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Arizona State University's Graduate College has announced the relaunch of the Gastwirth Graduate Student Loan Fellowship Program, a funding opportunity for doctoral students.
This program provides forgivable loans of up to $10,000 per academic year (up to $5,000 for fall and/or $5000 for spring) to doctoral students who intend to pursue full-time employment for the betterment of sciences and humanities at an institution of higher education, nonprofit organization or governmental agency.
“The forgivable loans provided by the Gastwirth Graduate Student Loan Program will enable more students seeking to serve the public, and who are in financial need, to complete their doctoral degrees successfully," said Elizabeth Wentz, vice provost and dean of the Graduate College.
Since transitioning into her role at the Graduate College, Wentz has worked with Graduate College staff, and other departments at ASU, to bring back this funding opportunity and greatly expand the terms of eligibility and forgiveness, while still keeping the award in line with donor intent. The college has significantly broadened the availability and terms of forgiveness with the help of Financial Aid and Scholarship Services, Financial Services, Student Business Services and the ASU Foundation.
Previously the Gastwirth loan program was only available to doctoral students pursuing tenure-track positions at institutions of higher education. By adding the public and nonprofit sectors to the loan program, the Graduate College is expanding funding efforts in recognition of the shifting landscape of career paths pursued by doctoral students.
“Based on research we did with the Council on Graduate Schools on the career paths of ASU doctoral alumni, we continue to see more PhDs employed in a variety of academic and public service roles,” said Tamara Underiner, associate dean of Academic Affairs. “As a result, the Graduate College has added additional professional development courses and programming to prepare our scholars for multiple career paths.”
Students interested in the Gastwirth Graduate Student Loan Fellowship Program must demonstrate financial need, strong scholastic achievement, and should be able to articulate a plan to attain a postdegree position at an institution of higher education, nonprofit organization or governmental agency. The deadline to apply for a spring 2021 loan is Oct. 30, 2020.
The relaunch of the Gastwirth loan program is just one example of the Graduate College’s continued efforts to seek opportunities to support ASU graduate students, especially during this time of uncertainty. Another example is the Pandemic Impact Award, recently launched to help students who need additional assistance due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
"The already challenging economic pressures on ASU graduate students have increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Wentz said. “We are thankful to the Gastwirth family for their gift.”
To learn more about this loan and apply, please visit the Gastwirth Graduate Student Loan Fellowship Program webpage.