Financial Aid Application FAQs (Part 2)

Financial Aid Application FAQs (Part 2)



of our applicants have turned their attention

to the

financial aid application in advance of the January 24 deadline, we’ve seen an increase


the number of questions about the application. Read below for responses

to several specific questions we’ve received this week.


applying to

the HKS/HBS joint

degree program and

am interested in

the Rubenstein Fellowship. Do I need to submit any additional essays? 





required to be considered for the Rubenstein Fellowship,

which is

available to students admitted to the joint

master’s degree program at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School.

All applicants admitted to the HKS/HBS joint degree are eligible but

funding is not guaranteed. Applicants will be considered based on their demonstrated commitment to public


leadership potential in the tri-sector space,

and interest in the fellowship. Successful candidates will also demonstrate


academic credentials.  


I need to submit additional letters of recommendation for the Zuckerman Fellowship? 


Zuckerman Fellowship

Program application is separate and apart from the HKS financial aid application. Candidates for the Zuckerman

Fellowship will be required to complete a fellowship application form and

upload supplemental materials through the online portal managed by

the Harvard Committee on General Scholarships. 


letters of recommendation for the Zuckerman Fellowship Program may (or may not) be from the same

recommenders that provided

recommendations for your HKS admission application, but they

should be distinct for the fellowship. If they are the same recommenders, it is

understandable that there may be overlap, but the letters of recommendation

should be written specifically for the Zuckerman Fellowship Program application.


for the fellowship will need to upload their respective letter of

recommendation once prompted through the

application portal. 


see that public service fellowships require a commitment to be

employed in non-profit or public sector after graduation, but I don’t know where I will be

employed after HKS. Should I apply anyway? 


do expect that recipients of public service fellowships commit

to working in non-profit or public sector for a

period of time (typically three


immediately following graduation. Some public service fellowships have

additional requirements as to the nature and location

of the employment. You should refer

to the description of each public service fellowship

on the application for specifics. 


encourage you to think about your fit

for each particular

fellowship on our financial aid application.

Before applying to a fellowship, you should consider whether your interests,

goals, and personal mission align with the criteria for that fellowship. Public

service fellowships were established specifically


support students who are committed to working in public service.


you are confident that you intend to enter the private sector

instead of the public or non-profit sectors after

graduation, the public service


may not be the best fit for you

and we would encourage you to explore other opportunities. 


long should scholarship or fellowship essays be? 


fellowships have different requirements, which are

noted on the financial aid application. Generally

speaking, you should follow these guidelines:  

  • Public service


    essays should be single spaced and no longer

    than one page.

  • If an essay

    specifically notes a page or word count, please abide by that instruction. 

  • If a

    specific page of word count is not noted on the application, essays

    should be single spaced and should

    not exceed two pages.  


many fellowships or scholarships are awarded? 


are often curious about how many awards for a particular

scholarship or fellowship are offered. That depends based on the particular


however, that’s not something that an applicant can control or influence. Rather than

focusing on the number of awards offered, we encourage you to

focus your energy on what you can control.  

  • Determine


    scholarships and fellowships are the best match for you. Which opportunities

    align with your interests, background, qualifications, and personal goals? 

  • Submit the strongest

    application for the fellowships that are a close match for you. Tailor your

    essays and convey to the scholarship committees

    what it is what makes you the right fit.  


I be considered for financial assistance if I did not submit the FAFSA? 


citizens and permanent residents who wish to be considered for all

available funding should

submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in addition to

submitting the HKS financial aid application. 


other questions about the financial aid application? Attend our final

drop-in Q&A session before the January 24, 2022

deadline. Information

and a

Zoom link can be found on our website