Frequently Asked Questions
for Financial Aid

In English only - Here you will find the most frequently asked questions we receive. If you do not see an answer to your question below, please contact us. 




How do I apply for a scholarship from the Graduate Institute?

  • If you are a new student applying for financial aid, you should do so when completing your application form.
    • More information on the Financial Aid Application can be found on this link.
  • If you are a current student, you may renew your scholarship if you have already received one for the previous year or apply for the first time for your second year if you’re a Master student or any subsequent year if you are a PhD student. Please be aware though that if you are under prolongation, you are not eligible for this scholarship.

When do I apply for a scholarship if I’m an incoming student or a current student?

  • Prospective students should apply for financial aid during their application. They will be notified by the admissions office regarding their admission to the programme of their choice and the possible award of a scholarship (partial or full). All students who decide to attend the Institute need to reserve their place by paying a fee of 1000 CHF. This will guarantee their place in the programme and their scholarship if awarded. Please note that all students, including those awarded with a full tuition waiver, are expected to pay 1000 CHF as an annual fee. This will be used as a contribution towards financing scholarships for others and is done in a spirit of solidarity and unity.
  • If you are a current student, please make sure to apply for a scholarship between April 1st and May 30th. This is valid for both renewals and new scholarship applications for ongoing students.

What is emergency aid and who is eligible for this type of aid?

Emergency aid is available for all currently enrolled students who have encountered unexpected situations and need punctual financial help. More information on this link.

If I have already received a full or partial scholarship, do I need to re-apply ?

Yes, all students who have received a scholarship and who wish to renew it should apply by using this application form and providing all necessary documents by May 30th to the Scholarships Office located on the 4th floor, Petal 1 Maison de la Paix. Documents can be handed in personally or sent electronically.

What is the process to renew my scholarship and what are my chances to receive a scholarship with the same conditions as the previous year?

Please use this application form and refer to this directive. All documents must be sent or brought to the financial aid office (Petal 1, 4th floor, Maison de la Paix). Please note that the deadline for receiving a complete application is May 30th. You may check the status of your application online.

  • For Master students, the probability to receive a scholarship with the same conditions as for the previous year is very high as long as your financial situation remains comparable.
  • If you are a PhD student, we strongly encourage you to explore other possible sources of funding such as applying for a post of Assistant at the Institute or for an excellence Scholarship for foreign scholars.
  • If you are a Swiss national, you may also look into other types of grants.
  • All students may also consult our scholarship database.

How is my scholarship going to be disbursed? When will it come into effect? What if I don’t have a bank account?

The scholarship is allocated for a period of 10 months starting in September and ending in June (included).

You will find useful information on opening a bank account upon your arrival on this link. You may also consider opening a postal account.

If you don’t have a bank account and need your first installment urgently, you may send a request on this Email address asking for a “letter de créance”.  

How does my academic performance influence the decision regarding the attribution of a scholarship? Will my past academic record have any influence on my scholarship for the first year?

Even if the financial situation is essential, past academic performance may also be a criteria for obtaining a scholarship if you are an incoming student or a current student applying for the first time. If, however, you are applying for a renewal and you are a Master student, your academic performance will not be taken into account as long as you are regularly enrolled at the Institute.

If I haven’t applied for a scholarship in the past, can I apply for the incoming academic year?

Yes, if you are a current ongoing student, you may apply for a scholarship if you have not applied in the past. Your financial status will be considered as well as your academic performance.

What happens if I fail my studies or need to temporarily suspend my studies?

If you interrupt your studies, your scholarship will be stopped with immediate effect. If you obtain an approved leave of absence, you may re-apply for a scholarship renewal by using this application form and providing all necessary documents by May 30th to the Scholarships Office located on the 4th level, Petal 1 Maison de la paix. Please note that your scholarship will not be automatically renewed and your complete application will be assessed by the Financial Aid Committee.

Once I receive a scholarship, are there any requirements that I need to meet in order to keep the scholarship? 

Yes, a scholarship can be cancelled or suspended if it appears that the beneficiary does not fulfil the conditions on which it was granted. Students who have not satisfied their curriculum requirements in the first semester, who have breached the Academic Regulations or violated the Code of Conduct may have their financial aid removed in the second semester. The decision to cancel or suspend financial aid will be taken by the Direction of Studies, after consultation with the Financial Aid Committee. 

What happens if I get a job at the Institute or elsewhere? 

Full and partial scholarship beneficiaries who wish to take a remunerated job either at the Institute or elsewhere or who accept any other form of financial aid from an external source during the academic year are required to inform the Scholarships Office as soon as possible. Your situation will then be re-assessed and your scholarship might be adapted as a consequence. Accumulation is allowed only if the total of both the Institute’s financial aid and the additional amount does not exceed the allowed cumulated amount of 28 000 CHF as specified in the directive on financial aid. Otherwise, financial aid from the Institute will be decreased accordingly.
Any modifications in the applicant’s financial situation arising between the application submission and the end of the financial aid period must be notified immediately to the Scholarships Office.

What if I go on an exchange programme or if I have an internship abroad? How will my tuition fees be affected?

All conditions for your scholarship remain identical. The fact that you go on exchange or have an internship abroad will have no effect on your scholarship unless your internship is paid in which case you must inform the Scholarships Office. Your tuition fees will not be affected.

