The Jesse M. Bell Memorial Graduate Student Loan Program, created by the estate of Jesse Bell, provides loans for meritorious graduate students. These non-need-based loans are available on a one-time basis to domestic and international enrolled graduate students to assist with educational expenses associated with their advanced degree.

Award Details

Loans up to $5,000 are anticipated and will be dependent upon the merits of the case, the loan demand, and the current balance available in the loan fund. Requests exceeding $5,000 will be considered on an exception basis only. The terms and conditions for the loan are as follows:

  • 5% annual interest rate.
  • Loan period not to exceed 10 years.
  • $40/month minimum monthly payment.
  • Repayment begins nine months after the student ceases to be enrolled for at least 3 credits in a degree-granting OSU graduate program, or on an approved leave of absence from an OSU graduate program, or enrolled at least half-time at another institution of higher education.
  • NOTE: Receipt of this loan will impact a student's federal financial aid package. If the student has financial aid assistance, please contact the Financial Aid Office to determine how this loan program affects the financial aid package. The Graduate School will confirm with the Office of Financial Aid to verify that the award amount requested is permissible based on the student's current financial aid award status and limitations.


  • Graduate students in graduate degree-seeking programs
  • Nominees must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 graduate credits for the term in which the award is made

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation of nominations will be based upon the following:

  • Quality of nominee’s statement of award impact; including specific explanation of the financial emergency
  • Quality of letter of nomination
  • Quality of nominee’s CV or Résumé

Nomination Periods

  • Fall 2023: Open 08/14/23 to 10/09/23
  • Winter 2024: Open 12/04/23 to 01/16/24
  • Spring 2024: Open 03/04/24 to 04/15/24
  • Summer 2024: Open 05/28/24 to 07/08/24

Awards are typically determined within two weeks after the closing date each nomination period.

Nomination Procedure

Nominations may be submitted by the nominee's graduate program director, department chair/head, appropriate college leadership, or appropriate leadership in an institutional partner unit. Students may not apply directly for this award. Each unit (as defined by university major code) and institutional partner may nominate no more than ONE nominee (total) per award cycle.

In the nomination form, nominators will be required to prepare/upload the following materials as one PDF document in the order indicated using the following file name convention: "Nominee's Last Name_graduate program_Bell.pdf", and upload it through the nomination form:

  1. Statement from the nominee describing how the award will advance their graduate studies at Oregon State University and an explanation of the extenuating financial emergency that may impact their ability to persist if funding is not received; 1 page maximum
  2. Letter from nominee's nominee's major professor, department head, program director, or unit chair/head (a) attesting to the academic merit of the nominee, (b) confirming that the nominee is making satisfactory academic progress with the nominee's anticipated degree completion, and (c) an overview of previous financial support the nominee has received from the unit; 1 page maximum
  3. A copy of the nominee’s résumé or curriculum vitae. 

NOTE to Institutional Partners:

If an institutional partner is submitting the nomination, they must also have confirmation from the student’s academic unit that:

  • the student is not already being nominated for the same award by the academic unit, and
  • the student is in good academic standing, making satisfactory progress, and that the nomination aligns with the student’s status in the program.

Nomination Form

Submit a nomination


For questions about this award or any Graduate School administered awards, please contact our Graduate Scholarships and Fellowships team