Financial Aid & Funding - Graduate Students

Financial Aid

Graduate students may receive financial support in the form of

  1. University fellowships and assistantships;
  2. work-study assistantships;
  3. departmental assistantships;
  4. fellowships and other awards sponsored through federal, state and private grants;
  5. GI benefits; and
  6. student loans.

Though some awards are restricted to incoming graduate students, many, if not most, are available to all graduate students. Students are urged to apply for fellowships available through national, regional, and foundation sources, as well as for those offered by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

UNC Funding Resources:

The Graduate School awards university fellowships and assistantships, including the Merit Assistantship Program, the Minority Presence Grant Program, and the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships. For information on these awards, refer to the Graduate School Record or contact The Graduate School.

The Office of Scholarships and Student Aid administers federal work-study assistantships and student loans. For information, forms, and applications contact the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.

School of Education Graduate Assistantships

Graduate student assistantships are paid positions offered on the basis of skills and qualifications of the applicant. Students may hold assistantships in the School of Education or in other schools and departments of the University. Each assistantship is separately administered by the funding school/department. Students may be enrolled full- or part-time during the term of the award.

Qualified graduate students may be considered for assistantship positions by program coordinators, faculty committees or principal investigators of grants. At present, only a limited number of assistantships in the School of Education are available.

Please contact your program coordinator for information on available assistantships. The Office of Student Affairs does not have information about specific jobs.

Teaching Assistantships

The recommended criteria for students obtaining a teaching assistantship are the following:

  1. a major in the content area;
  2. knowledge of the public school systems and how they function;
  3. ability to communicate clearly and effectively with students in an instructional role; and
  4. three years of experience in teaching with an emphasis in the particular area of methodology (for student teaching supervision).
Research Assistantships

Students awarded research assistantships possess the following characteristics: an ability to work with a research team; an interest in research and evaluation; knowledge of research methodology; and knowledge of and skill in the use of computers. Students work in one of two areas during their assistantship: research and evaluation in teacher education or on specific research grants.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistants are chosen for possessing the following qualities: the ability to learn procedures quickly in an office setting; skill in typing, filing, and other general office tasks; good communication skills and ability to communicate well with faculty, students, staff, and the general public; and, for some positions, knowledge of and skill in computer use and applications and editing and proofreading skills.

This type of assistantship consists of more general office work. Some possible positions include general assistants for program or project offices.

School of Education Fellowships, Scholarships & Awards

With the exception of the awards in School Counseling, the Dixie Spiegel and the Templeton, students may self-nominate for any award that is not used for recruitment. Students may also receive faculty nominations. To be considered for a recruitment award, students must be nominated by a School of Education faculty member.

Funds to support graduate students

Anne and Wilson Brown Award – This award was established by Anne and Wilson M. Brown III. Anne received her A.B.Ed. in Early Childhood Education in 1974 and Wilson received his A.B. in English the same year. The award is given annually to a doctoral student working with a faculty member on a research project that involves the teaching and learning of reading and/or writing. Faculty working in this area will specify the project on which they are working and outline the need for graduate student assistance. Award amount is $2,500 and used for recruitment.

Barbara Holland Chapman and John Franklin Chapman Graduate Fellowship – This award is given annually to a doctoral student pursuing the study of literacy with preference to Curriculum and Instruction. The Fellowship honors Dr. Barbara Holland Chapman and Dr. John Franklin Chapman, both of whom received their doctoral training at UNC. John is professor emeritus in the School of Medicine and Barbara is a retired principal of New Hope Elementary School in Orange County. Award amount is $2,000 and used for recruitment.

Samuel M. Holton Graduate Fellowship in Foundations of Education – This Fellowship was created by Samuel H. Holton, the late professor emeritus of social foundations of education and his late wife, Margaret, in 2000 to help support doctoral candidates studying the history or philosophy of education. Holton served on the faculty of the School of Education from 1948 until his retirement in 1987. He was chair of the social foundations area, supervised the dissertation research of more than 50 doctoral candidates and received several teaching awards. Students interested in this award must be nominated by a faculty member.

Susan Friel Graduate Student Stipend for Mathematics Education – This stipend is awarded to graduate students, with a preference for doctoral students, whose studies are in mathematics education at the School of Education. Priority is given to students who are midway through their program and who could benefit from a stipend to help offset the costs of their education and provide them the financial capability to complete their course of study without having to work. The award is named in honor of Susan Friel, Professor of Mathematics Education at the School of Education.

