The Nicholas School works with three primary types of financial aid: merit-based aid from the school, need-based aid from the school, and federal loans. Some students may seek outside scholarships and grants or private loans. We offer more than 100 types of financial aid awards. Our Financial Aid Office will be happy to help you review your options and identify which merit- or need-based aid options are right for you.

In evaluating applicants for admission, the Nicholas School maintains a strict policy of selecting candidates without regard to their ability to pay tuition. If the applicant is offered admission, the school will notify the admitted student if they are eligible to receive financial aid and in what form.

view / print Financial Aid Manual

Financial Support for Master's Degree Students

Nicholas School Need-Based Grant Program

In addition to the opportunity to apply for federal financial aid through FAFSA in the form of loans, and to be considered for merit-based scholarships, the Nicholas School of the Environment offers a need-based grant program for applicants who demonstrate the greatest financial need. This funding is available to on-campus MEM & MF and DEL-MEM students. 

Eligibility

To be eligible, a student must be enrolled full-time in the professional masters program (MEM, MF or DEL-MEM) and demonstrate significant financial need prior to beginning the program, based upon the federal criteria established through the FAFSA process. Grants are terminated if/when a student is no longer in good academic standing with the Nicholas School.

Whereas the federally supported loan programs are not available to non-US citizens or permanent residents, the Nicholas School’s need-based grant program is open to F-1 and J-1 visa holders provided they can supply the necessary documentation to support their application.

For Returning Students: A student who applied for and received a need-based grant in 2018-19 may retain their grant in 2019-2020 provided: (1) The student will be enrolled full-time in the MEM or MF program during the entire 2019-2020 academic year, and (2) The student's financial status has not improved since the award was received. The student must send an email to nsoe-financialaid@duke.edu affirming under the Nicholas School Honor Code that the student is in good academic standing and that their financial status has not changed positively.

Returning students who did not apply last year—or did apply but did not receive a grant—may apply for 2019-2020 provided they will be enrolled full-time in the MEM or MF during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Determining Need & Eligibility

The decision to attend the Nicholas School of the Environment for your masters degree should involve the entire family. For purposes of the School’s need-based funds, the student is not viewed as financially independent of parents. Individual students (and spouses, if married) and their parents have the primary responsibility for financing the cost of your education at Duke. Parental information will be used to determine grant eligibility each year of enrollment. Duke looks at both natural parents for purposes of determining Duke-based financial aid for a student with divorced or separated parents. This information is collected each year regardless of age or change in marital status.


    Applicant Instructions

    To be considered for a need-based grant, the following must be completed by February 15:

    Step 1 – Complete an application in CSS Profile  
    https://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile

    • Use code 5158 to ensure that your information gets transmitted to the Nicholas School of the Environment.
    • In CSS Profile, you must enter parental names and addresses and other demographic information. 
    • If parental information is not available for a justifiable reason (e.g., parents deceased, incapacitated, student has been independent and employed full-time for a significant period of time, etc.), please: 
      • Complete the Parental Waiver Petition Form and submit to nsoe-financialaid@duke.edu. The committee will take your statement under consideration when reviewing completed applications.
      • In CSS Profile, you must still enter parental names and addresses and other demographic information even if you are requesting a waiver. Enter zeroes for any amounts.
    • A nominal fee is required to submit your application through CSS Profile.

    Step 2 – Upload tax documents to IDOC in CSS Profile

    • From your dashboard in CSS Profile locate the tab for IDOC. Submit signed copies of your income tax return and associated W-2 forms via IDOC. Do not send tax documents to the Nicholas School, please. 
      • If you filed your income tax form electronically you may submit an electronic version without a "wet" signature. Similarly, the W-2 does not require a signature. 
      • If you are a non-U.S. citizen/permanent resident, upload your and your parents' tax documents from your home country. If such tax documents are not available, you may use International Business Supplement Form, if applicable, uploaded through IDOC and/or Income Statement for Parents Living Abroad Form, if applicable, uploaded through IDOC. 

