Scholarship Resources for MPA Degree Candidates

There are a variety of resources available from federal, university, and private sources to help fund your MPA degree. Eligible students can be considered for student loans to cover tuition and some living expenses while enrolled in the MPA@UNC program. To be considered for federal student loans, students must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The UNC Office of Scholarships and Aid will determine eligibility. There are also a number of organizations that award scholarships, grants, and fellowships to public administration students:


Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation

The Truman Scholar Program recognizes 60 to 65 students each year with substantial scholarships for graduate study. Applicants must be undergraduates who plan to pursue a graduate degree in public service—such as an MPA degree—and are willing to commit to public service employment for three of the seven years after they complete their graduate degree.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation

The Educational Advancement Foundation (EAF) was founded in 1980 by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, an organization with a long history of public service. The EAF promotes a mission of lifelong learning by awarding undergraduate and graduate scholarships based on either merit or financial need without regard to sex, race, religion, or disability.

The Beinecke Scholarship Program

Established in 1971, the Beinecke Scholarship Program provides support to highly motivated students pursuing a graduate course of study in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Twenty scholarships are awarded each year to students who received need-based financial aid while earning their undergraduate degree.

The Open Society Foundations

The Open Society Foundations were established in 1984 by investor and philanthropist George Soros to help countries transition to democracy. The foundation awards grants, scholarships, and fellowships throughout the year to graduate students.

American Association of University Women

The American Association of University Women’s (AAUW’s) Career Development Grants support women with undergraduate degrees who are preparing to pursue an advanced degree. The AAUW is one of the largest providers of grants and fellowships in the world for women working toward graduate degrees.

Government Finance Officers Association

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) provides several scholarships each year to graduate students enrolled in programs that prepare them for careers in government finance. The GFOA also awards a scholarship to one or more employees of local or state governments who are enrolled in graduate study that prepares them for a government finance career.

Mensa Education & Research Foundation

The Mensa Foundation awards scholarships to residents of areas covered by an American Mensa Local Group who are enrolled in U.S. degree programs. Awards are based on an essay that describes a student’s academic and career goals and how the student plans to achieve these goals.

Foundation for Community Association Research

The Foundation for Community Association Research awards the Byron Hanke Fellowship to graduate students who are working on topics related to community associations.

The Pittsburgh Foundation Scholarship Search

The Pittsburgh Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest community foundations, maintains a list of more than two dozen scholarships available to graduate students.

To learn more about funding opportunities available to MPA@UNC students, please contact an Admissions Counselor at 1-855-862-4672 or via email. Additional information on MPA scholarships is also available on Online MPA Degrees.