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Financial Aid

Medill considers all admitted students for institutional grants and scholarships. In addition, U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply for federal financial aid, which includes the unsubsidized Direct loan and the Graduate PLUS loan. A combination of federal student loans, along with possible grants and scholarships, are offered to graduate students up to the cost of the attendance.

Scholarships and grants

Medill awards scholarships and grants to over 90% of its graduate journalism students each year. We will consider you for a scholarship or grant based on the content of your application for the MSJ program and how it matches criteria for available scholarships. Scholarship and grant offers are made at the time of admission or shortly thereafter. Students who are awarded scholarships and grants will receive an email with their scholarship information.

International students will be considered, along with all admitted students, for selected Medill scholarships, but are not eligible for federal financial aid. International students should plan to bear most, if not all, of the cost of attending Medill.

One scholarship we offer is the Comer Scholarship, which supports students who demonstrate commitment to covering environmental issues. Please note: Unlike the scholarships discussed above, the Comer scholarship requires an additional essay. You will submit this essay with your application.

We also offer the Reuters-NABJ fellowship, which supports students who are interested in business, politics or foreign affairs reporting. To be considered, please note your membership in an NABJ chapter (including student chapters) on your resume.

There is also the Simmons Family Scholarship for Sports Journalism which is awarded to one student to cover the full cost of tuition for the graduate journalism program. The scholarship is open to students who are accepted and enroll at Medill to start in the fall quarter in the Sports Media specialization. Applicants who are currently enrolled in or are alumni of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are strongly encouraged to apply. Note: Applicants must submit an additional essay on their application in order to qualify.

We offer the Paul Sagan ProPublica Medill Investigative Lab Scholar award to those students pursuing the Medill Investigative Lab specialization. One of the awards is for a student with an interest in or experience with data journalism.

Federal financial aid

U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply for federal financial aid to pay for graduate education expenses. Through federal financial aid, you can apply for two types of student loans:

Please note: There are no grants or work-study available for graduate students through federal financial aid.

To apply for federal financial aid, you will need to complete the 2023-2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Eligible students will receive more information on applying for federal financial aid upon admission. 

Outside scholarships

Several organizations provide scholarships for students pursuing a degree in graduate journalism. All students are strongly encouraged to research and apply for these scholarships. 

The following websites offer free scholarship search services:

Teaching assistantships and fellowships

Due to the intensive and practical nature of our program, we do not offer teaching assistantships or fellowships.

International students

International students will be considered for selected Medill scholarships but are not eligible for federal financial aid. International students should plan to bear most, if not all, of the cost of attending Medill.

Please visit Northwestern’s Office of Student Finance for a list of lenders that provide loans to international students. Please note that some loans require you to have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident as a co-maker/co-signer for the loan.

Federal Student Loan Debt Relief

The U.S. Department of Education has announced that it will provide up to $20,000 in debt relief to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education and up to $10,000 in debt relief to non-Pell Grant recipients. Borrowers may view federal student loan balances, loan servicer information, and Pell Grant status history by logging into their Federal Student Aid account at Review the Federal Student Aid debt relief announcement for details.


For more information about financial aid, please contact Associate Director of Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid Donna Su.