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Debt Management Awards

The Debt Management Awards were established by anonymous donors to encourage Rackham doctoral students to pursue public interest careers upon completing their graduate degrees. This award is designed to lighten the financial burden for students with sizable loan debt who will pursue public interest careers.


Students who are enrolled full-time and have reached candidacy in the following Rackham doctoral programs: Social Work and Social Science, all doctoral programs in Public Policy and Public Health, Nursing, Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. Students must have spent at least two years in community service prior to beginning graduate school; must intend to return to public service careers in the United States upon graduation; and must carry student-related debt accrued during the undergraduate and/or graduate years.

Selection Criteria

Selection will be based upon academic merit, commitment to public service in the United States, and financial need.


April 18th, 2024

Award Description

At least four one-time awards of up to $20,000 will be made.

Application Process

Students from eligible graduate programs can apply online:

  • Student’s personal statement including a brief statement of their past community service work and intent to pursue a public service career in the United States upon graduation (up to 1,500 words);
  • Letter of recommendation from the applicant’s graduate program chair or faculty advisor regarding their academic progress and promise of achievement;
  • Statement regarding the student’s current means of support (including source, amount and length of support) and living expenses (up to 1,500 words);
  • Amount of student loans, subsidized and unsubsidized, and amount of yearly interest on unsubsidized student loans (up to 1,500 words);
  • A current curriculum vitae (c.v.)

Apply for a Debt Management Award