Are you thinking about graduate school, or are in the middle of the admissions process? If so, you might be thinking about how you will finance your education. Financial aid looks a little bit different for graduate school than it does for your undergraduate education, but there are many excellent resources out there to help you think through this important piece of graduate school planning.
A few things to consider as you are in the planning stages:
- What types of graduate programs are you interested in, and what is the culture of these programs? Are you considering medical school, which might be loan-heavy, or a PhD program that might fully finance your education?
- What costs will I incur in the admissions process, and what my budget look like while I’m in graduate school? You will want to consider application fees, entrance exam fees, plane tickets, and lodging for interviews in the admissions process. How wide is the geographic net you are casting?
- Do you have some time to chat with current graduate students about their experience? LinkedIn, Pioneer Connect, and your professors/lab mates are incredible resources to connect you with graduate students who have experienced financing their educations firsthand.
- If you have the chance, take some time to chat with an admissions counselor for the graduate programs that interest you. Often times, you can get questions answered about institutional aid for graduate school, and for the specific programs that interest you.
Idealist is an incredible resource for tips on financing your education. Not only does Idealist offer resources for finding volunteer experiences and nonprofit opportunities, it also has a YouTube channel with tips and tricks on graduate school planning. Click on the Idealist link and scroll down to “Finance” for a number of articles and videos on this topic.
Other resources include:
- CollegeView Financial Aid Office: financial information, virtual tours of colleges/universities and extensive college information database
- The Ford Federal Direct Loan Program: from the U.S. Dept. of Education
- Education Corner: database of college scholarships, grants and fellowships
- Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation (ELA): grant and scholarship resources for females with disabilities
- FastWeb Financial Resources: extensive scholarship resources
- Federal Student Aid: and office of the U.S. Dept. of Education
- FinAid: comprehensive financial aid information
- Find a Scholarship: From U.S. News Online
- GoCollege: undergraduate and graduate level information
- Big Future: from the College Board
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
- Sallie Mae’s Online Scholarship Service
As with any career development questions, your Career Advisors are here as a resource to help you in your graduate school planning!