Exploring All Options for Funding Your HKS Education

Exploring All Options for Funding Your HKS Education

Now that both the admission and financial aid applications are behind you, we encourage you to explore additional opportunities to fund your HKS degree.  

In an ideal world, we would be able to provide financial assistance to all who are admitted to HKS. The truth, however, is that we have limited scholarship and fellowship resources and not all who apply receive funding. On average, about 30% of admitted students receive Harvard aid, so it is crucial that you to explore all options for funding. Most students rely on several funding sources to cover the cost of attendance. Potential sources for funding include:  

External Funding 

We strongly encourage applicants to explore and pursue opportunities for external funding. External funding can come from a variety of sources: affinity organizations, philanthropic foundations, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, private organizations, and beyond.  

You can begin your search for external funding sources with our Funding Resource Database, which includes information on many of the opportunities offered by outside organizations and agencies. Keep in mind that some of the fellowships listed in our database may require you to meet certain eligibility criteria, and they will have varying deadlines. While this database contains many opportunities, it is not meant to be exhaustive, so we encourage you to do additional research as well.   

Employer Support 

Employer support is another possible option for receiving funding for your HKS education. Some employers will cover all or part of the cost of a graduate degree for their employees. We encourage you to talk with your current employer to see whether they offer any educational benefits. Often, employers who provide this benefit will require a commitment to returning to work for some period after you receive your degree, but policies will vary. 

Personal Savings 

Personal savings are a resource that most of our students rely on to fund a portion of their HKS education. Personal savings may come from dedicated educational 529 plans, general savings accounts, or any number of sources. 


Many HKS students determine that they need to borrow to help bridge the gap between the cost of attendance and the other financial resources used to pay tuition. 

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may be eligible to borrow federal loans to help finance your education. To receive federal student loans, you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  

While international students are not eligible for U.S. federal student loans, there are options for applying for private education loans, which are generally credit-based loans.  

We know that student loan debt can be a significant obstacle for our graduates, particularly those who pursue careers in public service, as many of our graduates do. For graduates in modest-paying positions in the public or nonprofit sectors, our Loan Repayment Assistance Program and the Federal Public Services Loan Forgiveness Program can provide support for student loan repayment after graduation.  

Additional Fellowship Opportunities

While the primary HKS application for financial aid has now closed, we want you to be aware of an additional fellowship opportunity through the Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG). PEPG is currently accepting application for master’s fellowships focused on Education Entrepreneurship and Education Policy.  The deadline to apply for the 2022-23 PEPG Master’s Fellowship in Education Entrepreneurship is Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 12 p.m. ET.  Visit the PEPG website for further information. 

We also encourage you to explore the opportunities offered by the Harvard Committee on General Scholarships. Many scholarships have a March 1 deadline.