Financing Graduate School

How are you going to pay for your graduate degree?

• Scholarships/Fellowships/Grants

This is free money! You just need to apply to them to possibly be accepted. Scholarship and fellowship applications can be found on your program or graduate schools website (usually under Financial Assistance information).

• Graduate Assistantships/Teaching Assistants/Research Assistants

Some graduate programs/schools have part time job positions for full time accepted students. Contact your graduate program for information about how to apply or look for these positions. Sometimes they are just posted on that schools Human Resources job- site. These positions often have a stipend and include tuition costs in their 20 hr a week work. If you have experience in residence life, you could even apply to be a Residence Hall GA which includes a stipend, tuition, and your rent. GA positions offered on college campuses are directly related to most fields in helping others such as counseling and psychology.

Just like for any job, you must have some relevant experience to land that position as a graduate assistant/teaching assistant/research assistant. That is why as an undergraduate you will want to take advantage of internship opportunities on and off campus such as Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, and other relevant volunteer positions.

UCF’s Higher Education program has a list of different Graduate Assistant positions available on campus and for other colleges in the area.

Job benefits

Maybe your full time job has education benefits? Depending on your career field, you might have more benefit if you work first and apply to graduate programs later, especially if your job will pay for you to go back to school. Working in a relevant career is very helpful when applying to competitive graduate programs. For example, if you’re applying to be a school counselor, you can learn how to be a full time teacher or substitute teacher to get experience in your field before you apply to a school counseling graduate program.

• Student Loans

Graduate students are eligible for federal loans that have very low interest rates. Just fill out a FAFSA every year that you are a student to qualify.

• If you work full time in a public service job such as a public, non-profit, or tax-exempt organization, you may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, see this link for details