Funding for Graduate School
Did you know you can go to Graduate School for FREE? Below are several options you can take advantage of when looking for funding for Graduate School
Being a Graduate Student enables you to have the opportunity to gain an assistantship. An assistantship is a job where the university or department will pay for your tuition in exchange for you to work in their office or lab. These positions usually come with a stipend to help you pay for your other needs (rent, food, etc). There are three main types of assistantships you could have:
GTA (Graduate Teaching Assistant) Teaching a section(s) of an undergraduate course
GRA (Graduate Research Assistant) Performing research in a lab a specific number of hours a week
GA (Graduate Assistantship) A job where you would work 10-20 hours a week in a specific department (does not have to be your own) Example: Front desk at Student Affairs Office, Student Success Center Assistant, etc
Fellowships are very similar to assistantships, they also are a way to have your tuition paid and receive a monthly or bi-weekly stipend. Fellowships are usually not funding provided by the university but through a third-party organization.
Here are some popular fellowships:
The best way to look for fellowships is to look for fellowships related to your field is using GRAPES or using Google. Fellowships are usually due in the fall so be sure to start your search very early.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST SOURCE OF FUNDING
If you are interested in research, find a professor whose research you find interesting and contact them. Setting up a meeting to chat with them will give you insight on whether or not this research is right for you and if they are hiring graduate students by the time you enroll.
If you are not doing research, then you can contact the university Graduate Coordinator for the specific department you are looking for and ask them!
Secure your funding before accepting an offer, if possible! There are cases where some students gain assistantships after their first or second semester in graduate school.
SHOULD I STILL FILL OUT THE FAFSA?
Yes! You still will need to fill out the FAFSA for graduate school. Most schools will require you to fill out this information even if you do not plan on taking out any student loans.
For any schooling post a bachelor's degree you will file your FAFSA independently, meaning you will not need your parent's information to complete it.
Make sure to fill out the FAFSA for all schools you plan on applying to BEFORE the priority deadline to be considered for maximum funding.