Financial Aid

Many international students inquire about obtaining financial aid to assist with the expenses of a degree program. There is very little financial aid available to international students in the United States; most aid derives from U.S. government sources and is restricted to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. A condition of your acceptance was that you provided evidence of your ability to pay all tuition and living expenses for each year of your degree program when you applied for your Western Michigan University I-20 or DS-2019.

Student loans

There are foreign student loan options for international students from certain private lenders. The student must apply with a creditworthy co-applicant who is a U.S. Citizen.


For more information concerning financial aid and private scholarships for international students, we suggest that you contact:

The WMU Diether H. Haenicke Scholarship

The WMU Diether H. Haenicke Scholarship is a merit-based award available to international undergraduate students who meet the selection criteria. The International Admissions and Services office will automatically consider all entering freshmen and transferring students for this scholarship; no additional application is required. To be considered, application to WMU must be received by April 1 each year.

Graduate student scholarships and appointments

International graduate students may wish to check with their departments to see if graduate assistantships (teaching, research or service) are available. Students must contact the graduate department of their choice to inquire about assistantship availability. Many departments may also post available positions on the University’s Career and Student Employment Services website.

WMU provides fellowships, associateships, and assistantships for students planning to pursue graduate study. Collectively, these awards are known as graduate appointments. Graduate appointees are first and foremost students. As such, their most important task is to complete their degree requirements in a timely fashion; this is the primary expectation of the university. Graduate appointments are funded through state appropriations and federal, state, local and private grants for at least three principal reasons. First, employment of graduate students in teaching, research, and non-teaching positions during their graduate education encourages and supports their participation in these major functions of university life and thereby strengthens the quality of the students’ educational experience. Second, appointments provide direct financial support to outstanding students who are essential to the development of quality graduate programs. Third, graduate students provide valuable and necessary services to the university in their roles as appointees. Applications are due by February 15, and appointments are usually made by April 1 for students planning to enroll in the fall semester. Appointments are often renewable, except for Graduate College Fellowships and Dissertation Fellowships.

Assistantships and associateships

Teaching and research assistantships for two semesters of full-time appointment are available in many departments of the University. Inquiries should be sent to the chairperson of the department. Information can be found at the Graduate College's Fellowships and Grants site.


  • The Gwen Frostic Doctoral Fellowships
  • Thurgood Marshall Fellowships
  • Martin Luther King/Cesar Chavez/Rosa Parks Future Faculty Fellowship
  • WMU-AGEP Fellowship
  • Graduate College Dissertation Completion Fellowships


  • Graduate Student Research Fund
  • Graduate Student Travel Fund

Awards and scholarships

  • George and Beatrice Fisher Gerontology Dissertation Prize
  • Western Michigan University Dames Endowed Scholarship

For complete information about all options, visit or call the Graduate College at (269) 387-8212, or visit the Graduate College’s website.