Each year, roughly 60 percent of our students receive merit–based funding from the Ford School. The Ford School offers financial assistance through a wide variety of merit–based fellowships, partnerships, cost–share agreements, and general aid packages.
Generously funded by University of Michigan alumnus David Bohnett (MBA '80), the Bohnett Foundation Leadership and Public Service Fellowships are competitively awarded to three incoming master's students each year. A separate application form, resume, and statement of purpose are required for consideration. Bohnett Fellows are required to complete an internship in the City of Detroit Mayor's Office or the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.
Riecker Michigan Delegation Fellowship
The Riecker Michigan Delegation Fellowship provides support for a 2nd year student to complete a 6 month assignment in Washington working on Capitol Hill in the office of a member of the Michigan delegation. For the inaugural year of this fellowship, the student will work in the Office of Senator Debbie Stabenow, the senior member of the MI delegation. The Riecker fellow also receives in-state tuition support (or equivalent amount) for the fall semester following the DC assignment. The fellowship is named for Margaret (Ranny) Riecker, a longtime friend and generous benefactor of the Ford School.
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Fellowship
Our premier merit fellowship honors the legacy of our namesake president. In keeping with that legacy, the Ford School seeks to inspire the next century of citizens, public servants, and leaders. These endowed fellowships provide tuition, a generous stipend, as well as internship funding and professional development activities, and allow us to recruit exceptionally talented Master’s degree students. With full support, students can engage fully in the schools many events and activities and serve in leadership roles through our various student organizations.
In President Ford’s name, these fellows will go on to build their own legacies, serving the interests of our state and nation by analyzing issues creatively and objectively, identifying actionable policy solutions, and building bipartisan consensus.
Learn more about the fellowship here. (All admitted graduate students are automatically considered for the Ford Presidential Fellowship.)
The Ford School partners with a number of high profile public service and leadership organizations to support students who would benefit from a public policy degree. Among these partners are Teach for America, AmeriCorps, the Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA), the Yellow Ribbon Program for U.S. Veterans, and the U.S. Peace Corps (Coverdell). In 2017–2018, forty–eight students affiliated with these organizations received some form of partnership funding.
Teach for America, AmeriCorps, and PPIA alumni typically receive a minimum of $10,000 fellowship. At least five Coverdell Fellowships are available to current or returned Peace Corps Volunteers; the Coverdell Fellowship guarantees a minimum fellowship of one–quarter tuition.
All Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Teach for America alumni who are at least three months removed from service can request a few waiver directly from the Ford School by completing the Ford School's volunteer service form. After a request is submitted, applicants will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org asking for a Letter of Verification from their organization. Letters of Verification must include dates of service. Upon receipt of the Letter of Verification and subsequent approval of the application for fee waiver, applicants will receive their fee waiver code via email with additional instructions.
Current Peace Corps and AmeriCorps volunteers should complete the Rackham fee waiver request, which can be found on the Rackham website. PPIA alumni should also apply for a fee waiver through Rackham.
Other merit fellowships
The Ford School offers financial assistance through a wide variety of merit–based fellowships, with funding ranging from $5,000 per year to full–tuition packages. In 2019–2020, 71 percent of students received some form of fellowship support.*
No special application form is required for consideration, and fellowships are awarded at the time of admission to the program. All applicants to the Ford School are considered.
A portion of our merit fellowship support has been provided through named fellowships, established through the generosity of alumni and friends. In 2017–2018, we awarded roughly $550,000 in donor–named fellowship awards.
In addition to fellowship support awarded through the admissions process, several named fellowships—including The Hackett family and Lee C. Bollinger awards—are designated for continuing master's students. Applications for these fellowships are circulated in the summer between the first and second year of study.
In addition to our own Ford School fellowships, we partner with a number of departments and organizations to match and mobilize fellowship awards. These include the Rackham Merit Award, the Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship, and, on a case by case basis, other high–profile, externally awarded fellowships. In 2017–18, the Ford School awarded over $800,000 in cost–share funding.
*All applicants to the Ford School are considered for Ford School fellowships unless they indicate on the admission application that they do not wish to be considered for funding. The only fellowships that require a separate application form is the Bohnett Foundation Leadership and Public Service Fellowship (incoming first–year) and the Riecker Michigan Delegation Fellowship.