Financial Aid Tips for Graduate School

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See Career Services for more complete information.

Grants/Fellowships

  • Generally require no service in return
  • Often provide cost of tuition plus stipend
  • May be merit-based, need-based, and merit- AND need-based
  • May be state-awarded to residents of the state (generally need-based)

Work Programs

1. Teaching Assistantships (TAs)

  • May involve:  lecturing, leading study groups, grading papers, counseling students, supervising laboratories
  • Usually about 20 hours per week
  • Usually receive a salary sometimes tuition is waived
  • Appointments based on academic qualifications and department funds

2. Research Assistantships

  • Involves assisting in the research activities of faculty
  • Not usually offered to first-year students
  • Contact individual faculty members to determine eligibility

3. Administrative Assistantships

  • Work in the university’s administrative offices
  • Usually 10-20 hours per week
  • Some provide salary, others waive tuition

4. Federal Work-Study Program

  • Government-funded need-based aid

Loans

1. Federal Stafford Loans

  • Government-sponsored low-interest loans
  • 2 kinds:subsidized: interest-free loan as long as you are in school (must show financial need) unsubsidized: must pay interest as soon as loan is processed
  • may borrow up to $8,500 per year subsidized, and an additional $10,000 per year unsubsidized

2. Federal Direct Loans

  • Funded through Department of Education’s Direct Lending Program
  • Similar to Federal Stafford Loans

3. Federal Perkins Loan Program 

  • Long-term loan program
  • Must demonstrate financial need
  • May borrow up to $5,000 per year up to a total of $30,000
  • Interest rate is 5% and doesn’t accumulate while you are in school
  • Repayment begins nine months after school ends

YOU MUST COMPLETE THE FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA) TO APPLY FOR FEDERAL AID – http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ (online application)

Also, see these websites for more scholarship info: