What Are Three Great Sources of Financial Aid for Graduate Students?

Undergraduates have scholarships, grants, loans and so much more, but what graduate financial aid sources are available? If you’re getting ready to earn an advance degree, you already have your plate full with worrying about test scores, transcripts and application essays. You don’t need to stress out over paying for your education, because you can easily find financial aid for graduate sources. In fact, you may not even need to pay a dime for your entire degree.

Tuition Reimbursement

Your studies in graduate school will make you a better employee. You’ll be able to take on new duties and perform your current job even better. Because of this, many employers offer tuition reimbursement. That means you can take classes and your company will pay for your tuition, fees and even your books. U.S. News named tuition reimbursement as one of the Top 10 Workplace Trends for the new year, so you can expect to see even more companies offering this amazing benefit. Some employers put restrictions on the benefit; they pay for only class per semester or require you to stay at the company for a year after getting your degree. Tuition reimbursement is a great way to pay for your graduate classes, but make sure it works well with your future career plans.

Fellowships/Stipends

Graduate students are an important part of the university community. Schools need you to serve as a teaching assistant, lead laboratory classes and even teach your own courses. Your time and expertise is valuable, and schools want to reward you for it. Almost every graduate program offers fellowships as a form of financial aid. The exact requirements of the fellowship will vary, but you can anticipate sharing your knowledge with undergraduate students. You can even look at fellowships as a way to help you in your career; if you want to be a professor, teaching courses as a graduate student is a must.

Your university might also pay you for performing research or working in an
administrative office. These opportunities are a great way to build your resume while saving costs on your graduate education. Oftentimes, you’ll be given work assignments that relate directly to your degree. If you’re pursuing a master’s in biotechnology, you’ll probably end up working in a biotech lab. Likewise, if you’re studying international relations, you might be offered a position in your school’s International Students department.

Tuition Waivers

Graduate financial aid often takes your experience into account, whether that means offering you a fellowship at the university or cutting down your tuition. Schools will often waive thousands of dollars a year for graduate students with inspiring resumes. If you’re serve in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or military, universities know that your unique adventures will help make your graduate program a better place for every student. You may get lower tuition or be able to skip certain classes, meaning you save time and money on your graduate degree. For example, if your program requires an internship or foreign language courses, you can usually bypass that requirement.

In some ways, graduate school is easier to pay for than undergraduate studies. You’ve already proven that you can work at an advanced level, and you probably have significant workplace experience. Graduate financial aid sources are everywhere.

Also, have a look at “Student Debt: A Million Millions“.