Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition and Financial AId


The tuition for the 2017 Institute for Documentary Filmmaking Certificate Program for non-degree students is $12,350

For degree-seeking Ph.D. or M.A. students or GW employees using their tuition benefits, the tuition for the Certificate Program is the cost of 9 graduate credits.

All successful graduates of the Institute receive nine graduate credits and a Certificate in Documentary Filmmaking.


Financial Aid

The Institute for Documentary Filmmaking is considered a part-time program. As such, students are not eligible for federally-supported financial aid.

Payment Options

Staggered Payment Plan

Accepted Institute students have the opportunity to participate in GW's staggered payment plan through our partners at ECSI.

Please note there is a one-time enrollment fee in this plan of $45.

In order to take advantage of this plan, students must enroll by December 31, 2016.

The payment plan for 2017 is as follows:

If you register between December 1 - December 19:
Registration fee: $45
Payment due immediately (Payments 1&2):  $4940
Payment #3 (one month after date of registration): $2470
Payment #4 (two months after date of registration): $2470
Payment #5 (three months after date of registration): $2470

If you register between December 20 - December 31:
Registration fee: $45

Payment due immediately (Payments 1,2, and 3): $7410

Payment #4 (one month after date of registration): $2470

Payment #5 (two months after date of registration): $2470


Withdrawals and Refunds

The Documentary Center follows all of the standard GW policies for withdrawal and tuition refunds.  These policies can be found here.  

Loan Resources and Options

While Institute students are not eligible for Federally-supported loan programs, you are eligible for several other loan options:

Private Alternative Loans

Private alternative loans are available to:

  1. Graduate students requiring more than the annual maximum for their degree type available from the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program
  2. International students
  3. Certificate program students who are not eligible for Federal Direct Stafford or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS
Borrowing Amounts

Most private alternative loans will allow a student to borrow up to their cost of attendance minus any other aid and generally requires school certification of enrollment and eligibility information.  In most cases the lender will forward this request to the school after the student completes the initial application, the disclosures, and the self-certification form with the lender. Students must ensure that their loan program lender has received all required information, and has GW’s contact information on record.

Private Loan Lender Requirements

Each private alternative loan product has specific enrollment level requirements and prior balance coverage standards. Review our Private Student Loan Counseling Checklist for helpful information.

When applying, students should make sure the products’ enrollment requirements and other standards meet your specific needs. YouAlso, students should be aware that the final approval and disbursement decision rests with the lender. School certification of the eligible amount is not a guarantee of fund delivery.

Choosing a Private Lender

You are advised to research different lenders and products to find the loan option that best suits your needs.  An internet search for "Private alternative student loans" provides a valuable starting point for both learning about the terms of the loans and reviewing the products available from various lending institutions. 

Apply for private alternative loans at GW

The Elberger Scholarship

We offer one scholarship opportunity: The Elberger Scholarship.  This scholarship provides $2500 and is awarded to one student per Institute to assist with financial hardship.

To apply, please write a no more than 500 word essay describing why you believe you are deserving of this award. Submit your essay to by Tuesday, November 1, 2016.