Financial Assistance

The Graduate School awards scholarships and assistantships on a competitive basis to new and continuing graduate students who are admitted unconditionally to a graduate program or have removed the conditional status. Awards range from partial tuition support to full tuition support that may include a stipend. In general, financial assistance is available within these broad categories:

  • Scholarships
  • Fellowships
  • Assistantships
  • Loans

 Students interested in financial assistance should apply according to these deadlines:

March 1
Deadline to apply for the Caterpillar Master’s Fellowship for students who will begin study in the following fall term.

April 1
Deadline to apply for assistantships for the upcoming academic year.

  • Students interested in financial support must complete the Financial Assistance section on the Application for Graduate Admission. In some cases, i.e., Caterpillar Fellowship and others, special applications must also be completed.
  • Students must have a minimum 3.0/4.0 graduate cumulative grade point average to maintain graduate assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships. Students who are placed on academic probation or dismissed will lose their financial assistance. Once a student is removed from probation or reinstated to a program, the student may reapply for financial assistance.
  • Academic good standing does not automatically ensure continuation of financial assistance. Financial assistance may be revoked for academic or non-academic reasons at any time upon the recommendation of the faculty mentor, graduate coordinator, department graduate committee, dean of the college, and the dean of the Graduate School.
  • For the graduate grade point average to be considered for financial assistance eligibility, applicants must have a minimum of 12 credit hours of graduate coursework complete at the time of application.


Graduate assistantships are available in most departments that offer graduate programs and in certain administrative areas. Academic departments award assistantships for research, teaching assistance, and other academic activities, annually or semi-annually, on a competitive basis, with scholastic ability and evidence of special qualifications being the most important criteria.

Assistantships are awarded for the full academic year with the following exceptions: 1) students who graduate in December or have completed their course of study, and 2) students who have their assistantship terminated for cause. Terminating a student mid-year requires the approval of the dean of the college in which the student has the assistantship appointment and the dean of the Graduate School. All assistantships terminate with the end of the spring semester. Pending funding of the assistantship, departments who are recommending renewal of assistantships for the following fall must file a new Graduate Assistantship Recommendation Form with the Graduate School office. Four semesters is the maximum number of semesters a student may receive a departmental assistantship, except when the student's degree program requires more than 36 semesters hours, in which case the student may receive an assistantship for up to six semesters.

Students must have an undergraduate 60-hour grade point average of 3.0/4.0, or a graduate grade point average of 3.0/4.0, to be eligible for a graduate assistantship. Full-time graduate assistants are given a 20-hour per week assignment by the awarding department and receive a stipend and waiver of 100% of actual tuition costs, with a maximum tuition award per academic year. Part-time graduate assistants are given a 10-hour per week assignment by the awarding department and receive a stipend and waiver of 50% of actual tuition costs, with a maximum award per academic year. Detailed information on eligibility and policies is available at or in the Graduate School, 200 Bradley Hall.

Other Scholarships

Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Program (DFI): this scholarship of up to $14,000 annually provides financial assistance to Illinois residents who are members of traditionally underrepresented racial minority groups (Black, Hispanic, Asian American, American Indian, or Alaskan Native) to pursue and complete graduate or professional degrees at Illinois institutions of higher education. Descriptions of eligibility and application procedures are available from the Graduate Office.

For more information regarding additional scholarship opportunities, contact the Graduate School in 200 Bradley Hall, or 677-2375.

Caterpillar Masters Fellowships

Caterpillar Masters Fellowships are awarded annually on a competitive basis to outstanding students who have graduated from an accredited university, demonstrated superior academic achievement, and are committed to research or creative production. Students must have an undergraduate 60-hour grade point average of 3.5/4.0 to be eligible for a Caterpillar Masters Fellowship. The Fellowships provide: an annual stipend between $8,000 and $12,000 in addition to a full tuition waiver, an educational environment that provides a unique transition for students preparing for doctoral degrees or professional degree programs, innovative curricula designed for business, industry, and public sector needs, a student-selected project guided by a faculty mentor, interdisciplinary teamwork on problem-solving research, and flexibility to adapt specific interests and aspirations of students.


Federal Direct Subsidized Loans: Graduate students, both full and half time, are eligible to borrow up to $8,500 each academic year under this program. For additional information contact Student Financial Services at, Swords Hall 100, or (309) 677-3089.

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans: This loan program offers long-term educational loans to qualified graduate students. Students are eligible to borrow up to $12,000 each academic year. For additional information, contact Student Financial Services,, 100 Swords Hall, or (309) 677-3089.

Federal PLUS Program for Graduate Students: The PLUS is a federal borrowing opportunity for students who have a baccalaureate degree and are enrolled in a degree-seeking graduate or professional program. Repayment is typically figured for a period of 120 months and begins when the student is no longer enrolled at least half time. Students borrow directly from the federal government at an interest rate of 7.9 percent. There is also a 2.5 percent origination fee. For additional information contact Student Financial Services at, Swords Hall 100, or (309) 677-3089.

International Students

International (F-1) students are eligible to apply for Graduate Scholarships, Graduate Assistantships, and the Caterpillar Master’s Fellowship only. No separate application form is required for Graduate Scholarships. Caterpillar Master’s Fellowship applications are considered for fall applicants only. See the application form for details and deadlines.

For more information, visit or the Student Financial Services, 100 Swords Hall, where applications, eligibility requirements, policies, and specific program details are available.

This is the official catalog for the 2009-2010 academic year. This catalog serves as a contract between a student and Bradley University. Should changes in a program of study become necessary prior to the next academic year every effort will be made to keep students advised of any such changes via the Dean of the College or Chair of the Department concerned, the Registrar's Office, u.Achieve degree audit system, and the Schedule of Classes. It is the responsibility of each student to be aware of the current program and graduation requirements for particular degree programs.