Financial Aid

Financial Aid is available to students in several forms.


Competitively awarded graduate assistantships involving teaching, research, or service to the University are available for the regular academic year. Assistants will devote up to 20 hours a week to instruction, research, or service for the University. In some cases, Assistants may give proportionately less time to their assistantships. A full assistantship carries a stipend of $8,000 and requires twenty hours of work each week. An assistantship holder must be registered as a full-time student and carry at least nine semester hours of graduate credit. Appalachian offers only a limited number of graduate assistantships for the summer session, with stipends around $750 for each term.

Visit the Graduate School webpage on Assistantships for more information. Applications for assistantships, fellowships, and work-study assistantships are considered only after applicants have been admitted to the Graduate School. Minority Presence Grants are also available for Master's degree and specialist candidates. The funds are limited and are used to help cover the costs of tuition. Students must complete a FAFSA to be considered for these funds.

Special Scholarships

A limited number of scholarships are available to graduate students in the MPA program. Scholarships are grants and do not carry with them a work requirement.

The ASU Local Government Alumni Association annually offers several scholarships to a graduate student seeking a career in local government. The scholarship is awarded at the annual meeting of the Association that is held in Boone in the Fall.

The North Carolina City and County Management Association provides a scholarship to a graduate student in the MPA program who is pursuing a career in local government management. The award is announced at the annual meeting of the ASU Local Government Alumni Association in the Fall. Additionally, the NCCCMA Scholarship recipient is recognized at the Annual Meeting of the NC City County Management Association that is held each year in February in Chapel Hill.

Applications for the scholarships are available through the MPA office early in the Fall semester.

Stafford Loans

Graduate students who wish to apply for federal, state, or institutional need-based financial assistance must complete and mail for processing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The priority deadline to mail the FAFSA to the processor is March 15. The FAFSA may be obtained from the Office of Student Financial Aid, second floor of the John E. Thomas Academic Student Support Building. Students can complete the FAFSA via the Internet at FAFSA. The FAFSA will be processed according to the federal methodology and will determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) and the Office of Student Financial Aid will electronically receive the Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR). If the student's record is selected for verification, the student will be requested to submit certain documents to verify the data submitted on the FAFSA. When the student's financial aid file is complete, and they have been accepted to the Graduate School, the student will receive a financial aid award letter listing the types and amounts of financial aid offered. The student must return the financial aid award letter indicating whether they are accepting or declining each type of aid offered.

Graduate Scholarships

Presently, the E.R. Lovill Fellowship of $5000, Graduate Alumni Scholarships of $2000, and Alumni Fellowships of $1000 are available. Applicants should apply to the Graduate School stating their academic backgrounds and plans. For a listing of scholarships administered by departments, see the listing in the general bulletin. Students may also acquire scholarship information by visiting the Graduate School Section of the University's Website. 

North Carolina Tuition Scholarships

A limited number of tuition scholarships are competitively awarded to students who are not residents of North Carolina. The tuition remission covers the difference between in- and out-of-state tuition. Recipients must have been awarded a graduate research assistantship.

Veterans Benefits

The University is approved for the training of veterans, national guard/reservists, and dependents of deceased or disabled veterans under the following programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs:

  • Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty Educational Assistance (Chapter 30)
  • Montgomery GI Bill-Selective Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 1606)
  • Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 32)
  • Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35)
  • Restored Entitlement Program for Survivors (REPS) Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31)

Persons eligible to receive these benefits must process an application and enrollment data sheet with the Veterans Affairs Coordinator, Office of Student Financial Aid. Children of disabled or deceased veterans who are North Carolina residents may be eligible for a scholarship which pays tuition, some fees, room, and meals from the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs, Raleigh, North Carolina. Applications may be obtained from a veterans services officer located in the prospective student's home town or county. Members of the North Carolina National Guard may be eligible for tuition assistance. National Guard members should contact her/his unit to obtain an application. Additional information regarding VA-related benefits may be obtained by contacting the Veterans Affairs Coordinator, Office of student Financial Aid, ASU Box 32059, John E. Thomas Hall, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina 28608, (828) 262-2583.

Military Personnel

A North Carolinian who serves outside the state in the armed forces does not lose North Carolina domicile simply by reason of such service. And students from the military may prove retention or establishment of residence by reference, as in other cases, to residentiary acts accompanied by residentiary intent. In addition, a separate North Carolina statute affords tuition rate benefits to certain military personnel and their dependents even though not qualifying for the instate tuition rate by reason of twelve months legal residence in North Carolina. Members of the armed services, while stationed in and concurrently living in North Carolina, may be charged a tuition rate lower than the out-of-state tuition rate to the extent that the total of entitlements for applicable tuition costs available from the federal government, plus certain amounts based under a statutory formula upon the instate tuition rate, is a sum less than the out-of-state tuition rate for the pertinent enrollment. A dependent relative of a service member stationed in North Carolina is eligible to be charged the instate tuition rate while the dependent relative is living in North Carolina with the service member and if the dependent relative has met any requirement of the Selective Service System applicable to the dependent relative. These tuition benefits may be enjoyed only if the applicable requirements for admission have been met; these benefits alone do not provide the basis for receiving those derivative benefits under the provisions of the residence classification statute reviewed elsewhere in this summary.