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Rackham Non-Traditional Fellowships

The Rackham Graduate School has established the Rackham Non-Traditional program to aid master’s students who return to graduate school after an extended absence. Because an interruption in schooling may place such students at a disadvantage in competing for financial assistance awarded at the time of admission, these awards help non-traditional students fund their return to formal education.


Any Rackham master’s program on the Ann Arbor campus may nominate up to three students. Nominated students must:

  • have been away from academic study toward a formal degree for at least three years, unless the student’s department requires certain courses as a prerequisite within one year of beginning the program;
  • be a first- or second-year student in a Rackham master’s program and enrolled for a minimum of three (3) credits in the term in which the award is applied.

Selection Criteria

Selection will be based on time out of school, academic merit, financial need, and motivation to complete the degree. Special consideration will be given to Michigan residents and applicants who have been out of the work force, and applicants who are changing fields or careers.


October 3, 2024

Award Description

The award will be equivalent to one term of tuition and associated fees. For students who qualify for need-based financial aid (including the child care subsidy), receipt of this Rackham award may reduce the original loan amount or subsidy. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for help evaluating your individual circumstance.

Nomination Process

Students are nominated by their program for this award. Students may contact their program regarding their selection and nomination process.

Graduate programs nominate students by completing the online nomination and submitting the following:

  • Statement of Student’s Achievement and Potential, submitted by the Graduate Chair, addressing the student’s academic potential in his or her field of study, the proposed timetable of study, particularly any plan for part-time study, and the program’s current commitment of support and anticipated support (up to 1,500 words);
  • Student’s personal statement specifically addressing reasons for the interruption of studies, academic interests and motivation for returning to school, professional interests, financial need, and explanation of how the student’s situation fits within the intent of the fellowship program (up to 1,500 words);
  • Copy of admission letter; Curriculum vitae (C.V.).

Rackham Non-Traditional Fellowships Nomination Form