Tuition and Fees

As a Comm Lead student, you are classified as a self-sustaining (a.k.a. fee-based) student at the University of Washington. This designation means that you pay per credit and that there is no difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition rates.

Full-time graduate status is 10 credits per quarter, and half-time status is 5 credits per quarter. The program requires 45 credits to graduate.

Tuition is $770 per credit for all students for the 2021-2022 academic year.

In addition to paying per credit, students are responsible for certain fees. Fees are paid to UW Professional and Continuing Education (UW PCE) unless otherwise indicated.

The 2021-2022 quarterly fees include:

  • UW PCE Registration fee: $55 each quarter in which you are registered
  • UW Technology fee: Based on the number of credits you’re taking. Ranges from $11-$38 (for 5 credits this fee is currently $27)
  • UW Facilities Renovation Fee: Based on the number of credits you’re taking. Ranges from $20-$70 (for 5 credits this fee is currently $50)
  • UW IMA Bond Fee: Based on the number of credits you’re taking. Ranges from $9-$32 (for 5 credits this fee is currently $23)
  • UW Services & Activities fee: Based on the number of credits you’re taking. Ranges from $43-$151 (for 5 credits this fee is currently $108)
  • U-PASS fee: $92 per quarter. Includes unlimited access to most local public transit. More information here. (Paid to Student Fiscal Services)

In summary, tuition and fees for a full-time graduate student (taking 10 credits) for 2021-2022 is $8138 per quarter ($24,414 for the academic year). International students are also required to have health insurance. UW offers its own International Student Health Insurance Plan (ISHIP).

Financial Resources

Federal Assistance

For U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens, the FAFSA is how you apply for federal student aid. At the graduate level, assistance comes primarily in the form of student loans. The priority deadline is January 15, but you can still apply after that date. Please note it can take about 12 weeks after you submit the FAFSA for you to receive an offer of aid from the UW Office of Student Financial Aid, so submit ASAP and then be patient!

Note: When communicating with the Office of Student Financial Aid, please always be sure to indicate you are a student in a fee-basedprogram, as this is an important distinction in financial aid matters.


UW Funding Resources

The Graduate Funding Information Services (GFIS) is a fantastic resource at UW committed to assisting graduate students in finding additional funding. Located in the Research Commons at Allen Library, GFIS can help find ways to ease the financial burden of graduate school. Specifically, GFIS provides a funding resources guide, a funding blog with up to date opportunities, as well as weekly drop in hours at the Research Commons and virtual office hours. Drop in hours change quarterly, so keep an eye on their website for updates.

TIP: Contact GFIS early as funding application deadlines are often in autumn for the following academic year.


Private Loans

Private loan funds must be certified by the UW Office of Student Financial Aid before they can be disbursed to your account. To ensure that the loan was certified, contact UW PCE Registration Services at with your full name and UW student number.


Veteran’s Education Benefits

Veteran’s Education Benefits can be used towards covering your tuition. For more information please visit:


Shih International Graduate Student Loan

UW international graduate students are eligible to apply for the Shih International Graduate Student Loan. The loans are made possible through a generous gift from Jeff Shih, a Seattle and San Francisco businessman, and are intended to help international students in financing their education and completing their degree objectives. More information on this loan can be found here.


Other Funding Resources

There are other scholarship and grant opportunities available beyond those offered by the UW and Comm Lead. These can range from merit based scholarships to diversity grants. For a comprehensive list, please see the Office of Fellowships and Assistantships page on the Graduate School website.


GSEE Graduate Supplemental Awards

Comm Lead can nominate two students per year ffor the Graduate Student Equity & Excellence (GSEE) Graduate Supplemental Awards. While limited in number, these awards can provide substantial assistance to underrepresented minority students pursuing a graduate degree. Applications are due in June each year, so if you are interested in being nominated for a GSEE Graduate Supplemental Award, please contact us by May 1 at


Comm Lead Scholarships and Opportunities

Quarterly Partner Program projects offer a chance for students to offset some tuition costs by working on independent communication and storytelling projects for client organizations. Contact Alex Stonehill at for details and the latest opportunities.

For advanced Comm Lead students, there are also opportunities to apply for grader positions for some of the Comm Lead classes. These opportunities are announced to students when they are available.


Emergency Funds

The Department of Communication has an emergency fund available to students, called the Dolores Eyler Fund, which is meant to assist with unexpected challenging expenses such as health care costs, car repairs, and emergency travel. Please consider applying to this fund for non-tuition emergency expenses.

There are many other emergency assistance options on and off campus, from short-term loans through the Office of Student Financial Aid, to the UW Campus Food Pantry for food insecure students. These emergency assistance programs and many more are outlined here.

NikaTuition & Financial Resources