Finding ways to assist in financing graduate school is often of high priority. Therefore, it's important to know the options and resources that exist.
What Sources of Financial Aid are Available?
1. Grants & Fellowships – awards that require no service or repayment in return.
Federal Support - several federal agencies fund fellowship and traineeship programs. The amounts and types of assistance vary widely. Veterans may contact their regional office of the Veterans Administration for information on educational benefits.
State Support - some states offer support for graduate study. Typically you must be a resident of the state for 12 consecutive months in order to qualify.
Institutional Aid - most educational institutions provide aid in the form of fellowships, tuition waivers, and assistantships. This information is listed in the school catalog.
Corporate Aid - tuition support is often provided for employees.
Foundations - support is provided in particular areas of interest. Databank services can provide a list of grant possibilities (for a fee) in a variety of fields.
2. Work Programs - services provided to a university in exchange for tuition waiver and/or a salary or stipend. Responsibilities vary from school to school and within departments.
Research Assistants - assist faculty members with research activities. Rarely offered to first-year students.
Graduate Assistants - administrative office work in admissions, financial aid, student affairs, etc.
College Work Study Program - federally funded program in public and private nonprofit settings for students who demonstrate financial need.
On-campus Employment - opportunities provided by the school which are not based on need.
3. Loans - various types are available. Although some are based on financial need, other sources are available regardless of income. Check FAFSA, Federal Student Loan Application, and www.finaid.org. Also, research Stafford and Perkins loan options.
Apply to as many sources as you can find.
Make sure you have all of the required forms for each school.