Graduate Student Success Scholarship

Graduate Studies and the Office of Financial Aid jointly administer the Graduate Student Success Scholarship (GSSS) 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.

Each college or school manages the process for selecting nominations. Interested students should inquire with the college dean of your graduate program for the application and/or nomination process.

Graduate Studies does not accept nominations directly from graduate units or graduate students.  We ask the colleges/schools to think strategically how these funds can help students complete their degrees. While colleges/schools can use the GSSS funds at their discretion to best support the success of their students, Graduate Studies suggests that, in light of institutional data that shows high stop out rates after coursework, awards be extended to those students who lack other forms of funding, with priority consideration given to underrepresented minority students for whom the funds will facilitate degree completion.

The scholarship provides at least $1,000.00 and up to $7,500.00 per student per semester for master’s degree students that are in departments without doctoral programs and at least $1,000.00 and up to $9,000.00 per student per semester for doctoral and MFA students. Award amounts vary and are determined by the college. Recipients may hold the scholarship for a maximum of two semesters. Tuition and health insurance are not included as part of the award.


  • Open to domestic and to international graduate students currently enrolled in a Ph.D. or MFA program. Also open to Plan I Master’s students in departments that do not have Ph.D. programs.
    • Note: Non-degree, UNM Staff, UNM Faculty, 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.
  • Must be enrolled in at least six (6) graduate credit hours that apply towards their graduate degree each semester they receive the scholarship
  • Must not be on probation (Type 1, Type 2 or Type 3)
  • Must demonstrate financial need; 2021 - 2022 FAFSA is required; students must have submitted all required verification documents to the Financial Aid Office, as requested, and have a completed Financial Aid file.
  • Must have been enrolled in their graduate program (as a degree-seeking student) at UNM for at least one year
  • Demonstrate meritorious academic or creative accomplishments during their tenure in the program.


Graduate Studies will allocate a specific amount to each college based on the colleges’ graduate enrollment. Each college may determine its own selection process and determine the best way to allocate funds to their graduate programs.

In the review process, 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’s name, UNM ID number, amount awarded, and number of semesters for the award.

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 GSSS. Graduate Studies will reallocate any unused funds after the spring deadline.

Application Packet

Application packets for each nominee must 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 completed Funding Disclosure Form
  • A plan of study, with a schedule, for completing the requirements for their program, and
  • A letter of recommendation from the department chair or graduate director.


Colleges/schools (not departments or students) must email the list of their nominees along with the application packets for each nominee to Marisa Castaneda ( by September 1, 2021 for Fall 2021 and by November 1, 2021 for Spring 2022.

Instructions for Students to access their Financial Aid Award Overview in LoboWeb

  • 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)