    Once you submit the CSS Profile and upload your tax documents to IDOC, there could be up to a week before the documents reach Duke. Please be sure to submit the CSS Profile sufficiently early that there will be time for Duke to receive all of your documents by the deadline. Checklists in DukeHub could take considerably longer to be updated. 

    Step 3 – Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa

    • The FAFSA is only required for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
    • Use code 002920 to ensure the information is sent to Duke University.


    parent Instructions

    For your student to be considered for a need-based grant, the following must be completed by February 15:

    Step 1 – Complete an application in CSS Profile
    https://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile

    • Use code 5158 to ensure your application gets transmitted to the Nicholas School of the Environment.

    Step 2 – Upload tax documents to IDOC in CSS Profile

    • From your dashboard in CSS Profile locate the tab for IDOC. Submit signed copies of your income tax return and associated W-2 forms via IDOC. Do not send tax documents to the Nicholas School, please. 
      • If you filed your income tax form electronically you may submit an electronic version without a "wet" signature. Similarly, the W-2 does not require a signature. 
      • If you are a non-U.S. citizen/permanent resident, upload your tax documents from your home country. If such tax documents are not available, you may use International Business Supplement Form, if applicable, uploaded through IDOC and/or Income Statement for Parents Living Abroad Form, if applicable, uploaded through IDOC. 


    Deadline

    For Entering Students: FEBRUARY 15, 2019

    To be considered, applications will be accepted starting November 1 and must be submitted through CSS Profile by February 15, 2019 along with all required supporting documentation. 

    For Returning Students: APRIL 19, 2019

    To be considered, applications will be accepted starting March 18, 2019, and must be submitted through CSS Profile by April 19, 2019 along with all required supporting documentation. 

    Late submissions will not be considered. Be sure to begin the application process well enough in advance that you will have time to gather your and your parents' tax documents, upload your documents through IDOC, and submit everything by the deadline. The FAFSA and CSS Profile applications are not available for completion until after October 1. 

    Application submission does not guarantee funding. 


    Questions

    Contact the Nicholas School Financial Aid Office at nsoe-financialaid@duke.edu.

     

    Military Veterans

    Through the Yellow Ribbon Military Veterans Program, we support up to 7 Yellow Ribbon awards at up to $10,000 per year. This funding is available to on-campus MEM & MF and DEL-MEM students. Availability of awards depends on the number of students currently receiving this benefit.

    Students must have their eligibility verified through the Veterans Education Office at Duke, veteranseducation@duke.edu

     

    Service Volunteer Fellowships: AmeriCorps, City Year, Peace Corps, and Teach for America

     

    Combo logo for AmeriCorps-Peace Corps-City Year-Teach for America


    The Nicholas School values the diversity of experiences from our students who have served as volunteers in AmeriCorps, City Year, Peace Corps, and Teach for America. Alumni of these service organizations admitted into the MEM, MF, and DEL-MEM programs are eligible for a minimum merit aid package of $5,000-10,000—depending on total length of service—per academic year for up to two years. 

    Aid Packages

    Minimum merit aid packages are:*

    • 6-9 months: $5,000
    • 10-12 months: $7,500
    • More than 12 months: $10,000

    *Beginning Fall 2020. Fall 2019 students with 12+ months of service will receive a minimum merit scholarship of $7,000 per year.

    Students in concurrent degree programs should contact the financial aid manager to determine how their financial aid will be adjusted.

    Additional Support

    • In addition, admitted applicants from partner programs will receive full consideration for additional school-supported merit scholarships (as available), based on their application for admission.
    • Need-based grants may also be available.
    • Eligible service volunteer alumni may also request an application fee waiver. Please note that fee waiver requests must be submitted and granted prior to submitting an application.

    application instructions

    • Please indicate Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, City Year and/or Teach for America service dates and description of service in the appropriate sections of the online application, as well as the resume.
    • Upload a signed and dated completion of service letter (provided by the organization) on the Supplemental Uploads tab of the online application. The letter must be on the organization's letterhead, signed and dated by the supervisor, and include term(s) of service (dates). Eligibility for the Service Volunteer Fellowship will be determined by what is in the letter, therefore please make sure the entirety of the service term(s) is reflected in the letter uploaded. Service volunteers who did not complete their service because of disciplinary reasons are not eligible for the Service Volunteer Fellowship.

