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Graduate Student Success Scholarship

Graduate Studies and the Office of Financial aid jointly administer the Graduate Student Success Scholarship for graduate students with demonstrable financial need. Designed to help students continue or complete their degree programs, the Success Scholarship allocates funds to the colleges and schools so that they can use the scholarships strategically for their graduate programs. As explained below, each college or school runs their own process for selecting nominations. Graduate Studies does not accept nominations directly from graduate units or graduate students.

Purpose: The Graduate Success Scholarships provide support for program continuation and completion. The Graduate Success Scholarships provide at least $1,000.00 and up to $7500.00 per student per semester for terminal master’s degree students and at least $1,000.00 and up to $9,000.00 per student per semester for doctoral students. Recipients may hold the scholarship for up to two semesters (limitations are provided in Process section below). Tuition and health care are not included as part of the award.

The Success Scholarships are need-based scholarships that provide financial support to domestic and permanent-resident graduate students currently enrolled in a terminal masters or doctoral program. (Note: International, non-degree and students in the following professional programs are not eligible for this award: M.D., J.D., Pharm D., D.P.T, and D.N.P.) Nominees must demonstrate academic or creative achievement, as well as financial need based upon a current FAFSA. The amount of the award given should not exceed the level of need as determined by the FAFSA. This means that eligible candidates for the Success Scholarships must demonstrate a minimum of $2,000.00 annual unmet need for the 2018- 2019 academic year to receive a two-semester award, $1,000.00 annual unmet need for the – 2018-2019 academic year to receive a one semester award.

Eligibility: All nominees must be enrolled currently in a terminal masters or doctoral program at UNM and must demonstrate superior academic merit as well as financial need. Nominees must have been enrolled in their graduate program at UNM for at least one year and should demonstrate meritorious academic or creative accomplishments during their tenure in the program. Nominees must have a current, updated FAFSA on file so that the nominating unit can determine their level of financial need and the colleges and Graduate Studies can verify that level of need. In addition, students must have submitted all required verification documents to the Financial Aid Office, as requested. A complete financial aid file is required in order to properly assess a student’s financial need. The Success Scholarship cannot be awarded to students who do not have an active and complete financial aid file.

Process: Graduate Studies will allocate to each college specific dollar amounts based upon graduate enrollments to each college for funding the Success Scholarships. Each college may determine its own selection process and determine the best way to allocate funds to their graduate programs. Awards per semester may not be below $1,000.00 per student per semester and may not exceed $7,500.00 per student per semester for Master’s students and $9,000.00 per student per semester for doctoral students.

Graduate Studies cannot accept nominations directly from graduate units. In the review process, departments and colleges should weigh each nominee’s academic merit and demonstrable financial need. The total amount of the award should not exceed the total amount of the student’s need as indicated on the financial aid award overview, available on the student’s Lobo Web account.

Each college will send Graduate Studies a list of awardees indicating the student name, Banner ID number, amount awarded, and number of semesters for the award. This list is due by - July 21, 2018 for the fall, November 2, 2018 for the following spring semesters. Graduate Studies will review the nomination packets, verify the financial need, and make the awards to all eligible recipients. Recipients may hold the scholarship for up to two semesters (contingent upon the allocation to the college) as long as they remain in good academic standing and meet whatever terms and conditions their college or department may place upon their acceptance of the award. Graduate Studies will not consider petitions for extensions of the Success Scholarships. Graduate Studies will reallocate any unused funds after the spring deadline.

Application Packet:  Application packets for each nominee must at minimum include the following; colleges may choose to ask for more information or materials:

  • a copy of most current Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • a copy of the student’s financial aid award overview from Loboweb (see instructions below)
  • a personal statement articulating the nominee’s academic and professional goals; and highlighting academic and/or creative achievements made while enrolled as a graduate student at UNM;
  • a plan of study, with a schedule, for completing the requirements for their  program;
  • a letter of recommendation from  the department chair or graduate director.

Deadlines: Colleges (not departments or students) must submit the list of their nominees along with the application packets for each nominee to Graduate Studies by July 21 for fall semester 2018, by November 2 for spring semester 2019.

Instructions for accessing the financial aid award overview from Lobo Web

  • Go to
  • Log in with your net id and password.
  • Click on Student Life tab
  • Click on Lobo Web
  • Click on Financial Aid Tab
  • Select the current academic year from SELECT AID YEAR list (click submit)
  • Click on AWARD INFO
  • Click on AWARD OVERVIEW (the need calculation and cost of attendance is available here)