What is a Graduate Fellowship?

Graduate FellowshipIf you are comparing all of your graduate school funding options, it is important to learn about the graduate fellowship and how it works. As you study to earn an undergraduate degree, there are several financial avenues open to you. You can apply for financial aid, grants, and other scholarships that are available institutionally or nationally. Once you graduate with an undergraduate degree and start to contemplate earning a graduate degree, the funding alternatives are not as vast. There may still be aide and scholarships available to you, but on a limited scale. One option that may appeal to you is to apply for a graduate fellowship. Read on and learn what you need to know to see if this is a practical funding source for you.

Graduate Fellowships and How They Differ From Scholarships

A graduate fellowship is a financial award that is granted to students who are entering an accredited graduate degree program so that they can cover both their academic and their personal expenses that are accrued while attending school. The award is granted based on a number of different factors, and not all prospective graduate students will qualify. While a fellowship is a lot like a scholarship award in the way that it helps students pay for college, it is very different as well. If you become a recipient, you will receive a financial award, but the award must be used for more than just that.

The main purpose of a graduate fellowship is to award individuals in a specific field with funds that will eventually go towards specific research objectives. You will conduct research, analyze information, and work under the guidance of a professor who is experienced in the field. The award will be given to you on an annual basis, and some awards can be granted for several years depending on the discipline and the type of research in question.

Who Qualifies for a Graduate Fellowship?

The qualifications to apply for a graduate fellowship opportunity will depend entirely on who is offering the opportunity and what type of research is being conducted. Fellowships are offered by a number of entities. From the U.S. Government and non-profit organizations, to graduate schools and private organizations, there are awards to be given in virtually every discipline that you can imagine. The most lenient program will offer students fellowships to promising students who are performing well in school, but in most cases you must put in an application and be selected.

When you are filling out a fellowship application in a specific discipline, it is not uncommon for the grantor to ask for a research proposal that details what you would like to research in school. While there are not always academic requirements to receive an award, you may need to submit your grades and a list of your upcoming class schedule so that the award committee can make a formal decision.

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There are plenty of fellowship awards available to graduate students. Be sure that you look for opportunities and read the terms and conditions before applying. Organizations like the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs can help you find active opportunities for U.S. Citizens and International Students. Start searching for the best graduate fellowship opportunity, and receive the money you need to make it through school.