Financial Support

The Nicholas School makes every effort to assist students in their efforts to underwrite the cost of their education. All admissions decisions are made without regard to financial need or ability to pay. Both merit-based and need-based financial support is available.


The Nicholas School awards scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships to MEM, MF, and DEL-MEM students on the basis of demonstrated outstanding academic ability and a high degree of professional promise. Decisions regarding these awards are made on the basis of the completed application; no additional application is required.

Applicants who are offered financial support are typically notified at the time of admission and generally must accept or decline the offer by April 15. Once accepted, the award is binding for both the student and the school.

Funding for these awards is limited. Not all incoming students will receive financial assistance, and many of those who do will still need other financial resources to meet their tuition obligations and living expenses. Financial assistance is typically offered for a period of two years; students are expected to complete their degree within this period of time.

The Nicholas School reserves the right to discontinue financial support depending on a student’s academic standing and progress in the program. No student will receive financial aid while on probation unless an appeal is approved by the Admissions and Awards Committee. In no case may the amount of financial aid awarded to a student from all sources in a given year exceed the estimated annual costs of attending the Nicholas School.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your one-stop application for grants, work-study, and educational loans offered by the U.S. government, states, and Duke University. Many of our students supplement merit-based awards and other financial resources with federally-subsidized loans acquired through FAFSA.

Although paper applications are accepted, we strongly recommend submitting your FAFSA online. Once you submit your FAFSA, please review your Student Aid Report (SAR) carefully; if everything is accurate, you don’t need to do anything else. The Federal Processor will send your report directly to the Nicholas School; after that, we may contact you to request verification or additional documentation.


Many of our students benefit from financial support opportunities offered through these specific schools and programs at Duke.


Specific scholarship programs
Air and Waste Management Association
American Association of University Women (must be female)
American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (includes GIS)
American Geological Institute, Minority Geoscience Student Scholarships
American Meteorological Society (for atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences)
American Water Works Association
Earth Island Institute, Brower Youth Award (must be between 13 and 22 years)
Gloria Barron Wilderness Society Scholarship
Institute for Humane Studies
Leopold Schepp Foundation
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dr. Nancy Foster Fellowship
National Water Research Institute, Fellowship Program
Pinchot Institute for Conservation (for children of active/retired Forest Service employees)
Seaspace, Inc. Scholarship Program (for marine studies)
Ford Foundation Community Forestry Fellowships
Robert and Patricia Switzer Fellowship
National Garden Club Scholarships
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Garden Club of America Scholarships

Other Scholarship Sources
American Education Sources
Annie’s Environmental Scholarships
College Foundation of North Carolina
College Board
Council of Graduate Schools
Foundation Finder
Gates Millinium
Education Financial Aid
International Scholarships
Lunch Money
National Science Foundation
Scholarship America
Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation
Department of Energy
World bank
Air & Waste Management Association: Scholarship Program
American Water Works Association
Budweiser Conservation Scholarship Program
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation
Society of American Foresters
The Garden Club of America
Africa-America Institute
American Association of University Women Career Development Grants
American Political Science Association
Boren Scholarships and Fellowships (National Security, Language and Culture)
Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships Program for Achieving Excellence in College and University Teaching
Krell Institute
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships
Oak Ridge Associated Universities Fellowships and Research Appointments
Oak Ridge Associated Universities Graduate Study Fellowships
Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
World Wildlife Foundation

Scholarships for Minority Students
American Geological Institute, Minority Geoscience Student Scholarships
Hispanic Scholarship Fund, College Scholarship Program
Sealaska Heritage Institute (Alaska natives)
American Indian Graduate Center Fellowship
American Indian Science and Engineering Society, A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship
American Indian Science and Engineering Society, EPA Tribal Lands Environmental Science Scholarship
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Scholarship
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, MALDEF Law School Scholarship
National Society of Hispanic MBAs
La Unidad Latina Foundation, Inc.
League of United Latin American Citizens National Scholarship Fund
Worldstudio Foundation Scholarships
Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), Puerto Rican Bar Association (PRBA) Scholarship Award
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Foundation
The Korean American Scholarship Foundation
Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association
American Water Works Association, Holly A. Cornell Scholarship
Mae Lasley Osage Scholarship
Catching the Dream Scholarship Program (must be 1/4 or more degree American Indian)
Association on American Indian Affairs, Sequoyah Graduate Fellowships
Hispanic College Fund
Korean American Scholarship Fund
National Academies for Minorities
United Negro College Fund
African American Institute
African American Scholarships
American Indian College Fund
American Indian Graduate Center
Ford Foundation: International Fellowships
Native American scholarships

Scholarships for International Students
American Association of University Women, International Fellowships
e8, Sustainable Energy Development Scholarship Program
Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
Worldstudio Foundation Scholarships 
Aga Khan Foundation, International Scholarship Programme
The American-Scandinavian Foundation, Awards for Scandinavians 
Finlandia Foundation, National Scholarships
The Norway-America Association, Professional Development Award
International Tropical Timber Organization, Freezailah Fellowship Fund
World Wildlife Fund, Russell E. Train Education for Nature Fund, Fellowship program
World Wildlife Fund, Education for Nature Scholarships
Organization of American States, Graduate Fellowships Program (self-placed scholarships)
African Wildlife Foundation, Charlotte Conservation Fellowship
Vietnam Education Foundation, Graduate Fellowship Program
World Bank Family Network, Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund
Joint Japan/ World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (for developing countries)
Inter-American Development Bank, Japan-IDB Scholarship Program (Northern Hemisphere Program; for Latin America and the Caribbean)
Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships
PEO International Scholarship Fund
Alberta Scholarship Programs
Organization of American States
Aga Khan Foundation