Ideally, funding an education through grants and scholarships is the way to go, given that these types of financial aid do not have to be repaid. Alternatively, student loans may be necessary where grants, work study and self-financing do not suffice. However, before applying for loans, it is best to thoroughly search for any types of applicable grants that you may qualify for. Some of these grants are based on occupation and state-based, but many prospective graduate students are unaware of them because they do not search for them. Although the Pell Grant is available to only undergraduates, there are other grants available to help offset the cost of tuition for graduate students.
There are many state-sponsored grants available for students who plan to pursue a graduate degree. These grants can be found by researching the relevant state’s higher education website. Each grant has its own eligibility criteria although and many are primarily need and merit-based. The amount of each state-sponsored grant varies, but the earlier the application is completed and submitted, the better a student’s chance of receiving more financial aid.
In addition to state-sponsored grants, students who plan to pursue a graduate degree may also find education financing in the form of profession-based grants. While there are many local organizations that provide profession-based grants, there are many businesses and organizations who offer these grants nationally and internationally. A general online search using the key phrase, “graduate school grants” may yield a detailed search of applicable grants for prospective graduate students. Moreover, prospective graduate students should pay attention to bulletin board postings throughout the campus where financial aid information, especially in the form of scholarships, are often listed.
Other Sources of Graduate School Funding
In addition to grants and scholarships, there are other ways to pay for school without loans, which must be repaid and with interest. One alternative is to consider fellowships. Institutional fellowships allow the student to work toward their degree, but at a specific university while portable fellowships allow a student to perform work toward their degree at the student’s school of choice. Additionally, prospective graduate students should consider local social or fraternal organizations that often provide grants and scholarships. Paid internships are also available to help pay for graduate school, but applications should be prepared and submitted well before the deadline.
While Pell Grants are unavailable to graduate students, other sources of funding, which do not have to be paid back, are widely available. The simplest way to find these sources of funding is to perform an online search with a series of key phrases. Once applicable sources are found, create a list, save it and add more sources accordingly.