    NOTIFICATION

    If eligible, the fellowship will be included in the financial aid letter sent to the student after admission. 

    Questions?

    Please contact Enrollment Services at admissions@nicholas.duke.edu.

    Financial Aid Through FAFSA

    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 federal loans acquired through FAFSA. 

    Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are not permitted to submit a FAFSA.

    Once you submit your FAFSA, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR); please review it carefully.  If everything is accurate, you do not need to do anything else. The Federal Processor will send your report directly to the Nicholas School.

    Every year a small number of students are selected at random for verification. If you are selected, we will notify you and request additional documentation. Most often the documentation required is your federal tax return but it could be other documentation like proof of citizenship. Your prompt compliance will be much appreciated. 

    Submit FAFSA Application

    When submitting your FAFSA please submit to Duke University, code 002920.

     

     

    More Options for Residential MEM & MF Students

    Nicholas Scholars

    We award up to 15 Nicholas Scholarships, our most prestigious merit award, every year.  This competitive scholarship is awarded to incoming students from diverse backgrounds and experiences who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential and academic excellence.

    The Nicholas Scholars cohort is limited to on-campus MEM & MF students. Students are selected to be Nicholas Scholars; no application is necessary.

    Meet the Nicholas Scholars

    Nicholas School Merit-Based Aid

    The Nicholas School awards scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships to MEM and MF students on the basis of demonstrated outstanding academic ability and a high degree of professional promise. 

    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.

    Assistantships & WOrk STudy

    Some students, as part of their merit-based aid, will be offered an assistantship, which includes a work component. The student works 8 hours per week during their first year of enrollment. In their second year, if the student is in good academic standing and has met the obligations of the assistantship, the funds are applied directly to the student's bursar account as a scholarship. Information on the assistantship process will be conveyed during the summer. 

    How to apply

    Decisions regarding these awards are made on the basis of the completed application; no additional application is required.

    Accept / Decline

    Applicants who are offered financial support typically are notified shortly after the time of admission and generally must accept or decline the offer by April 20. Once accepted, the award is binding for both the student and the school.

    CONDITIONS

    • The Nicholas School reserves the right to discontinue financial support depending on a student’s academic standing and progress in the program. The school reserves the right to review academic progress to ensure that the student is making appropriate progress towards the degree and is in good standing before awarding aid for the second year.
    • No student will receive financial aid while on probation unless an appeal is approved by the Associate Dean for Professional Programs and the Assistant Dean for Student Services. 
    • 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.

    Concurrent Degree Students 

    Students who matriculate as a concurrent degree student or who add a concurrent degree to their MEM or MF will have their school-based aid adjusted to account for the reduced credit requirements for concurrent degree students. It is imperative that any MEM or MF student who is also a concurrent degree student or who is contemplating adding a concurrent degree, consult face-to-face with the financial aid counselor to review the adjustments that will affect their financial aid. 

     

    FUNED for Mexican Citizens

    Mexican citizens, in partnership with La Fundación Mexicana para la Educación, la Tecnología y la Ciencia (FUNED), are eligible for tuition scholarships. FUNED is a private operating foundation focused on education. Their mission is to provide financial aid and scholarships for eligible Mexican students who wish to pursue their master’s degree abroad in top-ranked universities, such as at the Nicholas School of the Environment.

    The agreement between FUNED and the Nicholas School provides, in part, the following to eligible applicants:

    • FUNED provides "credit-scholarships" covering part of the total cost of the master’s program (university fees and living expenses) up to 40% of the total cost, not to exceed $12,000 USD. The amount provided to each prospective student will be based on the results of FUNED's financial needs evaluation of the student, repayment capability, and a personal interview.
    • The Nicholas School provides tuition scholarships equivalent to $6,000 USD per eligible admitted MEM student per year (for up to two years, four semesters).


