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Financial Assistance

The means to pay for higher education can become a primary concern for individuals considering committing themselves to several years of intensive study within a graduate program. Resources do exist, and with persistence, students have generally been successful in obtaining some support. Don't abandon your desire, explore your options! Information and funding is available and distributed via four general pathways.


Loans are available at low interest rates. Eligibility criteria vary depending upon the type of loan you want. Repayment of loans, except short-term loans, usually doesn't begin until after you have graduated.

Loan Forgiveness

If following graduation, you work in the public sector (e.g. public schools, community mental health center) you may be eligible for the Federal Loan forgiveness Program. Note: To qualify for loan forgiveness, you have to be on either the income based repayment plan or income contingent repayment plan and working for 10 years in a school district.


Are gifts with no obligation for work or repayment, and are available from the Financial Aid Office. Assistance depends on availability of funds determined by various criteria.


Graduate scholarships are monetary awards given to outstanding students recognized in their field of study for academic excellence and leadership. Students apply on their own initiative. Applications for awards granted through the university are available in the Scholarship Office (594-6180).

Minority and New American Scholarships

The DFW International Community Alliance provides a great resource for students called the "Guide to Scholarships for New Americans and Minorities." Note: Many scholarships listed are for undergraduates; however some are available for graduate students.


Are awards which require students to maintain a certain G.P.A. and/or produce a research document or some other type of manuscript. Various graduate fellowships exist and are accessible primarily through the Scholarship Office and independent library research and application. Graduate Equity Fellowships are available annually through the Graduate Division.

Project Traineeships

Are awards under our externally-funded personnel preparation projects. Each project has specified requirements to be fulfilled in exchange for a traineeship support package which may include stipends and/or a variety of allowances (e.g. conference travel, professional development, books). Acceptance of some traineeships requires a service obligation. Contact project directors for information.


Provides students with an opportunity to gain valuable experience which is related to their field of study.

Graduate Assistantships

A variety of graduate assistantships are available each year. These assistantships usually require a commitment of 5 to 10 hours/week. Responsibilities vary given the source of support (i.e., university or project assistantship). Available assistantships are posted by the Department and announcements of openings are sent to students via e-mail.

College Work-Study

College Work-Study is coordinated by the Financial Aid Office. If you are eligible for and are awarded Work-Study funding, contact the Department and/or Program immediately. We may be able to help you design an experience which is also meaningful to your professional development.

Other SDSU Employment

There are any opportunities to work in a variety of position on campus.

SDSU Foundation

Projects funded externally (federal, state, private foundation) are managed by the SDSU Foundation. Many of these faculty projects have research or graduate assistantships or clerical positions.

Outside Employment

The best way to know the reality of your chosen profession is to be in the field. Many school districts and private agencies offer part-time employment opportunities. These positions take the form of classroom aides or counseling aides. Many districts require proof of enrollment which can be validated at the Admissions office. Check with various school districts and local paper.

Please Note: Employment may affect eligibility for financial aid.

Pathways to Assistance

Financial Aid Office
Financial Aid Office Website: Phone: (619) 594-6323. Requires EARLY application in January for the next year, and has information on a variety of federal, state, and institutional programs including grants, loans, and work-study. Apply for everything; accept anything they have to offer. The California Student Aid Commission also has a web site where you can find information on financial assistance of many kinds. You can reach the CSAC at
Scholarship Office
Scholarship Office Website: Phone: (619) 594-6180. University scholarships and other scholarships are handled here. Separate applications, qualifications, deadlines, etc. than Financial Aid Office. Only a limited number of University scholarships are available; each type of scholarship is likely to require a separate and new application. This requires year-round monitoring and persistence.
Department of Counseling and School Psychology
Department of Counseling and School Psychology: Serves primarily as an information conduit (e.g., bulletin board notices and class announcements); provides opportunities to work part-time under the college work-study program or as a graduate assistant - contact the department secretary.
Strom Memorial Loan Fund. A small, short-term emergency loan can be requested by writing a letter to the Department Chair, stating the reason for the loan, the amount requested, and a repayment schedule. Contact the Department coordinator for more information.
Gertrude Bell Scholarship. One ($2500) or two ($1250) scholarships are available for first year students in CSP graduate programs. Applications are usually due around August 1. Notice to apply is sent to all new students via e-mail.
Your own ingenuity
Your own ingenuity: A frequently under-used source. Research in the library, on the web, and independent applications for scholarships and fellowships can be rewarding. Be creative--for example, team together with another student and apply jointly for a job in the paper (i.e., job share).


Apply Early and Persist

You won't receive a financial aid package or scholarship if you don't apply for it. Applications for regular financial aid and University Grant Programs are due in January for the following academic year. Other scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships are due at various points in the year.

Money Matters

We provide a financial aid workshop for students prior to the beginning of the Fall semester. The workshop includes an overview of financial aid as well as introduction to a systematic approach to documenting your cost of attendance (the key that determines, in part, your need for aid). Materials from the most recent workshop are provided here: