FAQ

How do I apply for financial aid from the Graduate Institute?

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

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

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?

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

If I haven’t applied for financial aid in the past or if my scholarship application was refused, can I apply for the incoming academic year?

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

Once I receive a scholarship package, are there any requirements that I need to meet in order to remain eligible for aid? 

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

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

How can I obtain proof of funding for visa purposes?

What kind of proof is requested as a proof of income? What does “gross wealth” mean?

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

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

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

What happens if I miss the application deadline?

How can I be sure that my application has been received and treated?

How long does it take to receive a response regarding financial aid?

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

What can my scholarship stipend be used for? 

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

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

How many times can my scholarship package be renewed?

How do I apply for financial aid from the Graduate Institute?

  • If you are a new student applying for financial aid, you should do so when completing your application form.
  • 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 are 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 type of financial aid.
    • For both renewals and new applications for current students, you will find more information on this page.
    • Please make sure that you are familiar with the Directive that you will find on that same page and come back to us if anything remains unclear.
    • Please note that your file should be submitted between April 1st and May 30th at the latest and that late applicants are not considered.
  • Financial aid may take the form of a tuition fee waiver or reduction, and/or a full or partial scholarship which provides the student with a monthly stipend during the academic year.

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

  • Prospective/incoming 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 package. All students who decide to attend the Institute need to confirm 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. First year students are considered only in exceptional circumstances. More information on this page.

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 for the following year should send in their documents between April 1st and May 30th at the latest. Please note that it is in the interest of all applicants to complete their files as quickly as possible. Our funds are limited and preference may be given to applicants who have provided all required supporting documents earlier on. This applies specifically to new applicants who have not received any prior financial aid. Incomplete applications may be cancelled.

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?

  • For Master students, the probability to receive a scholarship package with the same conditions as for the previous year is very high as long as your financial situation remains comparable and your academic progress is satisfactory.
  • If you are a PhD student, we strongly encourage you to explore other possible sources of funding such as applying for a post of Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant at the Institute, or for an Excellence Scholarship for foreign scholars (if you are entering your second year only). You are also encouraged to seek advice with our Research Office and apply for other scholarships or grants.

How is my scholarship going to be disbursed? When will it come into effect and 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). However, if necessary, the student may contact our accounting services  at the start of the academic year in order to arrange a disbursement in 12 months (from September to August included). In this case, the amount will be adjusted accordingly.

The amount of 2000 CHF/month in the case of a full stipend and 1000 CHF/month in the case of a partial stipend will be considered when the student’s financial situation needs to be re-assessed in the context of additional possible income during the academic year (September to 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 to our Accounting services

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

Even if the financial situation is essential, past academic performance is also 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, you need to be regularly enrolled at the Institute and pursuing your studies satisfactorily and in accordance with the academic policies and regulations

If I haven’t applied for financial aid in the past or if my scholarship application was refused, can I apply for the incoming academic year?

Yes, if you are a current ongoing student, you may apply for financial aid if you have not applied in the past or have not obtained any financial assistance from the Institute. Please note that your financial situation will be considered as well as your academic performance and that the selection process is very competitive. A scholarship package may only be attributed to new applicants upon availability of funds and is, by no means, guaranteed even if the student excels in his studies and has proven financial need.

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 for the following academic year.

Please note that your financial aid package will not be automatically renewed and your complete application will be assessed by the Financial Aid Committee.

If your leave of absence is for the Fall semester only, your scholarship will be re-activated for the second semester.

Once I receive a scholarship package, are there any requirements that I need to meet in order to remain eligible for aid? 

Yes, a scholarship package 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. Students are also required to inform the Scholarships Office of any change in their personal or financial situation. 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? 

All beneficiaries of financial aid provided by the Institute who wish to take a remunerated job or internship 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. The student’s situation will then be re-assessed and the scholarship might be reduced 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 30 000 CHF as specified in the directive on financial aid. Otherwise, financial aid from the Institute will be decreased accordingly.

The amount of 2000 CHF/month in the case of a full stipend and 1000 CHF/month in the case of a partial stipend will be considered when the student’s financial situation needs to be re-assessed in the context of additional possible income during the academic year (September to June included). If applicable, the amount of the tuition fee reduction is also added.

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 scholarship package be affected?

All conditions for your scholarship package remain identical. The fact that you go on exchange or have an internship abroad will have no effect on your financial aid unless your internship is paid in which case you must inform the Scholarships Office.

Ongoing students nominated to participate in the exchange programme can apply earlier and will receive a decision regarding their financial aid package for the following year, by mid May. This information is often required for visa purposes. The students concerned will receive a reminder in due time.

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

There is a list of donors available but students must not contact them directly as this would jeopardize your chances in obtaining a scholarship through the donor. Once your scholarship 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 and should suffice for visa purposes but an attestation letter is available upon request.

What kind of proof is requested as a proof of income? What does “gross wealth” mean?

We normally only accept your and your spouse’s (if applicable) and/or your parents’ latest income 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 an income declaration is unavailable, please send us a letter explaining why you are providing us with another proof of income.

Gross wealth includes all the assets that you and your family own, for example, material goods and real estate/land, as well as liquidity in the form of bonds and interests. These assets can generate current income or have the potential to generate future income. It excludes any income earned from a salary and/or pensions (alimony, maintenance, child support etc.), which should be included in the annual gross income but not in the gross wealth. If your resources include a loan, you need to provide us with the proof of loan provision. 

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 need to be taken into account even if these rules do not apply in your country. 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 advised that even if you are over the age of 25 years old, it is highly recommended that you provide us with your parents’ financial documents as this will give us an overview of your family’s financial background.

Please be informed that all incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee and students will not be considered for financial aid.

I have been offered a scholarship package but will not be able to enroll at the Institute this year. Will I need to re-apply for a scholarship 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. Please be advised that your application will not be considered as a priority and will be subject to the availability of funds for the upcoming academic year.

How can I be sure that my application has been received and treated?

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 only in April-May).

How long does it take to receive a response regarding financial aid?

Incoming students will receive a response regarding their application for financial aid 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 by the Scholarships office at the end of June.

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 financial aid from the Institute simultaneously?

Yes, you may apply for both. If you receive a full scholarship and a tuition fee waiver, your scholarship package will be 27000 CHF. Therefore, you may still apply for Direct Loans but the total of your scholarship package and the loan should not exceed approximately 32000 CHF, which is the maximal Cost of Attendance as defined by the US Loans Office from the Institute. Accordingly, you would be eligible for a maximum of 4000 CHF in Direct Loans.

What can my scholarship stipend be used for? 

Your scholarship stipend 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 is only an estimation and it 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 should explore other options of funding which may be available in your country. You may also contact private donors and Foundations providing that it is specifically mentioned that they accept to be contacted directly by the student. Please note though that, in most cases, these scholarships are only available for students selected by the Institute and applications coming directly from students are often automatically rejected and may hinder your chances of being accepted for financial aid at a later stage.

If you are Swiss, please consult this page.

You can also contact us directly and we may be able to direct you to a database providing that you have a valid Email address from the Institute.

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 or the possibility to pay in instalments.

How many times can my scholarship package 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 alternative ways to finance their studies. Furthermore, PhD students who are in prolongation (over 8 semesters) are no longer eligible to apply for financial aid at the Institute (except special aid for a possible tuition fee reduction).

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

Please contact the Scholarships office for any questions regarding your scholarship package or any other type of financial aid available at the Institute (including our donors) and the Admissions Office for any question regarding your admission and program of choice.