Ira and Esther Gordon Scholarship – This scholarship was established by Esther Gordon to honor the work of her late husband, Dr. Ira J. Gordon, former School of Education dean and a Kenan professor who died in 1978. Gordon was a nationally renowned expert in early childhood and parent education and development. The Gordon Scholarship is awarded annually to an incoming doctoral student who has high academic potential and a strong interest in one or more of the following areas: parents, parent education, at-risk children, family literacy, or child development. Award amount is $12,000 and used for recruitment.

Carol and William Malloy Travel Award – This award, was established by emeriti, faculty members, Drs. Carol and William Malloy, longtime professors in the School of Education. Awards are made to assist graduate students with travel expenses incurred while sharing their research at education conferences. Professor William Malloy had a 44-year career in education. He came to the School of Education at Carolina in 1992 and taught and mentored graduate students in educational administration and leadership for 15 years. Carol Malloy received her Ph.D. from the School of Education in 1995. She joined the faculty and taught curriculum and foundations courses for graduate students, secondary mathematics methods courses in the Master of Arts in Teaching program, and mathematics for middle and elementary pre-service students until her retirement in 2009. This award provides up to $400 for travel to professional conferences.

Alan Coningsby Moore Scholarship – This scholarship, established by Alan Coningsby Moore, is awarded annually to a student who is or shows an interest in coaching an athletic team as a part of their teaching career. Preference is given to students pursuing their master’s degree in teacher education. Moore was a life-long teacher and coach. He taught and coached at the University of Florida from 1953 to 1990, though Professor Emeritus Moore’s heart still beats Carolina blue. He entered the School of Education, earned his M.Ed., and coached the soccer and lacrosse teams from 1950 to 1953. Award amount is $1,000.

The Nancy Blanche Norman Scholarship provides a scholarship for a female student pursuing a graduate degree that will lead to a successful career in public education. Dr. Norman received her master’s degree in elementary education in 1943 and a doctorate in administration and supervision in 1965 from UNC. She taught in Wentworth, Draper and Leaksville (now Eden) prior to becoming a principal at Burton Grove School from 1945-1975. She was the first female principal in North Carolina to receive her doctorate in education. During summer vacations she taught at Boston College, UNC, Western Carolina and Duke. She received a research grant for a study on principal leadership styles that was used by the state as a teaching aid. Award amount is $2,000.

James B. and Susan H. Pittleman Fellowship – Long-time friends of the School of Education Jimmy and Susan Pittleman of McLean, Va., established this fellowship to support a graduate student pursuing study and research in the field of special education. Jimmy Pittleman received his undergraduate degree in business administration in 1962. The Pittlemans were motivated by their own family’s experience with the challenges of educating a child with learning differences. They are true believers in the efficacy of the new technologies that have emerged in the last two decades to help students with learning differences succeed in the classroom and in life. Award amount is $9,000.

Linnea W. Smith Innovations Fund – This service award of $12,000 was established to honor the work of Dr. Linnea W. Smith, a tireless advocate for exploited women and children. A psychiatrist by profession, she is dedicated to educating children, teachers, parents and community members on the impact of pornography on our society. Preference for students with high academic potential and a strong interest in research that focuses on one of the following: identification and effects of child abuse and neglect, bullying and interpersonal violence, sexualization of childhood and its impact on classroom culture, promotion of teacher competence in cultural sensitivity, increased risks of special needs children and other factors that hinder a child’s ability to learn and thrive in the classroom. Award amount is $10,000 and used for recruitment.

Dixie Lee Spiegel Fund – This fund, created to honor the contributions of Dr. Spiegel, is available for graduate students who have emergency financial need. During her 28-year career, Dixie Spiegel was a professor of literacy studies and served in significant administrative posts, including director of accreditation, director of graduate studies, director of admissions, associate dean for students and senior associate dean. At the University level, Spiegel provided leadership as chair of the Student Health Committee, chair of the Minorities and Disadvantaged Committee, chair of the Disability Subcommittee of Undergraduate Admissions, member of the Graduate School Advisory Board and initiator of a course for learning disabled students on campus. This fund is used to respond to crisis situations only. Students should connect with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs if they believe they have a situation that might warrant an award.