    APPLY

    This opportunity is limited to on-campus MEM and MF students. Those interested must submit their FUNED application no later than 90 days prior to the start of fall semester. Current students are also eligible to apply prior to the start of their second year of study.

     

    COLFUTURO for Colombian Citizens

    Colombian citizens, in partnership with La Fundación para el Futuro de Colombia (COLFUTURO), are eligible for tuition scholarships. COLFUTURO is a Colombian non-profit foundation whose main objective is to provide financial support and increase the possibilities of Colombian citizens to access high-quality postgraduate study programs abroad, such as the Nicholas School.

    COLFUTURO and the Nicholas School share an interest in strengthening bilateral cooperation in the field of environmental sciences education between Colombia and the United States, and promoting strong ties between the two institutions to increase the financial support available for graduate studies of Colombian students.

    The agreement between COLFUTURO and the Nicholas School provides, in part, the following to eligible applicants:

    • The Nicholas School provides a tuition scholarship minimum of $6,000 USD per eligible admitted residential MEM or MF student per year (for up to two years, four semesters).
    • COLFUTURO will provide the remainder of the tuition fees, living expenses and other eligible related costs up to $25,000 USD per year for a maximum financing of two years, up to $50,000 USD.

    Apply

    This opportunity is limited to on-campus MEM and MF students. Current students are also eligible to apply prior to the start of their second year of study. Those interested must submit their online application according to COLFUTURO's deadlines.

    Contact COLFUTURO directly to discuss the application process and eligibility: https://www.colfuturo.org/, Johanna Torres, (johanna.torres@colfuturo.org, +52 (57)1 3405394 x. 124.

     

     

    More suggestions for DEL-MEM Students

    Ways Your Employer Can Support Professional Development

    The general benefits of the DEL-MEM program—leadership, new analytical skills, strategy, increased depth of knowledge, new and expanded networks—tend to resonate with many employers, but it is always best when you can frame them with examples specific to your work. Tips on starting this conversation with your employer:

    • State your case for support of this opportunity strategically.  Focus on metrics that you and your organization both value – mission, annual goals, or strategic plan.
    • Inquire with your supervisor or HR representative about your organization’s policies related to contractual agreements for financial or in-kind support of your continuing studies or professional development.
    • Create a proposal that highlights potential outcomes. Write down your career goals, time frame, specific skills you hope to gain from the DEL-MEM program, and how your organization will benefit from supporting your advanced degree, including a shared vision for the master’s project.
    • Initiate the conversation well in advance of the application deadline.

    view / print Flyer for Employers

     

     

    Once Notified of Your Financial Aid Package

    Log in to DukeHub, and under Financial Aid, check to see that the financial aid you were offered from the Nicholas School has been posted. Please be aware that all awards, including scholarships and loans, may be posted to your account but will not be applied towards your tuition and fees until 10 days prior to the beginning of the semester. You must actively accept loans in order for them to disburse.

    Even though your bill is due August 1st, the Bursar will be able to see if you have accepted your financial aid and they will refrain from applying a late payment penalty provided the aid you have accepted covers your tuition and fees for the semester. By August 1 you will be expected to have paid any amount not covered by scholarships, grants or loans.

    Outside Scholarships

    Specific Scholarship Programs

    Other Scholarship Sources

    Scholarships for Minority and Underrepresented Students

    Scholarships for LGBTQ Students

    Scholarships for International Students

     

    Contact Us

    Nicholas School Financial Aid Office
    Email: nsoe-financialaid@nicholas.duke.edu
    (919) 613-8071

    Levine Science Research Center, Suite A101
    Box #90330
    308 Research Drive
    Durham, NC 27708-0330

    View/Print Financial Aid Manual

     


    Financial Aid staff in the Nicholas School adhere to Duke University's code of conduct in all actions related to financial aid for Nicholas School students, particularly actions related to loans and lending practices. 

    In accordance with federal regulations set forth under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, the Duke University Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance provides a summary of consumer information.