Is there a list of scholarship providers that I can apply for directly?

You may be eligible for another type of aid, please consult the Swiss university website as well as possible aid given in your country of origin. You may also consult our scholarship database of financial aid providers.

Are there donors that I could contact to get a scholarship?

There is a list of donors available but you must not contact them directly as this would jeopardize your chances in obtaining a scholarship. Once your application is accepted by the Institute, we will contact the appropriate donor when applicable. The student will be informed directly.

How can I obtain proof of funding for visa purposes?

You may use your admission letter in which the amounts that you will receive for your scholarship are clearly mentioned. You may also use the attestation letter that you receive from either the financial aid office or the donor confirming that you have been granted a scholarship. The attestation letter will usually be sent only by Email unless the student requests a formal letter.

What kind of proof is requested as a proof of income? 

We normally only accept your and your spouse’s (if applicable) and/or your parents’ latest tax declaration from the fiscal year. However, as this document may not be available, in certain exceptional circumstances, you may also provide us with proof of your and your parents’/spouse’s income in other forms such as an employment contract indicating salary or recent salary slips, bank statements indicating available funds, proof of all other sources of funding such as savings, annuities, investments, family contribution etc. If you receive any other type of grant and/or loan, please provide us with this evidence. If a tax declaration is unavailable, please send us a letter explaining why you are providing us with another proof of income.

I am an independent student and my parents are not helping me financially. What proof of income should I submit?

Under Swiss law, a parent is required to financially support their children while studying until the age of 25. Therefore, if you are under 25, you will be considered financially dependent on your parents and your parents’ income will be taken into account. However, if you are 25 or more, you may be considered as an independent student as long as you specifically inform us that your parents do not contribute financially to your education and other expenses. Please note that you may be asked to provide evidence to this effect. Please be informed that all incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee and students will not be considered for scholarships.

I have been offered a scholarship but will not be able to enroll at the Institute this year. Will I need to re-apply for scholarships if I apply again the following year?

Yes, you will need to re-apply for financial aid. Your scholarship application is only valid for the academic year for which you have applied and are admitted. If you cannot enroll and you wish to postpone your admission, please re-apply and your scholarship application will be reviewed again. The decision will be communicated in your admission letter.

What happens if I would need to re-enter my details in my application form? 

During the admission process, you can always change your details. If you need to modify your information and have already sent out your application, please inform the Admissions and the Scholarships office (for informational purposes only) as soon as possible. 

I am enrolled to the LL.M programme or the MIDS. What kind of financial aid is available for me?

Please visit their website for any financial aid information. Please note that the financial aid office at the Graduate Institute does not consider requests for financial aid for students enrolled at an LL.M program or at the MIDS.

  • For the LL.M, you will find information here.
  • For the MIDS, you will find information here.

What happens if I miss the application deadline?

If you miss the deadline, you will not be considered for financial aid for the given year. If you wish to apply for financial aid the following year, please make sure that you do not miss the application deadline of May 30th for all current students.

How can I be sure that my application has been received and treated? How can I check the status of my application?

New applicants can track the status of their application on the follow up section of their application. Ongoing students can also check the status of their financial aid application on the follow up (available in April-May), they will also be able to see whether their application is complete and if not, what documents are missing. 

How long does it take to receive a response regarding the scholarship?

Incoming students will receive a response regarding their scholarship application along with their admission letter. Ongoing students who reapply for financial aid or who are applying for the first time will receive a response at the end of June. An email which can be used officially will be sent and you may also check on the follow up (available in April-May). 

Can I apply for a scholarship and try to obtain another scholarship externally?

Yes, you may apply simultaneously. However, please make sure to inform us accordingly.

I am a US citizen or eligible national, can I apply for US Direct Loans as well as as a scholarship simultaneously?

Yes, you may apply for both. However, please be advised that the total amount that you can receive is 28 000 CHF. If, therefore, you receive a full scholarship, you may still apply for Direct Loans for a total amount of up to approximately 32000 CHF. You would, therefore, be eligible for a maximum of 4000 CHF in Direct Loans.

What can my scholarship be used for? 

Your scholarship should cover your usual living expenses during your studies. Please find an estimation for living costs. This will give you an idea of what to expect and how to plan your budget accordingly. Please note that this estimation is valid for a student with no dependents.

If I am unsuccessful in obtaining a scholarship, are there any other options for me?

Yes, you may consult this database and apply for another type of scholarship and/or aid.

What if I don’t have the means to pay my tuition fees on time?

If you cannot pay your tuition fees on time, please send an Email asking for a possible extension of the delay.

How many times can my scholarship be renewed?

As long as you are successfully completing your studies, you may apply for this scholarship as many times as necessary. MA students can apply for their second year of studies and PhD students may also apply for the subsequent years although they are encouraged to seek other ways to finance their studies as explained on this page. Furthermore, PhD students who are in prolongation (over 8 semesters) are no longer eligible for this scholarship.

Who can I get in touch if I didn’t find an answer to my questions regarding financial aid?

Please contact the Scholarships office for any questions regarding your scholarship (including the Wilsdorf Foundation and all other types of scholarships) and the Admissions Office for any question regarding your admission and program of choice.