Graduate Education Funding Sources

An RIT graduate degree is an investment with lifelong returns.

You’ll earn a highly marketable credential that will boost your skillset, enhance your expertise, and make you even more competitive for employment.

The question is – how do you fund it?

Funding Sources

A combination of sources can help fund your graduate degree.
Select a source below to learn more or access a webinar.

RIT Scholarships

RIT offers partial graduate tuition scholarships based on merit. These scholarships reduce the tuition you pay. They do not have to be paid back.


Money you earn while working on co-op, as a graduate assistant, or through on-campus employment can help cover your tuition, fees, and expenses while completing your degree.


U.S. students and eligible non-citizens may be offered federal loans to finance their education. All students can apply for private Alternative Educational Loans.

Other Sources

Employer benefits, outside scholarships, and external grants are a few other sources that can help fund your graduate education.


Get answers to your questions in our Financing Your Graduate Education webinar.

Sign up for a live webinar Access the recording

RIT Offers Graduate Scholarships

You are considered for RIT graduate scholarships just by applying for admission. No separate application is necessary. Scholarships cannot be combined.

Graduate Tuition Scholarships

  • Typically, 10-40% tuition scholarship range. The amount of scholarship offered varies by student and department.
  • Offered to top candidates in recognition of academic excellence and outstanding admission credentials.
  • Those offered a graduate scholarship will receive a scholarship letter in their admissions portal at the time they are notified of their acceptance.
  • Students pursuing degrees in designated online programs that pay the online tuition rate are not considered for this scholarship.



RIT Master Plan 

  • Minimum 40% Graduate tuition scholarship
  • Offered to students who graduate with at least a bachelor's degree from RIT after December 2019.
  • Students in a Combined Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's program are not considered for this scholarship.

Learn more about RIT Master Plan



RIT Master Up NY

  • A 30% Graduate tuition scholarship
  • Offered to New York State residents with a bachelor's degree or anyone who graduates with at least a bachelor's degree from a college or university in New York State.
  • Students pursuing degrees in designated online programs that pay the online tuition rate and students in a Combined Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's program are not considered for this scholarship.

Learn more about RIT Master Up NY

Work While Completing Your Degree

a student working at a desk interacts with another student

Earn wages on campus through student employment

Graduate students studying full-time may apply to work part-time on campus. RIT has more than 12,000 jobs available each year, and students typically work 10 – 20 hours per week. International students studying on an F-1 or J-1 visa may work up to 20 hours per week on campus, and 40 hours during break periods. View FAQs about on-campus student employment

The minimum gross pay a student can earn while working on campus at 20 hours per week. The New York State minimum wage is $15.00 per hour.

a student and professor inspect a machine

Earn assistantship wages in your field of study performing research, teaching, or administrative work

Full-time graduate students may be offered assistantships and can receive wages or stipends in exchange for work performed. Assistantships are competitive and selective, do not cover tuition costs, and may not be awarded until after you are enrolled as a graduate student. 

While some students may receive an assistantship offer at the time of admission, most are available after you arrive on campus.

With no tuition or fees charges while on co-op you can save money, earn wages, and gain work experience

Co-op (cooperative education) is paid work assignments with corporations and organizations around the U.S. and abroad. Co-op allows students to spend one or more semesters employed in a full-time, paid position related to their academic program before they graduate. Many students use co-op earnings to help finance their education.

F-1 international students are eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) – off-campus work, such as an internship or co-op after at least 9 months of full-time study.

$58 million

The total amount earned by students through co-op employment last year.

Headshot of Vinita Nair

I found my co-op through RIT's Career Connect which is a website where you can find multiple employers and positions open. I was working for a company called CO-OP Financial Services as a Network Operations Engineering Intern where I helped them consolidate their network devices. My internship paid $40-50 per hour. I was able to take classes during my co-op so I was earning and learning at the same time.

- Vinita N.
Telecommunications Engineering Technology MS

Apply for an Educational Loan

U.S. Federal Loans

  • Available to U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. You will need to complete theFAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

  • If you are admitted to a degree program, you will receive a financial aid offer notification that will detail how much federal loan funding you may borrow.
  • Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 each year in Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
  • Direct Graduate PLUS Loans can also be used for the remainder of your college costs not covered by other financial aid.

View types of federal loans Learn how to apply

Alternative Educational Loans

  • Available to U.S. citizens and non-citizens.
  • Private (non-federal) loans are offered through banks. You may borrow through any lender of your choice.
  • Many lending institutions require students to have a US cosigner in order to apply for an alternative student loan. You can conduct an independent search for lenders that fit your needs.
  • Carefully review all financing options prior to considering this type of loan. Be sure to use federal loan(s) first, if you qualify for them.

Learn more and find a lender

Investigate Other Funding Sources

From grants to outside scholarships to employer benefits, there are a number of outside sources of aid that you may qualify for. Here are a few to investigate:

Outside Scholarships

Outside scholarships are an excellent source of funding and may reduce the need to borrow loans. If you receive a scholarship or a grant from an external source, you must notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. In many cases, no adjustments to a student’s financial aid offer are necessary. Start an outside scholarship search

Here are a few opportunities to consider:

US Military and Veteran Benefits

RIT is proud to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program, the tuition assistance program for active-duty military members through the Department of Defense, and abides by the Principles of Excellence guidelines. If you are a US military active duty member, veteran, or dependent of a veteran, learn more about this benefit.

Employer Tuition Benefits

Students whose employer provides $5,250 or more in annual tuition assistance may qualify for the Employer-Sponsored Tuition Plan. RIT extends a full-semester deferment to students from participating firms. Students must obtain official verification of their eligibility from their Tuition Aid Administrator, often part of their employer's Human Resources department, and report their tuition benefits to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Professional Re-employment Program (PREP)

The Professional Re-employment Education Program (PREP) is an RIT grant program designed to help dislocated workers become better equipped to re-enter the workforce. Students accepted into this program can pursue discounted undergraduate or graduate courses, either online or on campus, at 60% off campus tuition rates.

Vocational Rehabilitation Assistance

Vocational Rehabilitation Assistance (also known in some states as ACCES-VR, DVR, MRC, OVR, and VR) is provided by state agencies to residents who meet specific requirements due to physical limitations or intellectual disabilities. Contact the Vocational Rehabilitation Office near your home to qualify for VR support.