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Public Administration Student Resources, Scholarships, and Support Services
Get help paying for tuition, succeeding in class, and preparing for your career in public administration with this list of valuable scholarships and student resources.
Last Updated: 11/30/2020
If you want an educational path that leads to a positive difference in society, earning a degree in public administration is a great option. And like any student, graduating with as little debt and as much knowledge and confidence as possible is key. Luckily, many organizations, schools, and government groups offer scholarships (some of which are not open to students planning careers in the corporate world), and support services for public administration students.
This guide showcases over 15 of the top public administration scholarships currently available and some of the most valuable academic and career resources. Keep reading to find the help you deserve affording school and succeeding in your public administration degree program.
Campus and Online Support Resources for Public Administration Students
Among the first places to seek assistance will be you school’s student support services. Not only is the help tailored to your academic situation, but you can also rest assured that those helping you are vested in your success. Let’s look at some of the places students can rely on for help in their academic and pre-professional careers.
University Student Support Centers and Services
Every school will have different student support services available. Students should do everything they can to take advantage of all that their schools offer. Most of these services focus on helping students learn as much as possible while they are in school studying public administration as well as achieving their career goals once they’ve graduated. Two such schools with excellent university student support services for public administration students to take advantage of are the University of Arizona and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The University of Arizona School of Government & Public Policy
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government
Articles, Videos, and Podcasts for Public Admin Students and Professionals
Choosing Your Path: MBA v. MPAThere can be a significant amount of overlap in what graduates with an MBA or MPA can do after earning their degree. This guide goes into detail about the nuanced differences and why a student would want to earn one degree over the other.
GovLoveWith new uploads about every week, GovLove is a podcast that focuses on all things related to local government. This includes everything from a discussion about what it’s like to work in local government, to the people you find there, to the creation of community policies.
Public KnowledgeThis blog is regularly updated about a variety of legal and regulatory issues that concern public policy, law, regulations, politics, and governance.
USC Price YouTube ChannelThe University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy offers a wide variety of informative videos about specific issues that affect any student or professional in the field of politics, public administration, public interest, or public policy.
Public Admin Professional Associations and Student Organizations
Alliance for Nonprofit ManagementThis organization is unique in that it tailors its efforts to promoting the interests of nonprofit organizations, many of which employ or are led by those with public administration degrees. The Alliance fosters professional interactions and discussions to achieve positive changes in local communities.
American Society for Public Administration (ASPA)Comprised of all types of public administration professionals from various public, private, and academic sectors, the ASPA exists to foster dialogue between researchers and professionals in the field.
Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM)This professional organization works to advance the field of public policy and management through multiple approaches. These include promoting research, fostering public policy analysis, and improving access to public policy education.
National Academy of Public AdministrationThe National Academy of Public Administration works directly with state, local, and federal government agencies to help them tackle challenging problems in today’s society. Assistance to agencies includes policy planning, research, and analysis.
Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA)Made up of more than 300 U.S. and international schools that offer public administration and related degrees, the NASPAA is the major accrediting organization for these academic programs. Membership is open to leaders of accredited academic programs; associate memberships are open to others who support the purpose of the NASPAA.
Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA)PAA is the national honor society for graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in a public affairs or public administration program.
Public Management Research Association (PMRA)PMRA is a nonprofit organization with the mission of advancing research into public organizations. The PMRA is best known for its annual conference and its journals, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory and Perspectives on Public Management and Governance.
Public Administration Social Media and Online Communities
Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory on TwitterAnyone seeking the current news and developments in the public administration realm or the Arizona State University School of Public Affairs can check out this Twitter account.
National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA)This is the official Facebook page of this nonprofit organization, which works to promote Black leaders in local and state government.
r/PublicPolicyOn the Reddit social media site, you’ll find a subreddit where users post newsworthy stories and ask questions about public administration and related fields.
United Nations Public Administration NetworkThis online resource for public administration officials and practitioners around the world allows them to consult with each other on issues of government and social development that are in line with UN guidelines.
