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The online master’s degree programs in American University’s School of Education are designed to prepare you to go into the world with the knowledge, confidence and skills you need to build a better society.

Since its founding, American University has held the foundational belief that a more equal society and a stronger democracy come from a citizenry with universal access to an excellent education. We know that this better society starts with you and other future educators. Our respected faculty, carefully honed curriculum, cutting-edge research and innovative partnerships will provide you the tools and support you need so you can learn to make a difference.

As you embark on this process, we are here to help you find a smart way to finance your education. Learn more below about our discounts for career changers and members of our partner organizations, like Teach for America.

Tuition & Costs

The approximate cost of a year of graduate study is as follows:

Tuition Fees Books* Health Insurance
$1,759 per credit hour Fees are $75 per semester for online students $1,100 $1,800

A program cost guide for international students is available on the International Student & Scholar Services website.

*Figures are based on average expenditures reported by university students.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financing a graduate education can be daunting. We’re happy to talk through the possibilities with you; please don’t hesitate to contact us at or (202) 885-1000 with questions.

There are two types of U.S. federal government loans that are administered by the American University Financial Aid Office.

Federal Direct Loans Eligible students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and be enrolled in a degree-granting academic program. Graduate students must be enrolled in at least six credits per semester to qualify for federal loan assistance. Graduate students who qualify for federal loans may borrow up to $20,500 every two semesters. All federal loan programs require that FAFSA be filed before eligibility can be determined. Students who wish to apply for federal loan assistance must submit the FAFSA (Financial Application for Federal Student Aid) by March 1.

Federal Graduate PLUS Loans PLUS loans are intended to cover the amount of the total Cost of Attendance (COA) that is not covered by other financial aid. Students must have already completed the FAFSA to be considered for the Federal Direct loan prior to applying for the Federal PLUS loan.

Like federal loans, private or alternative education loans are designed to help students who need financial assistance with educational costs. In most cases, it is advantageous for students to first pursue Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans and Federal Graduate PLUS Loans before seeking private loans. Unlike federal loans, private loans do not require a FAFSA to apply. Private loans are not based on need; approval is generally based on creditworthiness and ability to repay. Some students may need to apply with a credit-worthy co-signer. Interest rates, grace periods, repayment options and fees are determined by the lender and can vary considerably from lender to lender.

For additional information on financial aid from American University, visit

In order to apply for federal student aid, including student loans, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). American University’s school code is 001434. Remember that you should complete the FAFSA each academic year in order to remain eligible for federal student aid.

Learn more about the your AID opportunities.

To be eligible for financial aid, you must meet the following requirements:

  • All federal financial aid funds for graduate students are only available to students enrolled in a degree-seeking program.
  • Students must remain enrolled at least half-time (4 credits) during the quarter to receive federal student aid.
  • Students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress to receive federal aid.
  • The requirements for private scholarships will vary depending on the funding source. Some awards have a minimum GPA requirement. Contact your funding source directly for information on specific policies

Partnerships, Discounts, and Scholarships

Thanks to the AU School of Education’s efforts to partner with key teaching organizations such as Teach for America, The New Teacher Project, and others, current members and alumni of these organizations may be able to apply for tuition scholarships to help them successfully pursue their educational and professional goals.

American University is proud to offer the Coverdell Fellowship for returned Peace Corps Volunteers who wish to use an advanced education and skills gained in service abroad to better their local and global communities. In addition to providing financial assistance and internship placement, this program enables Peace Corps volunteers to share their experiences with classmates and colleagues and to lend their efforts to struggling populations at home. Available to volunteers who have either completed their two-year tour of service, are medically separated, have been given “interrupted service” status, or have completed 12 months of service in a 24 month period with the Peace Corps Response or the Global Health Services Partnership Volunteers. Students who enroll soon after their service may have their noncompetitive eligibility status for federal jobs extended up to three years following their end of service date. Available for students in both the online and on-campus programs.

We offer a 29 percent discount on tuition and will waive application fee and letter-of-recommendation requirements for all Teach for America members, alumni, and staff.

TNTP’s teachers, alumni and staff enjoy 29 percent off tuition, and do not need to submit application fees or letters of recommendation.

Teachers, alumni and staff of City Year are given 29 percent off tuition, and do not need to submit application fees or letters of recommendation.

AISGW affiliated participants receive 29 percent off tuition, and do not need to submit application fees or letters of recommendation.

The School of Education values the experience and tested knowledge of successful careers outside of education. This experience and knowledge is an asset in the classroom and provides a strong foundation to a beginning career in teaching. We offer a 29 percent discount on most of our MAT classes to career-switchers. Career switchers include but are not limited to professionals outside of education, retirees and early leavers from the military, and former employees of numerous government agencies and private sector workplaces. Please send your resume to to determine eligibility of the career switcher discount.

Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. Please see the AU Federal & States Grants for more information.

Introduced on August 1, 2009, the Post-911 GI Bill provides financial support for education at Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs). Additional information on exact benefits and criteria for eligibility is available on the VA Education and Training homepage

Generally, the following individuals may be eligible to receive VA Educational Benefits under Chapter 33 when they served:

  • At least 90 days of aggregate active duty service on or after September 10, 2001, or
  • Individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. The discharge must be an honorable discharge.
  • At least 3 years on active service on or after September 10th 2001.

The Post-911 GI Bill will pay for eligible individuals’ tuition and mandatory fees (paid directly to the school) capped at $22,805.34 for the 2017-2018 academic year beginning on August 1st 2017 and ending on July 31st 2018. Mandatory fees exclude room and board, study abroad fees, parking fees, penalty fees, health insurance fees or other fees not mandated by the university for all students in a specific program. Generally, veterans receive up to 36 months of entitlement under the Post-911 GI Bill.

To learn more about Post 911 GI Bill eligibility, please contact an admissions advisor.

The Yellow Ribbon Program is an additional benefit to the Chapter 33 Post 911 GI Bill and allows schools to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the Veterans Administration (VA) to help bridge the gap between the remaining portion of the student’s tuition and fees that exceeds the yearly GI Bill cap. After the yearly Chapter 33 Post 911 GI Bill base cap has been exhausted, the remaining tuition charged for that semester is split between AU and the VA of up to but not to exceed $10,500 per contributor.

For the 2017-2018 academic year, American University has agreed to contribute up to $10,500 for graduate students. The VA will match the same amount that American University is contributing dollar for dollar and issue payment directly to the University. However, Yellow Ribbon funds cannot be dispersed until the base cap has been exhausted and any unused funds do not roll over (use it or lose it). Both the yearly GI Bill base cap and Yellow Ribbon cap reset each year on August 1st.

AU’s Yellow Ribbon agreement and basic Post-911 benefits are expected to cover tuition and mandatory fees at all schools; however, the rate of pursuit elected by the student may affect coverage.

To learn more about Yellow Ribbon Program and its requirements, please speak with AU Veteran Services by visiting or e-mail

For more information regarding federal loan assistance and application procedures, visit the Financial Aid webpage, or to speak to someone in the Financial Aid office, please contact or call us at 202-885-1000.