College of Arts & Sciences

MPA Scholarship Fact Sheet

Each academic year, the Center for Public Service and the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs at Seton Hall University award close to $75,000 in direct tuition assistance to students in our MPA program.  The following outlines:

  • The different types of MPA-only scholarships available  
  • The eligibility requirements and deadlines
  • The selection and award process

In order to maximize your eligibility for department scholarships, please submit your MPA admissions application by April 15.

If you have any questions about these scholarships please contact the director of the MPA program, Dr. Matthew Hale, at matthew.hale@shu.edu.

William Randolph Hearst Foundation Scholarships


The Hearst scholarship is made possible by a generous endowment from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Hearst Scholarships are one of our “flagship” programs; as such, they are awarded to students with outstanding academic records and significant involvement in public service and nonprofit activities.  Hearst scholars generally have an incoming GPA of at least 3.5 and many Hearst scholars have significant experience in founding, managing or working in nonprofit and other public service organizations.

Hearst scholarships are considered two-year awards; however students are required to earn at least a 3.5 GPA in their first year in the MPA program to guarantee second-year support. The awards range from $4,000 to $10,000 per year in tuition assistance, depending on available funds.  Each year the department faculty awards two new Hearst Scholarships to students in the fall incoming class. This means that there are at least four “Hearst Scholars” in the program at any one time.

 Hearst scholarship decisions are based on data contained in the department’s admission application.  The faculty scholarship committee considers academic merit (GPA, research experience/publications, academic fellowships awarded, etc.) as well as relevant nonprofit and/or public service work experience.  The letters of recommendation and the personal essay contained in the admissions application are also used to make scholarship decisions.  The Center for Public Service and Department of Political Science and Public Affairs also recognize that diversity in our student body and scholarship recipients is a fundamental principle of our MPA program.

In order to be considered for the Hearst Scholarship please submit your MPA admissions application by April 15th of the academic year prior to the year you wish to start classes. Students wishing to start school in August or September should have their application materials in by April 15th of the same calendar year.

Reiner Endowed Scholarships

The Reiner scholarship is made possible by a generous endowment by the Reiner Foundation. The Reiner Scholarships are highly competitive and awards are based primarily on academic merit. Reiner scholars generally have an incoming GPA of at least 3.5 and have a track record of significant involvement in nonprofit and public service work.  

Reiner scholarships are considered two-year awards, however, students are required to earn at least a 3.5 GPA in their first year in order to guarantee second-year support. The awards range from $5,000 to $7,000 per year in tuition assistance, depending on available funds.  Each year the department faculty awards two new Reiner Scholarships to students in the fall incoming class. This means that there are at least four “Reiner Scholars” in the program at any one time.

Reiner scholarship decisions are based on data contained in the department’s admission application.  The faculty scholarship committee considers academic merit (GPA, relevant research experience/publications, academic fellowships awarded, etc.) Additionally, applicants’ track records of involvement in nonprofit and public service organizations, along with the letters of recommendation and the personal essay contained in the admissions application, are considered in scholarship decisions.  

In order to be considered for the Reiner Scholarship please submit your MPA admissions application by April 15 of the academic year prior to the year you wish to start classes. Students wishing to start school in August or September should have their application materials in by April 15th of the same calendar year.

Thomas J. Stanton Scholarship

This scholarship is made possible through a generous gift to the Center for Public Service by Mrs. Jane Maloney Stanton in memory of her late husband Thomas J. Stanton. Mr. Stanton served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bank of New Jersey (now part of Bank of America).  After he retired in 1990, he remained active in urban renewal projects, pledging dollars and time as chairperson of the first board of Liberty Science Center and chairperson of the board New Jersey Future, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in New Jersey. Additionally, he served on numerous boards of faith-based and secular charitable organizations. Throughout his life, Mr. Stanton made philanthropic endeavors his priority and was particularly passionate about improving economic and community development in New Jersey. Mr. Stanton passed away in 1998 and this scholarship is designed to honor his many achievements and his memory.

The scholarship is awarded to in the spring of each academic year and is available to MPA students entering in either the fall or spring semester.  Applicants for this scholarship must demonstrate:

  1. A commitment to leadership and community service in New Jersey
  2. Financial need
  3. Academic achievement in the MPA program.  

Applications for the Stanton scholarship are sent to all MPA students registered in the spring of each academic year.  The application requires:

  1. A résumé or CV
  2. An essay on the applicant’s future goals and plans and how they relate to economic and community development in New Jersey.

The application packets are reviewed by the faculty scholarship committee and finalists are asked to come for an interview with the Stanton family and faculty members. While award amounts vary, a typical Stanton scholar receives between $2,500 and $5,000 towards tuition in the second year of their MPA program.

Union County Nonprofit Scholarships

This scholarship is only available to people who live or work in Union County New Jersey AND are in the Nonprofit Management Concentration.  Each year the department awards between $3,000 and $8,000 per year to academically qualified students who meet the residency and/or work criteria. At the time of admission, student files are flagged to indicate that they may qualify for this scholarship based on residency. The faculty scholarship committee then allocates available funds to the top academic students in the pool of candidates. Individual awards range from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the number of nonprofit students from Union County. Current students are encouraged to let the faculty know if they believe they have become eligible for this scholarship either by moving or becoming employed in Union county.

Unanue Scholarships

The Unanue scholarships for MPA students are made possible through a generous endowment from Joseph and Carmen Ana Unanue.

Each year the department awards approximately $10,000 to MPA students and all MPA students are eligible to apply. Typical awards range from $1,000 to $3,000 per year.

The Unanue scholarships are based on a combination of academic merit and a student essay that demonstrates “an appreciation of Hispanic tradition, culture, history and/or community and civic life.” The essay should be no more than 1,000 words in length and emailed to the director of the MPA program by April 15th of each academic year.

Seton Hall Graduate Assistantships

In addition to these department only scholarships, Seton Hall University offers a number of graduate assistantships or “GAships” for short.  Graduate Assistants work approximately 20 hours per week in a campus office. In exchange, GAs receive full tuition remission and a monthly stipend. Each year the Provost’s office maintains a database of available GA positions. You can find more information about graduate assistantships at the GA data base at http://www.shu.edu/applying/graduate/grad-finaid.cfm

While these positions are extremely competitive, MPA students have a strong track record of applying for and getting a graduate assistantship on campus.  Each year the department provides a list of our top incoming students to the Provost’s office to be considered for open GA positions. For a list of current MPA students holding GA positions around campus please click here.

Once you have been accepted into the program, department faculty and staff will work with you on your GA applications. However, a few tips are helpful for those applying for GAships:

  • Visit the GA database early and often. New positions regularly open up and you want to be first in line.
  • Focus on GA positions in non-academic departments. Most academic departments (like Business) save the GA positions they have for their own graduate students (MBA students) so you are more likely to land a GA position in a non-academic unit.
  • Focus you application on practical real world skills rather than a great GPA. While high GPAs are better than low ones; the people hiring you want to know that you can handle yourself outside the classroom in a work environment.
  • Highlight the MPA program.  We have a large number of MPA students who, while working at Seton Hall get a MPA degree, this can help.  In addition, we are a professional program that focuses on teaching practical real world skills. Hiring managers often like that.
  • Ask for help. Let MPA faculty and staff know you are applying for a GA position and where. We are here to help.
If you have any questions about these scholarships please contact the director of the MPA program, Dr. Matthew Hale, at

matthew.hale@shu.edu.


Contact Us

Department of Political Science and Public Affairs
(973) 761-9383
Jubilee Hall Rm. 567

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