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Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Estimate of Expenses

Tuition for master’s students and Ph.D. students in scholastic residence enrolled full-time in the program (three courses) during the 2017-2018 academic year is $47,802. An estimate of expenses a student in the full-time program will incur during the course of the school year (based on a nine-month budget with a modest standard of living) is as follows:

Activity Fee
Tuition $47,802
Student Life Fee $1,164
One-time Lifetime Transcript Fee $75
University Student Health
Basic Insurance Plan (student only) $3,576
Room and Board $14,130 (estimated)
Personal Expenses $3,000 (estimated)
Books & Supplies $1,785 (estimated)
Commuting to and from field placement only (includes quarterly U-Pass fee) $2,337
Total for a single student $73,866

Schedule of Fees

All payments of tuition and fees must be completed by the due date indicated on the bill from the Office of the Bursar. If a student has not paid any account in full that is due to the University by the end of the billing cycle, restriction of further privileges or services may follow. The fees listed here are for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Activity Fee
Application Fee (This fee must accompany the original online application for admission to the University. No part of this fee is either refunded or applied as an advance payment on other fees.) $75
Advance reservation deposit (credited to Autumn quarter tuition) $250
University Student Health Insurance Plan (U-SHIP):
Basic Plan (student only) $3,576
Student Life Fee (each quarter) $388
Dependent Life Fee (assessed each quarter–a dependent spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child age 14 and older is insured through U-SHIP) per quarter $305
Tuition per quarter for Master's Program:
Graduate program of three courses $15,934
EEP and part-time day program of two courses $11,391
One course $6,599
Tuition per quarter for Doctoral Program:
Scholastic Residence $15,934
Advanced Residence $6,301
One-time Lifetime Transcript Fee $75
Late fees:
Late payment of fees $150
Late registration $150
Change in registration (a fee is charged for each change in registration made by a student after the officially scheduled change period—fourth week of quarter—unless caused by the University). up to $150

Students enrolled in a degree program may audit, without extra charge, classes in addition to those for which they are registered, subject to the approval of the instructor in each case. Under these conditions the students are not registered for the courses, and work is not made a part of their official records.

Students who are required to withdraw for disciplinary reasons shall not be entitled to any refund of tuition or fees. Other charges are subject to change from year to year prior to the beginning of each academic year.

Tuition, fees, and other charges are subject to change.

Financial Aid

Master’s Students

Gifts from alumni and other donors have supported SSA students with vital financial aid across generations. Consequently, SSA awards 95 percent of our master’s students with merit- and need-based tuition scholarships. Partial- to full-tuition scholarships are awarded. To be eligible for SSA scholarships, you must complete the SSA scholarship request that is part of the application for admission. Returning students reapply for SSA scholarships each year, with 99 percent receiving a renewal.

Doctoral Students

Doctoral students receive significant funding to ensure that they are able to immerse themselves in the program. Effective July 1, 2017, all admitted doctoral students are eligible to receive a scholarship that will cover all tuition and fees plus a $25,000 stipend for up to five years. Students in years six through 10 will receive an 82 percent tuition benefit. There is no aid for students beyond year 10. Students may also apply for three years of summer support (for $3,000 per summer) between years one and five, contingent on student submission of a summer workplan to pursue continued doctoral study activity. 

The doctoral program involves a full-time commitment. Stipend support is provided in order to allow students to concentrate their time and energy on fulfilling the requirements of the program, developing their scholarship, and completing their doctoral studies in a timely manner.

Many SSA doctoral students receive additional funding through outside training and fellowship programs. SSA students have been very successful in obtaining competitive fellowships and awards from entities such as the CSWE Fellowships for Minority Students, Fahs-Beck dissertation grants, Doris Duke fellowships for the promotion of child well-being, and NIH Dissertation awards.

As part of their financial aid packages, students are expected in their first two years to work as research assistant with an SSA faculty member for 10-12 hours each week and for three years as a teaching assistant (usually during years three through five).

Application Process

The majority of our master's students use federal financial aid in the form of student loans and work-study funds to bridge the gap between their SSA scholarship and the cost of attendance. SSA students work closely with the University’s Student Loan Administration to facilitate the awarding of federal aid, including Perkins Loans, Stafford Loans, GradPLUS Loans, and work-study.

To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a University of Chicago Application for Loans and Federal Assistance. The FAFSA should be completed as soon as possible after October 1.

