill all the usual requirements of the department and institution concerned and meet all admission deadlines.

For a list of current ISU graduate programs approved by WGRP please see

For more information please visit the WRGP website: