Master of Environmental Studies

MES Estimated Costs and Financial Aid

Evergreen’s MES degree is one of the most affordable environmental master’s degrees in the state and the country.

Full-time Washington residents pay less than the public institution national average.* 75% of students who apply for aid receive some kind of non-loan aid, so see the financial aid available to you below to find out how to fund your MES education.

Note: The Washington State Legislature and the Evergreen Board of Trustees set the rate of tuition annually. Tuition is subject to change without notice. The rates below are the estimated costs for an academic year (Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters only).

Estimated Cost of Attendance**
WA Resident
WA Resident
Total $24,252 $22,146 $36,810 $32,193
Yearly Tuition $9,579 $7,665 $22,137 $17,712
Mandatory Fees $729 $537 $729 $537
Loan Fees (only if taking out loans) $354 $354 $354 $354
Books/Supplies $1,050 $1,050 $1,050 $1,050
Room & Board $9,360 $9,360 $9,360 $9,360
Transportation $1,125 $1,125 $1,125 $1,125
Miscellaneous $2,055 $2,055 $2,055 $2,055

Please see Evergreen's Tuition Rates webpage and Student Fees webpage for a breakdown by quarter (including summer).

Some Native Americans and nonresident active duty military and their dependents (including spouses) living in Washington may apply for resident tuition.

*According to the National Center for Education Statistics

** Your financial aid package is based on the total cost of attendance, which varies based on the number of credits you take and if you have loan fees.  Depending on your situation, you can also appeal to increase your cost of attendance, thus increasing your financial aid.

***A full-time MES student takes 12 credits per quarter for 2 years.  A part-time student takes 8 credits per quarter for 3 years. Students who take a different number of credits other than 12 or 8 will be charged per credit as demonstrated on the Tuition Rates webpage. For financial aid purposes, 8 credits per quarter is considered full-time and 4 credits per quarter is part-time. To stay eligible for federal aid, students must be taking at least 4 credits per quarter.

Financial Aid

MES aims to support all students who have financial need.  To do so, Evergreen offers loans, grants, scholarships, fellowships, awards, tuition waivers, and assistantships that can help offset the cost of tuition.

  • On average, almost 75% of MES students who apply for MES awards receive some kind of non-loan aid.
  • Of those who apply for MES financial aid, 95% of nonresidents and 70% of residents are awarded.
  • The average award for nonresidents typically covers 23% of nonresident tuition and the average award for residents usually covers 36% of tuition.

MES typically has more financial aid for new students than continuing students because we expect you to find funding through other sources, such as internships, in your second year. The program will support you in finding these outside resources throughout the year.

Scholarships, Fellowships, Tuition Waivers, and Grants

Funding from the MES Program

MES has a number of scholarships, fellowships, and waivers that are merit-based, need-based, or both. Some awards are offered based on new students’ admissions applications. Others require the FAFSA or a separate application. Applications are typically due March 1 for the following academic year.

Learn more about MES scholarships, fellowships and tuition waivers.

Evergreen Need Grant—Special Funding for Washington Residents

Evergreen offers a limited number of Evergreen Need Grants to graduate students with high need who are Washington residents.The grant amount varies, and is prorated for students taking less than 8 credits for any particular quarter. Only students who submit their FAFSA by Evergreen's priority deadline (typically March 1) will be considered for the grant.

No application is needed, and the Financial Aid office will notify you if you receive this award.

Other Scholarships and Fellowships

Paid Assistantships and Internships

A number of MES partners offer paid graduate assistantships and internships that pay an hourly wage. Applications for these positions usually occur before each Fall, but can open up at any time.  Below is a sample list of the types of paid assistantships and internships. The MES office notifies students when positions open. Note that assistantships do not offer a tuition waiver.

Sustainability in Prisons Project
Offers several graduate research assistantships in sustainability education, conservation, and scientific research.  Pay is $14/hour for 19 hours/week. Position lasts as long as student is in MES. Students may earn internship credit, as well as develop a thesis related to their assistantship.

Washington Department of Transportation Habitat Connectivity
Offers two yearlong paid internships studying habitat connectivity on major Washington freeways. Position is 19 hours a week at $11/hour. Students earn internship credit, and position comes with optional thesis research.

Washington Department of Transportation Wetlands Management
Offers paid summer internships to up to 20 students. Pay is $3,000 for summer and includes credit.

The Evergreen State College Center for Sustainable Infrastructure
For 2015, offered one graduate assistantship position in program and administrative support. Pay was $14/hour for 19 hours a week.


In addition to scholarships, MES students also qualify for loans. To apply for loans, you must fill out the FAFSA. The good news is that grads who work for 10 years in public service will have their loans forgiven! There are also ways to reduce your payments depending on your income. Check out the IBR Info website for more information. And, don’t forget that the IRS offers education tax credits for students.

  • Federal Direct Loans—MES students qualify for $20,500 at a fixed rate of 6.21% (as of March 2015) in federal unsubsidized loans per year, unless they have defaulted on a previous federal loan.

  • Graduate PLUS Loans—Another federal loan that students can apply for if the $20,500 isn't enough. The interest rate is a fixed 7.21% (as of March 2015).

  • Private Loans

  • Short-Term Emergency Loans—The Financial Aid office can give a $400 emergency loan per quarter per student.  Please contact Financial Aid for more information.

FAFSA—Free Application for Federal Student Aid

To apply for need-based awards, the Evergreen Need Grant, and loans, you must fill out the FAFSA. Follow the process on the Financial Aid website. Evergreen’s school code for the FAFSA is 008155.

In order to receive the best possible aid and to know at the earliest possible date what your offer will be make sure that your FAFSA is filed by March 1. Note that international students are not eligible to fill out the FAFSA. Not all forms of MES financial aid require the FAFSA.

Funding for Military Veterans and Families

Evergreen’s Veterans Resource Center offers financial aid information for veterans and their families. The college offers a 50% tuition waiver to eligible veterans who are Washington residents and a 100% tuition waiver to eligible dependents of disabled/deceased veterans.  In addition, veterans who apply to MES may be eligible to have their application fee waived. For information about federal veteran programs, please go to The Department of Veterans Affairs.

Other Funding Sources

  • AmeriCorps Education Award—If you received an AmeriCorps Education Award, you can use that award to fund your studies at Evergreen.

  • Employment—MES classes are in the evening, enabling students to find a full- or part-time job during the day.

  • Internships—Many internships available to MES students are paid.

  • Research Funding - There are many resources for funding your thesis research.