Financial Aid for Graduate School
Each graduate school, graduate program, and/or type of assistantship may have different application deadlines. Many graduate schools use the Graduate and Professional School Financial Aid Service (GAPSFAS) as a means of selecting graduate students who need financial assistance. The GAPSFAS application is available at any graduate school financial aid department.
SOURCES OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT
- A stipend. An outright grant of money for which you may not be required to perform work or services.
- Awarded on the basis of academic potential, not financial need.
- The amount of stipend varies from several hundred to several thousand dollars, some part of which may be taxed.
- Institutional: Awarded by universities directly to students.
- Government: Sponsors a number of different types of fellowships. Apply through individual universities.
- Private grants: Sponsored by private foundations, organization, businesses, and industries. Some are awarded in specific areas or to specific types of students. Contact organizations directly.
- An assistantship provides financial assistance in return for service or work performed for the university.
- The amount varies from a full or partial tuition waiver and/or a sum of money each month.
- Some universities may require graduate assistants to take a reduced course load.
Types of assistantships:
- Teaching Assistantships: You provide the university with a specified amount of undergraduate teaching while you attend school. Advanced students may teach a lab, dissertation section, or a basic course in their field. Less advanced students may grade papers, proctor exams, prepare bibliographies or assist in labs.
- Research Assistantships: Similar to above except you do research under the supervision of graduate faculty.
- Administrative Assistantship: You are assigned to work in an administrative office on campus.
- Residence hall, student personnel, and counseling assistantships: Frequently given to students in fields such as psychology, student personnel, or social work.
- Loans: applied through banks, government agencies, or in some cases, special loan funds at universities.
- Military: Support for graduate or professional education in exchange for future military service.
- Employment: It is difficult to manage full-time work and full-time graduate study. Students usually do one or the other part-time.