All About the NAGPS – National Association of Graduate-Professional Students

Are you curious about the NAGPS? Graduate and professional students wear many hats! Juggling family, homework, research work, classes, and other personal or professional commitments, there can be a lot going on in their lives. If you are someone who wants a bit of diversion from your usual routine, you can start asking about your respective college’s or university’s graduate student council or association’s activities, events, and other initiatives. It’s not only worthwhile, but it also provides an impact on your profession and graduate/professional student experience in a positive way.

Did you know that each school’s graduate and professional student association or committee is an initiative of the National Association Of Graduate-Professional Students?

Find out more about NAGPS by using these page jumps:

About the NAGPS

The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students
History of the NAGPS
NAGPS Board Of Directors
NAGPS Membership
NAGPS Membership Benefits
NAGPS Campaigns
NAGPS Advocacy Platforms
NAGPS Legislative Platforms
NAPGS Press Releases

The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students

Based in Washington, D.C., the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students is a student-led, not-for-profit organization committed to improving the lives of graduate and professional students around the U.S.

The NAGPS’s vision is to be a nationally demonstrative and globally recognized organization that promotes institutional and structural changes to develop graduate and professional studies in the country. The organization has served numerous colleges and universities in different regions of the country, namely Southeast, Northeast, South Central, Midwest, and Western, which are all led by their respective regional directors.

NAGPS was founded by student leaders in 1987. It is the sole national organization that embodies the interests of graduate and professional students in local, state, and national public and private colleges and universities.

History of the NAGPS

In the spring of 1986, a group of graduate students from four academic institutions participated in the First National Teaching Assistant Training Conference at the Ohio State University. They discussed the idea of a national graduate student association as a response to Congress, reducing the tax-exempt status of graduate stipends.

About the NAGPS

In March 1987, this group of students initiated the first national meeting at the Washington State University. During this meeting, the group has officially become the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students or commonly known as the NAGPS. A part of the committee selection includes five regional coordinators, legislative concerns coordinator, an information exchange coordinator, and a national conference coordinator.

NAGPS Board Of Directors

As of this writing, the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students is being led and advocated by different graduate and professional students from different colleges and universities around the United States.

NAGPS Membership

The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students has several members classified as either legacy or organizational members. The organization has affiliations with numerous colleges and universities with respective graduate and professional student associations. Each association has catered to the needs of different students from their respective schools.

If you are interested in being a part of the NAGPS, you can choose from different subscription plans. Each plan is specifically tailored to specific categories with corresponding inclusions.


The Individual plan is suitable for a current graduate and professional learner not represented by a specific organizational member. You will pay $50 annually for this plan. It has the following inclusions:

  • Access to benefits
  • Access to NAGPS member resources
  • Eligible to serve on NAGPS boards and committees
  • Qualified to vote
  • Discounted registration and other fees at NAGPS events


An organizational plan is a representative body of the graduate and professional learners in any institution of higher learning. A payment of $550 per year is required to avail of this membership subscription. This plan has similar inclusions to that of the NAGPS’s plan.

Developing Organizational Member

Being a Developing Organizational Member is appropriate for a representative body of the graduate and professional learner in any institution of higher learning with less than $10K budget. Payment ranges from $0 to $499 per year. Your budget report must be submitted to the NAGPS for evaluation. The perks are just the same as the NAGPS Individual and Organizational plan.

Affiliate Organization

If you are an organization that supports the NAGPS’s mission and is not considered a student government, you can choose the Affiliate Organization plan. An annual fee of $750 is required for membership. Members will enjoy similar perks with the three other NAGPS plans, except they are not qualified to vote and are ineligible to serve in the NAGPS boards and committees.

NAGPS Membership Benefits

About the NAGPSNational Association of Graduate Professional Students

NAGPS has also established various partnerships with corporate organizations to offer its members discounted prices on different products and services that graduate-professional learners need.


NAGPS and Allianz offer an opportunity for members to guarantee they are taken care of in times of emergency during the school year. You can lock in your tuition protection program before the beginning of the term. If you need to withdraw for a valid reason, Allianz will reimburse your tuition expenses.


NAGPS has partnered with Ameritas to provide its members discounted and competitive prices on dental insurance and vision insurance.

Haven Life

Haven Life is sponsored by MassMutual and delivers quick, virtual access to inexpensive term life insurance. You can acquire the type of life insurance tailored to fit your budget and lifestyle.


NAGPS has collaborated with United Healthcare and PGH to deliver international learners access to high-quality and affordable health insurance. The Global Partnerships of PGH provides them with access to a premier provider network. As a result, students can easily access care from different elite healthcare services across all 50 states and around the District of Columbia.

The Grad Academy

NAGPS and The Grad Academy’s collaborative efforts provide its members with access to the best academic tools and resources around the country.


NAGPS has a partnership with VSP to offer its members affordable access to vision insurance. You’ll have easy access to one of the country’s leading providers of vision care without paying hefty charges.

NAGPS Campaigns

The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students has advocated several causes and campaigns that improve the lives of several graduates and professional students. One of the most significant campaigns facilitated by the NAGPS is the Legislative Action Days (LAD). NAGPS’s mission has a primary focus on advocating on behalf of graduate-professional learners to policymakers at the local, state, and federal governments.

