Master of Environmental Studies

MES Financial Aid

Submit your 2015-2016 FAFSA to be eligible for $20,500+ in student loans. You can submit the FAFSA at any time.

MES aims to support all students who have financial need.  To do so, Evergreen offers loans, grants, scholarships, fellowships, awards, and tuition waivers 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. In addition, admitted students are encouraged to seek financial help from sources outside Evergreen. 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.

Non-loan Financial Aid for MES Students

Funding from the MES Program - application closed for 15/16; 16/17 application will be available December 2015.

In addition to loans, MES students are eligible for a number of scholarships, fellowships, and tuition waivers offered by MES.  Awards can be merit-based, need-based or both. Some awards are offered based on new students' admissions applications. Others require the FAFSA or a separate application. Please see the MES Awards page for complete award descriptions and application. Applications are typically due March 1 for the following academic year and prospective and current students will be notified by email when applications are available sometime in December. Award summaries:

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 ranges from $2,100 to $2,700 for the entire year 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.

Non-MES Funding

If you take the time to research and apply, there is a lot of funding out there for graduate students. Some funding is in the form of scholarships, in which you just receive a certain amount of money, and some is in the form of fellowships, in which you receive a certain amount of money while also working for an organization as a "fellow." Many fellowships are also available for recent graduates.

Funding Your Research

Throughout the academic year, a number of grants and fellowships are advertised to enrolled MES students for research or projects.  Here are are a few that are typically offered on an annual basis.

Conference Grants

Evergreen offers students the opportunity to receive up to $500 to present academic work at conferences. Please fill out a Conference Funding Application (PDF) and submit to the Deans' Office if you are interested. The MES student organization and the MES program sometimes have funding available for conferences; if so, the opportunity will be publicized by email. Also, some conferences offer scholarships to graduate students to pay for their attendance. 

Evergreen Clean Energy Grant

Funds campus sustainability projects.  Open to any member of the Evergreen community.  Offered throughout the year.

The Evergreen State College Foundation Activity Grant

Up to $1000 per student per grant cycle.
Up to 25 grants for Evergreen students and faculty for a variety of academic projects, usually in Winter and Spring quarters. MES students often receive these awards.  FAFSA not required.

Evergreen Sustainability Fellowship 

Up to $4000 per student per project.
Fellowship awarded to several students for sustainability-related projects that are based on or off campus.  All Evergreen grad students are eligible.  Application available Winter quarter for a Spring quarter project. FAFSA not required.

The Noosphere Award

One award up to $1400 available per year. Application usually due in April.
Award supports faculty-student collaborative projects unifying artistic, scientific, and spiritual elements that promote the advent of a worldwide culture of peace.

An innovative approach using crowdsourcing. Create a profile about your thesis project and ask friends, neighbors, family members, and science lovers to financially support your research.

Writing Your Own Research Grant

Writing your own grant is good experience for a future environmental career. Here are some resources to get you started.


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 or this helpful blog post. You can also check out this helpful repayment calculator. 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 most financial aid, including loans, the Evergreen Need Grant, and need-based scholarships, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the appropriate academic year and submit it to the federal processing center.  Be sure to submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 of each year to increase the likelihood of receiving funds.  Evergreen's priority deadline is March 1. This means that to have your file reviewed in the first awarding cycle, you must file your FAFSA by March 1. It does not mean that you will be unable to receive financial aid next year if you do not meet the deadline, but 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.  Spouses or dependents of active military living in Washington may be eligible for resident tuition if not already a Washington resident.  See the residency page for more details. 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.

Native Americans Eligible for Resident Tuition

American Indian students who meet the following two conditions are eligible to pay resident tuition at colleges and universities in Washington State:

  • For a period of one year immediately prior to enrollment at a state institution of higher education, students must have been domiciled in one or a combination of the following states: Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington.
  • Students must be a member of one of the federally recognized Indian tribes, as determined under Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations (25CFR), whose traditional and customary tribal boundaries include portions of the state of Washington, or whose tribe was granted reserved lands within the state of Washington.

Other Funding Sources

AmeriCorps Education Award

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


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


We encourage all MES students to participate in at least one internship while in the program.  It is often the case that internships provide a stipend, and there are several available every year both on and off-campus for MES students.  Once you are a student in the program, you will be notified of open internships.

Related Information

The Evergreen State College's programs of study are approved by the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board for enrollment of persons eligible to receive educational benefits under Title 38 and Title 10 USC.