How to Pay for Graduate School
Graduate student grants include awards such as research grants for graduate students. Grants for graduate school may at first not seem easy to come by. Since most federal and state government-issued college focus on undergraduate studies, graduate college students will generally have to look elsewhere to find help to pay for their studies.
For those who wish to pursue a graduate school degree and cannot afford to pay for it out of their own pockets, there are several options. The first thing to do is to check with the graduate school where you intend to study. Seek information about graduate student grants, scholarships, awards, fellowships, and other funding options from the college’s financial offices and the department where you will be studying. Make sure to ask them and your academic department about research grants for graduate students.
Employers Paying for Graduate School
If you are currently employed, intend to study in a field related to your company’s needs, and wish either remain employed with your current employer or return to work for them after completing a graduate degree, it is worth investigating the possibility that your current employer will fund your graduate degree education in all or in part. Agreements such as this generally require you to commit to a certain number of years to continue working with your employer after completion of your graduate degree.
Professional Organizations Paying for Graduate School
Another source for graduate student grants comes from professional societies and organizations. If you are not already a member of professional organizations, it is a good idea to join several of them that pertain to your field of study and career goals. Once you are a member, look into the research grants for graduate students, scholarships, and fellowships they offer to graduate students. Most large corporations have foundations that issue grants and awards to graduate students in fields related to their areas of business, especially if a particular research project is involved. So it is definitely worth checking out the possibility that a business in your related field will help you pay for your graduate degree. You may be able to find a corporate sponsor of a research grant for your graduate student project.
Different Kinds of Grants to Pay of Graduate School
Faith-based grants, disabilities grants, ethnic origin grants, military grants, minority grants, and women’s grants are also worth looking into to help you fund your graduate school education. Those with military experience, for example, may also be eligible for the GI Bill to help pay for graduate school.
As a last resort to pay for a graduate degree, there are also several types of government loans and private loans. Government loans generally have a lower interest rate, so priority should be given to using a government loan rather than a private loan. For graduate school students, there government helps arrange for the Graduate Stafford Loan, the Perkins Loan, and the Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan.
There are also many sources for funding graduate college students, even in places graduate students might not expect. For example, through the Screen Actors Guild Foundation there is the Woodbury University’s Matching Scholarship Program, for students pursuing a graduate degree. The graduate degree could be in a number of disciplines in which the entertainment industry is involved.
Overall it helps to plan ahead to figure out how to pay for graduate school, because many graduate school grants and scholarships have deadlines. Grants for graduate school may not be as obvious as undergraduate grants, but with advanced planning graduate students can take advantage of the opportunities available to help them pay for graduate school.