The Charles S. Templeton Scholarship was established by Charles S. Templeton (A.B.Ed. ’34) in memory of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Templeton. Templeton came to Carolina in 1930 from China Grove in Rowan County. After graduating, he taught school in Chapel Hill and Durham and earned a master’s degree in school administration at Columbia University. During World War II he was First Lt. Templeton in the U.S. Army Air Force. After the war his new career as a hospital administrator took him to Florida and Georgia. Along the way his life was full — of friends, music, books, Carolina sports, and his large extended family back in North Carolina. He died in 2000. Award amounts vary.

Awards in School Counseling

Galassi-Brown Award – This award was named for Drs. John P. Galassi and Duane Brown, both full professors in the School of Education who contributed more than 60 years of combined service. Since 1973, both Dr. Galassi and Dr. Brown have led through their research and scholarship. Most importantly, they devoted time and attention to the students of the counseling program and have been stalwart advocates for the profession. The Galassi-Brown Advocacy Award (recipients nominated by peers, faculty and public school personnel) recognizes the school counseling student who is judged by the faculty to have gone beyond expectations and demonstrated exceptional advocacy for the students they serve, the schools where they work and the school counseling profession. Award amount is $250 - $500.

W. D. Perry Award – This award was named for Dr. William D. Perry, a former full professor in the School of Education who provided more than 30 years of leadership. After coming to the UNC-Chapel Hill in 1939, Dr. Perry exerted a major influence in the development both of the counseling program and the Guidance and Testing Center. The Center continued to serve the University for many years after Dr. Perry retired in 1973. The Perry award (recipients nominated by peers, faculty and public school personnel) continues to recognize the student who is judged by the faculty to have demonstrated excellence of achievement in academics, outstanding performance in the counseling field placement coupled with unwavering adherence to ethical and professional standards, and demonstrated student leadership within the program. Award amount is $250.

Awards in Educational Leadership and Policy, Leadership and School Improvement

Patrick W. and Janet R. Carlton Award for Dissertation Research in Educational Leadership – This award was established by Dr. Patrick Carlton, who received his master’s in science education and Ph.D. in Education in 1966 from Carolina. He is currently a professor and Graduate Coordinator of the Masters in Public Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The Carlton Award provides a $500 award to a doctoral student working on his or her dissertation in educational leadership.

The Virginia Carter Gobbel Fellowship is awarded annually to a graduate student in educational leadership who wishes to pursue a career in the public schools either as a teacher or administrator. The Gobbel Fellowship was established by Ann Gobbel (A.B.Ed. ’57) and Noel Sullivan (B.S.B.A. ’56) whose mothers were both teachers. Ann’s mother, Virginia Gobbel, started her career in a one-room schoolhouse near Salisbury, N.C. Noel’s mother taught English at Chapel Hill High School. Award amounts vary based on decision of the selection committee but typically range from $2,000 to $10,000 a year.

Guy B. Phillips Fellowship – Graduate students in Policy, Leadership and School Improvement are invited to submit an application for this internship with the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA). The internship comes with a $5,000 stipend and will be awarded to a graduate student who presents a compelling and engaging research proposal to be accomplished in collaboration with NCSBA. This fellowship was established in honor of the late Guy B. Phillips who was a professor of education and director of the summer session. Dr. Phillips graduated from Carolina in 1913. From 1937 to 1958, he was director of the summer session and dean of the School from 1948 to 1954.

The William C. Self Award is awarded to an outstanding doctoral student in Policy, Leadership and School Improvement. Self, dean of the School of Education from 1978 to 1982, earned two graduate degrees from the School of Education, an M.A. degree in 1948 and an Ed.D. in 1956. He devoted his career to addressing issues of educational equity. Before becoming dean, Self served as superintendent of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System from 1967 to 1972, leading that system as it implemented racial desegregation policies. Award amount is $2,000.

James Yadkin Joyner Fellowship in Education Policy – The James Yadkin Joyner Fellowship in Education Policy is a two-year award given to a student committed to the study of education policy and research. To be considered for the Joyner Fellowship, students must be admitted to the Ph.D. program in Policy, Leadership and School Improvement and nominated by a member of the PLS faculty. Preference will be given to incoming students who are new to the program. Established in 2003 by Musette Sprunt Morgan (A.B.Ed. ’76) and Allen Benners Morgan (B.A. ’65), the fellowship honors the legacy of Musette Morgan’s great-grandfather, who served as North Carolina’s State Superintendent of Public Education from 1902-1917 and was well known for bringing sweeping reform and improvement to the state's system of public education. The award is for $20,000 and is a non-service award so does not include health benefits and tuition. (It should be noted that if you are receiving other financial aid, this award may reduce that aid).