As a way to support its mission, the organization facilitates the Advocacy Summit and Legislative Action Days two times per year in Washington, D.C., during Spring and Fall terms. Participants will arrive on Friday and depart on Tuesday. Topics during the event are derived from the NAGPS’s advocacy and legislative platforms.

The first sessions of LAD include Saturday and Sunday as training sessions related to advocacy. Participants are immersed in training sessions where they discover the legislative issues NAGPS will tackle during LAD. This two-day training session is organized by the board members and advocacy committees of NAGPS as well as the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition.

The second session requires LAD participants to attend their scheduled congressional visits. The organization also develops opportunities for its participants to meet with key committee members on subjects that the NAGPS will advocate.

NAGPS also facilitates other campaigns with respective programs and goals such as Graduate Worker Rights, Graduate-Professional Student Appreciation Week, Grads Have Debt 2, Rewrite PROSPER, Stateside Academic Visa Processing, and Rework The Reform.

NAGPS Advocacy Platforms

About the NAGPS

During the 29th National Conference on October 31, the organization has approved numerous advocacy platforms from different significant concerns. They include the following but are not limited to:

Social Justice

  • NAGPS advocates students’ rights to academic freedom and freedom of expression and free from censorship.
  • NAGPS advocates students’ rights who are victims of relationship violence and sexual abuse.
  • NAGPS advocates students’ rights to free speech and sponsorship. It has acknowledged the significant contributions of graduate learners to issues related to diversity as well as equal treatment of people with different ethnicities, issues of immigration, and just hourly salaries.

On-Campus Concerns

  • NAGPS advocates open communication between administrators and the student community about the responsibilities and rights of graduate and professional learners.
  • NAGPS advocates access to inexpensive healthcare and comprehensive treatment, including coverage for international students.
  • NAGPS advocates students’ rights to leaves of absence for personal support such as medical leaves, leave for caretakers, bereavement leaves, and family leaves.

International Student Concerns

  • NAGPS advocates the rights of international students to feel welcomed and secure by the culture of their college or university.
  • NAGPS advocates the rights of international students to be free from bullying and coercion. They should be given the right to fair wages and hours as well as the privilege to visit their home countries.
  • NAGPS advocates non-discrimination against international students related to housing and employment issues.

Employment Concerns

  • NAGPS advocates graduate students’ rights to access compensation of workers in case of injury or emergency while pursuing educational aspirations.
  • NAGPS advocates students’ rights to decide to lead and support the initiatives of learners to unite in their respective colleges or universities.
  • NAGPS advocates student workers’ rights, namely just employment practices, non-discriminatory job hiring practices, and a fair living wage.

NAGPS Legislative Platforms

International Student Issues

  • NAGPS urges policymakers to make more green cards and visas available to Non-American-born students who earn their graduate degrees in the U.S.
  • NAGPS urges school administrators, law enforcement agencies, and lawmakers to respect international students’ human and civil rights and to advocate their rights to due process.
  • NAGPS encourages that all student visas, regardless of the learner’s field of study and country of origin, must be multiple-entry and validity in line with that of the student’s educational program or degree.

Student Rights

  • NAGPS advocates programs that will deliver guidance and support for undocumented graduate and professional learners who encounter local and international displacement, depending on their eligibility for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative.
  • NAGPS firmly disputes any attempt to violate the First Amendment students’ rights and their appointed representatives to participate in a debate, lobbying, and advocacy, to publish scholarly work without fear of retaliation and to develop and fund their programs.
  • NAGPS advocates access to inexpensive childcare for all graduate and professional learners, including international students.

Tax Policy

  • NAGPS encourages increasing tax reduction of student loan interest. The organization also urges Congress to index the salary limitation on student loan interest reductions to the inflation rate.
  • NAGPS advocates methods that lessen the tax burden on graduate and professional students, including deductions for expenses of graduate and professional students and protecting and increasing tax exemptions.

Educational Policy

  • NAGPS advocates legislative initiatives that support diversity in colleges and universities.
  • NAGPS advocates federal recognition of the 1st week of April as a yearly celebration of Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week.
  • NAGPS supports programs that permit the use, dissemination, and development of Open Educational Resources.

Higher Education Funding

  • NAGPS encourages advocacy for educational programs in financial literacy for higher education.
  • NAGPS advocates intellectual and cultural diversity and recommends the expansion of federal fellowships for international students.
  • NAGPS encourages policymakers to increase borrowing limits for federal student loans and to regularly adjust for the rising cost of tuition fees and inflation rates.

NAPGS Press Releases

The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students has conducted several press releases since 2013. The association addresses relevant issues of the graduate and professional student communities across more than 80 academic institutions in the U.S.

The NAGPS has anticipated that racial and gender discrimination in academia is among one the primary challenges dealt with by both local and international graduate and professional students. As a result, the organization made a press release regarding its endorsement of the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act that advocates for the protection of graduate students as workers in notoriously unjust and harmful situations.

Did you know?

10 Things Every Female Grad Student Needs

Consider This: Why Go To Graduate School?

How to Create the Best Mentoring Relationship with your Professors

Grad School Debt: Everything You Need to Know

Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor