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Affording Graduate School

So, you’re thinking about graduate school and you’re wondering how you will pay for it all? In some respects it’s similar to paying for your undergraduate education, but often there are some new options to help pay. See the short list below for some ideas.

  • Fellowships/Scholarships: A free education is always the best option. The catch is you need a high GPA, good GRE/ GMAT/LSAT/MCAT scores and the commitment to search out every possible source of funding.
  • Teaching/Research Assistantships: Many assistantships include tuition waivers plus a monthly stipend. It’s a great way to get paid for earning an education. Contact programs/universities you apply to in order to find out what they offer and how to apply for them. Ask specific questions about the number of available TA/RA positions and whether these are typically awarded to master's or doctoral students. Also ask about the number of years that RA/TA positions are awarded to incoming students when they are offered admission.
  • Family: You’ve likely borrowed from them in the past; maybe you’re lucky enough for it to still be a viable option.
  • Student Loans: Even if you’ve taken out loans in the past, another $50,000 - $75,000 may or may not be a sound “investment” in your future, depending on your program of study and the expected salary ranges of the career you are preparing for.
  • Employer Sponsorship: Did you know that some companies pay for you to continue your education? The catch is they usually expect you to continue working for them after you complete your degree to recoup their investment.

Here are some additional resources:

  • Funding for Graduate School at UMD is a great resource too!  Other schools may do things differently, but this should give you some guidance on funding options at other universities. Look for a similar resource at schools you are seriously considering.
  • Fast Web can be used to search for scholarships and fellowships. It compares your background with a database of awards. Only those awards that fit your profile are identified as matches.
  • Recognize scholarship scams. Advice on how to identify scholarship scams, how to distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent organizations, how to protect yourself from scholarship scams, and what to do if you are scammed.
  • Guide to National Scholarships and Research has scholarship listings, deadlines, and information.
  • Fellowship Database listings are primarily in the U. S. but some are international.

Assess your options for funding graduate school, decide what is right for you and if applicable begin exploring/applying for loan, scholarship or assistantship options, etc.

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