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Financial Assistance & Scholarships for Graduate Students

We encourage all students to carefully plan for any needed financial assistance and explore all funding opportunities to help pay for your social work education. Information about tuition and fees at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville may be found at:


Prospective, incoming, and current students should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible. This is the first step in applying for grants, federal work-study, need-based scholarships, and student loans. The FAFSA opens on October 1 and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s priority filing date is February 1.
Please note that the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s code is 003530.

Departmental Scholarships

A number of departmental scholarships are available to students thanks to the generous contributions of donors to the College of Social Work. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in full time status (9 or more credit hours) for both fall and spring semesters. Scholarship funding is limited and scholarship amounts vary.

Click here to view the eligibility details for available departmental scholarships.

College of Social Work Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA)

Several graduate research assistantships are available on each campus yearly. Students work ten hours a week during the academic year and receive a monthly salary plus a waiver of tuition. To apply for a GRA position within the College, please submit a departmental scholarship application. Awards are made based on previous academic performance, student skills, and financial need.

Graduate Assistantships

Assistantships are also offered through many departments and colleges on the Knoxville campus, such as advising centers, admission offices, residence halls, and other service offices. The Graduate School works with these offices to post announcements for these positions.


The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships coordinates the Federal Work Study Program which provides part-time off- and on-campus jobs for U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have demonstrated financial need by completing the FAFSA. Jobs are available in academic units, administrative offices, and non-profit agencies. Students must be admitted into a degree program and be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credit hours each semester to receive federal financial aid, including FWS. More information may be found on the One Stop website.

Graduate Fellowships

Fellowships are awards that typically require no service. The Graduate School offers several fellowships for students, most of which are awarded through a nomination process on the basis of academic merit and potential for scholarship. These awards are for full-time study at UT and are very competitive. Awardees are selected on the basis of high achievement, broad intellectual ability and potential for significant career contributions. More information may be found on the Graduate School fellowships webpage.


Students must submit the FAFSA to apply for all federal loan programs. Loans are limited to U.S. citizens and certain permanent residents. Students must be admitted into a degree program and be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credit hours each semester to receive federal financial aid, including federal student loans.

Three types of loan programs are available for graduate students:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  • Graduate PLUS Loan
  • The University of Tennessee Loan

All students receiving financial aid are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress standards to remain eligible to receive aid. Information on these standards, applications, and additional information are available from the One Stop Express Student Services Center, on the ground floor of John C. Hodges Library on the Knoxville Campus.

Summer Aid

Students who enroll in summer classes (including Advanced Standing MSSW students) should visit the One Stop website for details on summer financial aid.

Veteran Student Services

Veterans, active duty military members, reservists, or dependents of veterans who need information about VA education benefits may contact Veteran Student Services at G020 Hodges Library, 1015 Volunteer Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37996 (865-974-5420).

Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program

The Coverdell Fellows program is a graduate fellowship program that offers financial assistance to returned Peace Corps Volunteers. All Fellows complete internships in underserved American communities, allowing them to bring home, and expand upon, the skills they learned as Volunteers. Coverdell Fellows in the M.S.S.W. Program will receive a Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) including full tuition and fees, a stipend, and health insurance. Additional information is available here on College website.

To apply for the Coverdell Fellowship, please submit a departmental scholarship application.

Funding Outside of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Prospective applicants and current graduate students are encouraged to apply for fellowships or grants from national, international, industrial, or foundation sources. The Graduate School has a list of known funding sources to investigate, and the Office of Research and Engagement offers a list of funding sources in partnership with UT and external funding sources.