Additional Funding for Your Education


Assistant Director of Financial Aid

E-mail Beverly


Scholarships, fellowships, internships, and grants are often overlooked components of graduate educational funding. At Sarah Lawrence, we want to make sure our students are fully informed of the many financial opportunities provided to graduate students by individuals, foundations, and organizations across the nation.

Who Gives Money For Graduate Education?

Generally, support to individuals pursuing graduate degrees is given in the form of grants, fellowships, residencies, low-interest loans, and internships. The types of organizations you will be researching are nonprofits, such as foundations and civic, fraternal, religious, political, educational, and social welfare organizations. In addition, some corporations give money to individuals for education.

Create a Personal Profile

Before identifying potential funders it is important to think about who you are. Knowing what makes you unique can help you narrow the field on your search for funds and help you present yourself as a good match to potential funders. Your fundraising profile is part autobiography, part resume, part genealogical heritage. Funders are interested in where you are from, where your parents are/were from, or where they worked. Your ethnic and religious background may also be relevant as well as your family’s membership in local organizations or unions.

The Foundation Center offers a useful resource for developing your personal profile.

Search For Funds

There are several search engines available online to aid you in your pursuit of funding.

  • The Foundation Center provides a database of organizations with available funds.
  • Guidestar creates an online profile that you can use to research organizations that might consider a funding request from you. Guidestar is not specifically focused on scholarships but rather on helping individuals research nonprofits. Students have found that registering for Guidestar Basic helps in learning to navigate their system.
  • Philanthropy News Digest’s Requests for Proposals page­ is a regularly updated list of organizations requesting   applications for funds.


Applying for grants, scholarships, fellowships, etc is often an in-depth process similar to applying to school. Though there is a common application, the majority of organizations request supplemental information or have their own distinct application. Common requests include a resume, references, essays, statements of intent, and letters of recommendation. Organizations offering need-based funds may also ask for financial information.

Be certain that you have the most recent application guidelines, as they often change year-to-year. To make sure, visit the organization’s website or phone the organization directly. Also, once you have applied, check with the funder to confirm that they have received your application.