Financing Your Degree

We believe in you and your potential to have impact on the world, and so we do everything we can to help you fund your education and provide the necessary financial education resources that you need to be successful.

Fellowships & Scholarships

We offer some merit-based financial aid to every student. We also offer many fellowship opportunities, and third-party fellowships from Sanford and Duke partners. For both domestic and international students, student loan options are also available.

We have many ways to help you fund your degree.

Sanford Scholarships, Assistantships, and Fellowships

Our current policy allows us to provide merit-based scholarships to ALL accepted MPP applicants who are not receiving full funding from outside sources

Sanford issues awards based on merit and demonstrated financial need to our domestic and international students in the form of tuition scholarships and/or teaching, research, or staff assistantships. You should indicate on your application that you would like to be considered for financial aid. We require no additional documentation.


All students are automatically considered for fellowship awards upon application to Sanford, except for the Ladd Fellowship which requires a separate application. There are also many third-party fellowships available from our partners.

Explore our fellowship page for a list of all Sanford -related fellowships and to read the stories from many of our recent fellowship recipients.  


US citizens have assistantship opportunities offered for two academic years of study, conditional on satisfactory academic progress during the first year.

International students may apply to all assistantship positions that are open as well. 

Dual degree students only receive tuition fellowships during their first year of the MPP program and are not guaranteed assistantships due to the additional credit requirements of their first-year plan. They may apply to any assistantships that are unfilled.

Exploring Other Financial Assistance Options

The Duke Graduate School also has funding opportunities. 
Duke's Office of Research Support offers:
List of opportunities sent to The Graduate School from other Duke units and external institutions, including a number of funding opportunities.
Sanford Career Services Office


Public Partnership Organizations

Under agreements with AmeriCorps, City Year, Peace Corps, Teach for America students who are accepted into the Duke MPP Program are guaranteed a tuition fellowship:
  • For two-year MPP students, the fellowship is a minimum of $14,000 per year, through a combination of a tuition fellowship and payment for community service, teaching, research, or graduate assistantship.
  • For dual-degree programs, students receive a $12,000 tuition fellowship during their first year of study. They must spend year one in the MPP program before starting the dual-degree curriculum in the law (JD), environment (MEM), or business (MBA) program.
These fellowships are the minimum students will receive. All applicants from partner programs will also receive full consideration for additional, merit-based tuition assistance based on the strength of their application.
  • Please see our Military Benefits page for more information on all Duke Affiliated Military Benefits.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for determining eligibility.
  • Sanford will contribute up to $16,000 USD each VA academic year in Yellow Ribbon scholarship support and the VA will provide up to $16,000 USD in additional funding.
  • You must be 100% eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill®.
  • Effective August 1, 2022, active duty service members who qualify at the 100% level or the spouse using the transferred benefits of an active duty service member who qualify at the 100% level, may use the Yellow Ribbon program.
  • Recipients of the Fry Scholarship and Purple Heart will be covered under the Yellow Ribbon Program. This was effective August 1, 2018.
  • You must have served an aggregate period of 36 months in active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, or have been honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and after serving 30 continuous days after Sept. 10, 2001.
  • You may be a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on the service eligibility criteria.
    Getting started:
    Duke University’s Veterans Education Benefits Office administers all Veterans Benefits.  The Duke University School Certifying Official (SCO) in the Office of the University Registrar may be reached via email or at 919.684.4225.  Admitted students must submit their VA documents (i.e. VA Certificate of Eligibility letter, Purple Heart Certificate) to the SCO to start the VA benefit review process. If you have any additional questions, please reach out to

The Duke MPP Program recognizes and provides application fee waivers for recipients and finalists of Pickering and Rangel Fellows, PPIA Fellows, and Truman Scholars.

Prior to submitting your application, please email us with your application fee waiver request and documentation for your finalist or recipient status of your Pickering, Rangel, PPIA, or Truman Scholar award. We will then waive your MPP application fee. Please also include your fellowship documentation in your application. Contact MPP admissions

Duke University participates in the national consortium of graduate programs that recruit and support Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who wish to pursue advanced degrees.

Variety of logos: Peace Corps, City year, AmeriCorps and Teach for America

External Funding Policy

All students have an ongoing obligation to notify the Duke MPP Program Office upon receipt of external funding, scholarships, and grants obtained independently. The Duke MPP Program reserves the right to amend financial aid awards if a student receives external funding, applies to become a dual degree student, or fails to maintain satisfactory academic performance (at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average). 

Financial Aid Policies and Procedures

Personal Assistance for Every Student

Our team assists with federal checklist completion, FAFSA verification, and will determine all federal loan funding and federal work-study funds. Questions about student financial planning or your cost of attendance? Contact us at