Financial Aid Application FAQs

Financial Aid Application FAQs

Now that the application for admission has closed,

applicants should focus on the application for financial aid. We recently held

a virtual financial aid Q&A session where applicants could submit questions

about financial aid. Here are some of the questions and answers from that


Have questions of your own? Attend our next Q&A session on Monday,

December 19 at 1 p.m. ET—register


Can international students apply for financial aid?

Yes, absolutely. Some specific awards may be limited to U.S.

citizens, but in general, international students are eligible to apply for

financial aid.

Does applying for financial assistance have any impact on my chance of

being admitted to HKS?

No, the admission application is

reviewed independently of the financial aid application. Applying for financial

assistance has no bearing on your admission decision.  

With regards to all the other fellowships that are not included in the

financial aid application, is a candidate automatically considered without

putting in an application?

If you want to be considered for HKS financial assistance,

you should submit the application for financial aid. You’ll see that some

awards have specific additional application requirements, such as essays, but

by submitting the overall application, you will be considered for all other

awards for which you are eligible.

When is the deadline for applying for scholarships? If I apply earlier, am

I more likely to receive a scholarship?

The deadline to submit the HKS application for financial aid

is Friday, January 6, 2023 at 3 p.m. ET. You are more than welcome to submit

your application prior to this date, but you are no more likely to receive funding

if you apply before the deadline.

Can I repeat or reiterate things already said in the HKS application in my

scholarship/fellowship essays? Are admissions essays shared with the

scholarship committees?

It is okay to repeat information from your admission

application, but keep your audience in mind. The fellowship committees are

trying to determine if you are a good fit for that particular fellowship and

the cohort of fellows they are building, whereas the admissions committee is

more focused on determining your fit for the Kennedy School more broadly. We

advise you to emphasize why you are a good fit for that particular fellowship

in your fellowship application essays.  

Admissions essays are not shared with scholarship

committees. We encourage you to write your fellowship essays with the

understanding that this is the only essay the fellowship committees are reading

to learn about you, your experiences, and goals.

If I am enrolling in a concurrent degree with an institution outside

Harvard, can I use my scholarship when attending the other institution?

HKS funding can only apply while

you are enrolled at HKS.

Should I apply for all HKS fellowships I feel I am competitive

for? Or should I just focus on one fellowship


You are welcome to apply for as many scholarships or

fellowships for which you are eligible. Please keep in mind that you may be

required to write individual essays for each scholarship, so it’s important to

get started on your financial aid application ASAP—particularly if you plan to

apply for multiple scholarships.  

Is there a specific format we should follow for our fellowship essays? Do you have sample essays?

Most fellowships with essay requirements will have the specific format outlined on the financial aid application. If the format is not specified in the

description of the fellowship, essays should not exceed two pages in length and

should be single spaced. PDF format is preferred for all submissions. Our

office does not have sample essays; we encourage all applicants to be authentic

in their essays and to follow the prompts provided for specific fellowships.

Who can we contact if we have questions about the financial aid


Please email our team at

if you have questions about the financial aid application. Another financial

aid application Q&A session will be hosted on December 19 at 1

p.m. ET.