Awards in Learning Sciences and Psychological Studies

MetaMetrics Fellowship in Learning Sciences and Psychological Studies – This fellowship is awarded to recruit or retain a top scholar who is pursuing higher education in the area of Educational Psychology, Measurement and Evaluation. This award includes an annual stipend, health benefits, and full in-state tuition. The awardee is required to work for the faculty supervisor of the MetaMetrics Fellowship and has the opportunity to engage with MetaMetrics, Inc. Interest in applying for the MetaMetrics Fellowship should be indicated on the applicant’s essay. Nominations for this award must come from a faculty member in the Learning Sciences and Psychological Studies. Award equals a full time assistantship. This award is for recruitment.

Awards in Special Education

Vinnie Ireland Fellowship – The Vinnie Ireland Fellowship, created through the generosity of Gregg and Lori Ireland, Vinnie’s parents, supports a graduate student whose research focuses on adolescents and young adults with developmental disabilities, in particular on the kinds of programs and services that will best educate these young people for life. Award amount is $25,000. This award is used for recruitment.

Marvin Wyne Memorial Scholarship – Named for Marvin Wyne, who was a professor of special education at the School for 20 years, until his death in 1987, the Marvin Wyne Fellowship is awarded annually to a student interested in working with children with special needs. This $500 scholarship is given annually to an outstanding doctoral student. Preference is given to doctoral students preparing for work in special education, with a focus in developmental disabilities or learning disabilities,who have a strong interest in both teaching and research. This award is used for recruitment.

For more information, contact:

Office of Student Affairs
103 Peabody Hall, CB 3500
UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3500
(919) 966-1346

Additional Sources of Funding

School of Education Traineeships

Some full-time graduate students may receive traineeships. The amount of the stipend varies from year to year, and funding is not guaranteed. Students should check with their program area coordinator or advisor for information.

American Chemical Society (ACS) - Hach Second Career Teacher Scholarship

The ACS-Hach Second Career Teacher Scholarship is awarded to professionals in the chemistry field pursuing a masters in education or teacher certification to teach high school chemistry.

ASCA Foundation Scholarship

To help future school counselors fulfill their educational goals, the American School Counselor Association Foundation awards $1,000 scholarships for up to 10 deserving students enrolled in full-time master's-level school counseling programs.

Epsilon Sigma Alpha Foundation Scholarships

Epsilon Sigma Alpha is a non-profit/tax exempt 501(c)3 organization providing scholarships to individuals training for work with exceptional children, excluding the academically gifted.

Interdisciplinary Preparation of Culturally Responsive Practitioners in Early Education

The program’s goal is to prepare master's level and advanced licensure students to meet the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse young children and their families in early childhood and elementary school settings.

Specialization includes:

  • in-state tuition support for part-time students, including academic year and summer tuition
  • annual stipend of $2,400 ($800 per semester)
  • student travel to attend national and state conferences

Knowles Teaching Fellows Program

The Knowles Teaching Fellows Program is a funding opportunity at the national level for students interested in teaching physical science, chemistry, physics and mathematics at the high school level.

North Carolina Principal Fellows Program

A competitive, merit-based scholarship loan program that is funded by the North Carolina General Assembly, the NC Principal Fellows Program assists selected individuals to prepare for a career in school administration (i.e., assistant principal or principal). Each scholarship loan will provide funding for up to two years in the amount of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) per year to support students who enroll in and complete a full-time, two-year master's degree program in school administration at one of the participating institutions of the University of North Carolina. Recipients of the scholarship loan must be willing to practice at an approved site in N.C. as a full-time administrator for two years for each year of funding (four years) or repay in cash.

ACA Foundation's Annual Graduate Student Scholarship Competitions

Since its inception, the ACA Foundation has been a strong supporter of counseling graduate students. From scholarship awards for attendance at the ACA Annual Conference to underwriting the Graduate Student/New Professional Center and special education events at the Conference, the ACA Foundation has taken an active role in helping counseling students become more involved in this exciting and demanding profession.

Through the Graduate Student Scholarship Competitions, the ACA Foundation is able to provide financial support and recognition to deserving graduate students, while encouraging all counseling students to think about the future of this profession and the role they will be playing in it.

Forgivable Education Loans for Service

Established by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2011, the Forgivable Education Loans for Service provides financial assistance to qualified students enrolled in an approved education program and committed to working in critical employment shortage professions in North Carolina. For the 2014-15 academic year eligible degree programs may be found by clicking the link below. The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority provides administration for the program.