Financial Aid

Student Loans are a major part of financing your graduate education. Student Financial Services Office has a helpful chart explaining Direct Unsubsidized, Direct Graduate Plus, and private loans’ eligibility, interest, and application process.

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is financial aid that is based on financial need and must be earned through student employment. To be considered, you must indicate your interest in your FAFSA application. The annual award amount is up to $5,000 for graduate students but the actual amount depends on the hours worked each week and the pay rate established by the hiring manager. Only for MSDS Residential Students. All available work-study jobs are posted on Handshake, the career management system for the UVA Career Center.

Graduate students are considered independent from their parents when submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

For questions about financial aid options, visit UVA Student Financial Services or contact Assistant Director of Student Financial Services Debbie Davis.

Need-Based Fellowships

Fellowships are need-based scholarships available to those applying for the FAFSA (U.S. Citizens or eligible non-citizens). To apply for a need-based fellowship:

  1. Select that you wish to be considered for a need-based fellowship in your MSDS program application
  2. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the deadline:
    • MSDS Residential (Summer entry): March 1
    • MSDS Online (Fall or Spring entry): Rolling

Need-based fellowships will be distributed over the length of the program (3 semesters for Residential MSDS & 5 semesters for Online MSDS). Please note that Online MSDS students who take longer than five semesters to graduate will not receive additional fellowship aid for those semesters.

Students must submit a new FAFSA each academic year starting Summer Term. Students who take a leave of absence or change their academic course load may not be eligible for the need-based award during that semester. Full details can be found on the Student Financial Services site.

Contact Us

If you have questions about need-based fellowships, please contact Admissions Coordinator Degi Betcher.

External Scholarships 

There are several outside scholarships available for those interested in studying data science. Check out the article 17 Data Science STEM Specific Scholarships and the opportunities below.

  • Graduate Research Fellowship Program seeks to broaden participation in science and engineering of underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans. The five-year fellowship provides three years of financial support inclusive of an annual stipend of $37,000.
  • The DOE CSGF is open to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who plan full-time, uninterrupted study toward a Ph.D. at an accredited U.S. university. 
  • The Korean American Scholarship Foundation Eastern Regional Chapter offer scholarships to qualified Korean American students including foreign students from Korea.  


BHW Scholarship is for women who are pursuing an undergraduate or master's degree and are majoring in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics during the 2022 school year.

American Association of University Women’s fellowships, grants and awards represent nearly every imaginable field of endeavor.

Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship recognizes outstanding female undergraduate and master’s students studying artificial intelligence/machine learning, data science, computer science or mobile/web development at North American universities (including Canada and Mexico).

LGBTQ+ Students

NOGLSTP Out to Innovate™ Scholarship for LGBTQ+ Students in STEM scholarships are intended for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) programs who are either lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or an active ally of the LGBTQ+ community.  

International Students

The Aga Khan Foundation scholarships are awarded on a 50% grant - 50% loan basis through a competitive application process once a year in June or July. 

The P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to women from outside the United States and Canada who are seeking advanced degrees from an accredited college or university in the U.S.

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans program honors the contributions of immigrants and children of immigrants to the United States. Each Fellow receives up to $90,000 in financial support over two years, and they join a lifelong community of New American Fellows.

Institute of International Education (iie) is a resource for scholarship opportunities.

International Student Organization puts the effort and gathered scholarships that offered to international students.

IEFA is a resource for international scholarships and grant information for students. 

Loans for international students

MPOWER offers student loans with no-cosigner for international students who are attending an eligible U.S. college or university.

Prodigy Finance offers loan options to international students pursuing an MS in data science and does not require a U.S. co-borrower.

The Rowe Fund is an educational loan program of the Organization of American States (OAS) that helps citizens from Latin America and Caribbean OAS Member States finance their studies or research in accredited universities across the United States by awarding interest-free loans of up to US$15,000 dollars.