Financing Graduate School
There are several types of financial assistance available to graduate students.
Fellowships are granted to graduate and post-grad students. They are like scholarships and, similarly, do not require repayment. Fellowships are awarded by private organizations, institutions, or through the government. Fellowships vary in the amount being awarded and can be used either towards research or education. Students can be given a 1- to 4-year stipend with or without a tuition waiver. The type of fellowship awarded is based on merit, need, and the institution’s/faculty’s grant. Some schools allow students to directly apply for fellowships offered through the schools. However, some schools only award fellowships to students who have been recommended by a faculty member.
Graduate Assistantships (GAs)
GAs provide a partial or full tuition waiver plus a monthly stipend in return for students working a specified amount of hours per semester in various departments. Usually, provisionally-admitted students are not eligible to work as graduate assistants, so it is important to check with the school in which you are applying.
Graduate Teaching Assistantships (TAs)
As a TA, students can typically expect to receive an annual stipend, as well as free tuition in return for teaching courses, running laboratories, grading papers and exams, and conducting study and review sessions. At some larger universities, they may be eligible for additional benefits. Students will gain valuable experience in and out of the classroom and have the opportunity to interact closely with faculty members in their department.
These are gifts that do not need to be repaid. Students may receive grants from the government or through private sources of funding. In graduate school, grants can be used towards, travel, research, experiments, or projects.
Scholarships are awards given to students based on academic excellence and/or talent. Additionally, students may receive scholarships based on other factors, such as ethnic background, the field of study, or financial need. Scholarships vary in their amounts and the number of years given aid.
Loans are usually available through a school’s Financial Aid office and are awarded to a student based on need.
Here are some great resources for financing your graduate school experience:
Last updated: 12/18/2012