Tuition and Financial Aid Information

An education from the School of International Affairs is a sound investment that leads to lifelong rewards; however, students must be prepared for the reality of financing that education. As you consider admission at any institution, it is crucial to consider all factors of your decision and explore all possible avenues to help fund your educational investment.

Please read carefully the following information about tuition and financial aid, based on your status as a domestic or international student.

Cost of Education

While each student's actual costs will vary, we estimate that your expenses for the first year of the SIA program will be as follows*:

Billable Costs  
PA residents yearly tuition $21,540
Non-PA residents yearly tuition $36,974
Fees (tech and student fee) $1,020
Non-Billable Costs  
Books and supplies $1,840
Housing $7,200
Food & personal expenses $5,290
Other miscellaneous expenses $3,384
Transportation $1,566
Total Estimated Costs  
PA residents $41,840
Non-PA residents $57,274

*Please note that the figures shown above are 2018-19 costs. Tuition for the 2019-20 academic year will be set in the summer of 2019.

While an allotment for health insurance is not included above, we can adjust this estimated budget for financial aid purposes for any student who purchases insurance. Penn State offers a comprehensive plan, which costs approximately $3,400 per year. For more information about this option, please visit the Penn State Student Health Services website.

Sources of Financial Aid

The Penn State financial aid staff is available to make the process of financing your education as smooth as possible. A variety of financial aid programs are available to help you finance your SIA education. For more information about financial aid for graduate students, visit the Penn State Office of Student Aid website.

Merit-based scholarships
You will automatically be considered for SIA merit-based scholarships, based on information collected from your admission application. This evaluation is automatic and does not require any additional forms. These scholarships are offered to top applicants who demonstrate academic excellence during their undergraduate years and on their standardized tests for graduate school. Involvement outside of the classroom and relevant work or other experiences are also taken into consideration. These scholarships may be renewable if you maintain the required criteria for eligibility. If you are awarded a merit scholarship, you will be notified in your official admission letter.

Unfortunately, we cannot award merit- based scholarships to every applicant. You should expect to use other scholarship and loan opportunities to help ease the burden of your education expenses.

Federal Loans
A variety of student loan sources are available to our students. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (also known as the Stafford Loan) is the financial resource most used by our students. Through this federally guaranteed loan program, students may borrow up to $20,500 per year. The student is responsible for the interest that accrues on that portion of the loan during times of enrollment, but no payments are required until after a student stops attending school at least half-time. For the 2018-19 academic year, the Stafford Loan has a variable fixed interest rate set at 6.6% with an origination fee of 1.062% deducted at dispersement. The rate for 2019-20 will become available in June.

Many students need more loan money than is available to them through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. These students turn to the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students (also known as Grad PLUS) or private educational loans. Applications for these loans require a credit check, so you will need a satisfactory credit history to be eligible. For the 2018-19 academic year, the Grad PLUS Loan has a variable fixed interest rate set at 7.6% with an origination fee of 4.248% deducted at dispersement. The rate for 2018-19 will become available in June. Interest rates and other fees on private loans vary.

Applying for Financial Aid

As mentioned above, merit-based scholarships awarded by SIA do not require a separate application. If you wish to apply for other forms of financial aid, including student loans, you should complete and submit the 2018-19 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Include the Penn State school code 003329. You do not need to include parent information. You are encouraged to complet the FAFSA by the April 15 priority deadline.

External Scholarships and Fellowships Database

The School of International Affairs maintains the Advanced Fellowship Database Search, a helpful resource on external funding opportunities that includes information on scholarships and fellowships available to applicants based on demographic information, admission status, and field of study. Although not an exhaustive list of available external scholarships, we encourage you to utilize this valuable resource.

For further assistance, please feel free to contact Penn State's Office of Student Aid online or by phone at (814) 865-6301.



Cost of Education

While each student's actual costs will vary, we estimate that your expenses for the first year of the SIA program will be as follows*:

Billable Costs  
Yearly tuition $36,974
Fees (tech & student fee) $1,038
Non-Billable Costs  
Books and supplies $1,800
Housing $10,700
Food and personal expenses $5,200
Transportation $1,566
Other miscellaneous expenses $3,384
Billable Costs Total $38,012
Non-Billable Costs Total $22,650
Total Estimated Costs $60,662

*Please note that the figures shown above are 2018-19 costs. Tuition for the 2019-20 academic year will be set in the summer of 2019. Additionally, international students and any accompanying dependents are required to purchase the Penn State Student Health Insurance plan (SHIP) online or submit proof of health insurance coverage that meets a set of requirements (Penn State‚Äôs Student Health Services website). While an allotment for health insurance is not included above, we can adjust this estimated budget for financial aid purposes for students who purchase SHIP.

Sources of Financial Aid

Merit-based scholarships
You will automatically be considered for SIA merit-based scholarships, based on information collected from your admission application. This evaluation is automatic and does not require any additional forms. These scholarships are offered to top applicants who demonstrate academic excellence during their undergraduate years and on their standardized tests for graduate school. Involvement outside of the classroom and relevant work or other experiences are also taken into consideration. These scholarships may be renewable if you maintain the required criteria for eligibility. If you are awarded a merit scholarship, you will be notified in your official admission letter.

Unfortunately, we cannot award merit- based scholarships to every applicant. You should expect to use other scholarship and loan opportunities to help ease the burden of your education expenses.

External Scholarships and Fellowships Database

The School of International Affairs maintains the Advanced Fellowship Database Search, a helpful resource on external funding opportunities that includes information on scholarships and fellowships available to applicants based on demographic information, admission status, and field of study. Although not an exhaustive list of available external scholarships, we encourage you to utilize this valuable resource.

Office of Global Programs

Additional financial aid information can be found on Penn State's Office of Global Programs' website. You may also find additional scholarship listings on the EducationUSA website.

For further assistance planning your finances for graduate school, contact the Office of Global Programs at (814) 865-7681.