Support Resources for Students in Online Public Administration Programs
Online programs are booming, and those in public administration are no exception. But online learning can take some getting used to, especially for students who have always been taught in a traditional classroom. These resources can help public administration students in a fully online or hybrid program.
10 Netiquette Needs for the Online ClassroomTaking a class virtually can sometimes require a different set of rules and procedures. This comprehensive article addresses ten things online students can do to ensure that online classes are a good experience.
Guide to Earning Your Public Administration Degree OnlineMany public administration degrees can be earned online. This guide is an excellent source of information on what to expect and what you can do with your public administration degree.
Hubert ProjectThe Hubert Project is an online collection of multimedia content designed for educators to help teach public administration and policy topics, but it also can be useful for any public administration student seeking additional information.
NASPAA’s Online Resources for MPA/MPP ProgramsWith the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, many public administration programs have shifted their curriculum to online formats. This page lists numerous resources to help with that process. It also contains other online resources applicable to public administration topics, such as journals, databases, and articles.
U.S. News and World Report – 5 Tips to Succeed in an Online CourseThis article offers a good list of strategies that recognize common challenges online students face and what they can do to ensure they make the most of their online learning experience with public administration programs or other programs.
College-Sponsored Scholarships in Public Administration
When it comes to financial aid awards, scholarships are the best because they don’t need to be paid back. And when it comes to getting a scholarship, school-sponsored awards are ideal. That’s because they often have fewer application requirements, can get applied automatically to your tuition or other education-related costs, and often are easier to get as they are only available to students attending that school.
To find out how to apply for scholarships, students can check in with various sources, such as a public administration program director, an admissions officer, or someone from the financial aid office. To show you the kinds of college-sponsored scholarships that are available, we’ve picked two schools and scholarships to highlight.
Arizona State University School of Public Affairs
Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration
Private Scholarships in Public Administration
Private sources provide a wealth of funds for public administration scholarships. These include charitable organizations, corporations, and professional associations. Private scholarships are among the most competitive forms of financial aid for students looking to reduce their school debt. Below is a list of some of the best public administration scholarships available.
Tips for Winning a Public Administration Scholarship
Scholarships are the most desirable forms of financial aid and, as a result, they’re very competitive. So when applying for these scholarships, applicants must work very hard to submit the best application possible. Even though certain portions of the application are rather routine, such as listing contact information and educational history, there’s still much the applicant can do to increase the chances of an award.
- Tip #1: Follow the directions.
This sounds obvious but, depending on the application committee, failing to follow the instructions is the quickest way to get your application thrown into the reject pile, no matter how qualified you may be.
- Tip #2: Avoid embellishment.
Scholarships are competitive, so it’s tempting to push the envelope when it comes to making your credentials stand out. But don’t overdo it. Even if not technically lie, an attempt to embellish or mislead the application committee is sure to ruin your chance of getting the scholarship.
- Tip #3: Find the right recommenders.
When choosing a recommender, you want someone who’s reliable, punctual, and portrays you in the most positive light. But don’t forget that to make the most of what your recommender has to say, you want the accolades to directly relate to the area of public administration you want to work in.
- Tip #4: Start the scholarship application as soon as possible.
The best scholarship applications, especially those with essays or portfolios, are completed with plenty of time for triple checking and adjustments to the materials. Individuals who review essays can tell the difference between an application and/or essay completed on a first try and ones that have been tweaked over and over again.
- Tip #5: Begin building your extracurricular resume early.
Depending on where you are in your professional or academic career, remember to engage in extracurricular or outside-of-work opportunities as much as possible. With a longer track record of helping society, your interest in public administration and public interest will be perceived as more authentic.
Other Ways to Save on Your Public Administration Degree
Scholarships are among the best sources for paying for school, but there are still many other financial aid options out there. There are traditional school loans, such as those available from the federal government or private lenders. For students already working, their employers might offer special tuition reimbursement programs.
Because public administration degrees often lead to careers in public service, there are some other financial aid options available that many other students might not be eligible to get. For example, there’s the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which you can learn more about in our public service student loan forgiveness guide. There may be other options available too, like work-study and fellowships, which are all discussed in our financial aid guide.