For details, visit and

Awards Administered by Organizations and Agencies Outside the School

Students may also supplement their SSA scholarship awards with private loans, grants, and scholarships through state and private agencies, and part-time employment on- or off-campus. For more information about other forms of financial assistance, visit and

Student Loans

Federal Stafford Loans

The subsidy on the Stafford Loan has been eliminated for graduate and professional students, effective with enrollment periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012. If your enrollment at the University began after Summer quarter 2012, you may apply for up to $20,500 in unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

The unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan is not based on financial need. The borrower is responsible for the interest that accrues on the loan, even while enrolled in school. As of July 2, 2012, graduate and professional degree students may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year in unsubsidized loans. The interest rate is fixed at 6 percent. No fees are charged for unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans to borrowers who use the University of Chicago as their lender.

Federal Perkins Student Loans

Federal Perkins Student Loans carry an interest rate of 5 percent. These funds are extremely limited, and the University cannot guarantee the availability of monies to all students who apply. Annual maximum amounts are determined by the amount of funds available. Students must be registered full time to be eligible for Federal Perkins Student Loans.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS (GradPLUS) Loan

Direct GradPLUS Loans have a fixed interest rate of 7 percent. Approval for a Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan is contingent upon your credit rating. If you have an adverse credit rating, your loan request may be denied. We recommend that you first apply for the Federal Direct Stafford Loans. If needed, apply for the Direct GradPLUS Loan to supplement the difference between your cost of attendance and other assistance.

Named University and SSA Loan Funds

The University has a number of endowed loan funds from which emergency, short-term, or longer-term loans may be granted to full-time students. Some loans require a co-signer. These loans have interest rates ranging from 3 to 7 percent. Loans from the following existing funds at SSA may be available upon request to the Dean of Students:

  • The Constance Marcial Burroughs Loan Fund. This fund was named for a distinguished alumna of the Class of 1951 who received an Alumni Citation Award from SSA in 1975.
  • The Helen M. Crittenden Fund. Established in 1945 as a loan fund for the benefit of SSA students.
  • The Phil Hovda Emergency Student Loan Fund. Established in 1994 from gifts of over 200 alumni, these loan funds are given in the name of SSA’s former Dean of Students and alumnus of the class of 1971 upon his retirement after 20 years of service. Funds support emergency loans to SSA students.
  • The Milton Hyman Student Loan Fund. Established in 1991, these loan funds are given in the name of an SSA field instructor and alumnus of the class of 1947. Loans from this fund are available to students who are concentrating in social change and improved social policy.
  • The Nolan P. Jacobson Loan Fund. Established by Raphael D. Atlas, AM ’50, in honor of a former professor, Nolan P. Jacobson, who graduated from the University of Chicago Divinity School. The fund provides students short-term relief of immediate financial problems with no interest charges.
  • The Rhoda Sarnat Student Loan Fund. This fund honors a distinguished graduate of the Class of 1939. Loans from this fund are available to students in SSA who are interested in clinical social work.
  • The George and Agnes Schael Loan Fund. Established in 1982 by George Schael in honor of his late wife, Agnes, EX '35. This fund is meant to provide emergency loans to full-time, degree-seeking students to cover financial emergencies that might impair their ability to continue their educational program at SSA. Individual loans from the fund are limited to $1,000.
  • The Michael R. Sosin Fund for Students. Established in 2015 in memory of Professor Michael R. Sosin, the fund provides relief to meet unanticipated and urgent needs of SSA doctoral and master's students.
  • The SSA Alumni Loan Fund. Established in 1935 as a loan fund for the benefit of SSA students.
  • The Willa Webber Lee Student Loan Fund. Established for a distinguished alumna of the Class of 1945.
  • The Jeanne F. Westheimer Loan Fund. Established by Jeanne Westheimer, AM ’40, as a loan fund for the benefit of SSA students.
  • The Stanley Bliss Hospital Administration Fund, the Clay Hospital Administration Fund, the George Gund Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation Hospital Administration Fund, and the Rebecca Schneiderman Memorial Fund are available to SSA students who are in the GPHAP program.

Note: Regulations governing student loan programs have varied significantly in recent years. Current information regarding terms, repayment, and eligibility may be obtained from University's Student Loan Administration, The University of Chicago, 970 E. 58th St., Room 411, Chicago, IL 60637, 773.702.6061.