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Coterm Funding and Financial Aid

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Funding a coterm

Coterminal students fund their studies in many ways, including:

  • Undergraduate financial aid (through the Financial Aid Office)
  • Graduate research assistantships (from faculty)
  • Graduate teaching assistantships (from departments)
  • Graduate fellowships (from departments or outside Stanford: NSF, Ford, etc.)
  • Graduate Loans  (through the Financial Aid Office or external sources)

See below for more information about coterm financial aid.

To expand funding opportunities, the school is supporting a fellowship/assistantship award for coterms who qualified for Stanford’s undergraduate need-based aid. The standard award will provide half of full graduate funding in the fifth year, which students can supplement with research or teaching assistantships, loans, other fellowships or summer earnings.

Selection for this limited program is based on:

  • Financial need (as defined by the Financial Aid Office)
  • Academic record
  • Impact on candidate’s academic or professional goals

For more information, see Stanford Engineering coterminal students - applying for Dean's Office financial support.

Financial aid facts for coterms:

Stanford undergraduates are typically eligible for undergraduate need-based aid for 12 quarters or until conferral of a bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first. Enrolling as a coterm usually does not change that eligibility. 

Graduate aid does not usually end a coterm student’s eligibility for undergraduate aid, but it moves the student into a graduate tuition category. A ‘full assistantship’ also limits a student’s enrollment that quarter (10-units maximum enrollment). Undergraduate aid is usually adjusted to reflect the additional resource. Please contact university financial aid for more information about aid/eligibility.

Most graduate aid does not use financial need as a criterion. Coterms who have completed 180 units are usually eligible to accept graduate aid such as Research Assistantships (RA), Teaching Assistantships (TA) and graduate fellowships. Assistantships are offered on a quarterly, rather than annual, basis.

Graduate tuition rules apply to coterms in their 13th quarter or when they accept graduate aid – whichever comes first. Graduate students may enroll in and pay for 8-10 units or 11-18 units each quarter; students who enroll in 19 or more units per quarter are charged on a per-unit basis. Engineering graduate tuition for 11 or more units is more expensive than undergraduate full tuition.

RA/TA funding includes both salary and tuition, linked to a quarterly work commitment.  Departments usually provide simple explanations in their graduate handbooks about these positions. In 2022-2023, a 20-hour or full assistantship pays approximately $12,054 per quarter plus 8-10 units; a 10-hour assistantship pays half that salary and half that tuition.