If you want quality graduate school education, then you would really need money. This is because dealing with graduate school expenses can be challenging for students, especially for those whose families aren’t earning much. But does this mean that quality graduate school education cannot be accessible to the financially underprivileged?
The answer is NO. With strong motivation, strategic financial planning, and institutions granting financial aid in the form of loans and scholarships, practically anybody can stand a chance in graduate school.
Here are some of the financial aid opportunities available for graduate school students:
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Funded by the government, FAFSA is accessible to students of graduate schools participating in the said project. FAFSA applicants are usually evaluated based on factors such as a student’s financial condition and eligibility for aid.
In-house financial aid programs
If you happen to be in a university that is not a participant of FAFSA, you can check out the school’s in-house student financial aid programs. Schools usually offer financial aid opportunities that students can avail of, though such opportunities may depend on the graduate school program that one is enrolled in.
Private schools usually ask for additional requirements such as graduate school admission essays, where students have the opportunity to explain or describe their financial and economic condition. To help you out, there are sample graduate school essays online.
There are some graduate schools that tie-up with other financial aid institutions instead of offering in-house financial aid. Here are some funding organizations that offer financial grants and scholarships to graduate school students:
Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS)
GMS, initially an offshoot of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to give financial assistance to students belonging to racial minorities. It aims to increase these target groups’ representations in different academic disciplines. Granting scholarships since 1999, GMS has already aided more than 12,000 students financially.
American Association for University Women (AAUW)
The AAUW Educational Foundation is a financial aid institution for women of all religions, races, and socio-economic backgrounds.
This foundation offers financial grants and scholarships to students of certain graduate school programs in Engineering, History, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, and others.
Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation
This foundation gives grants to graduate school students in the field of public service. They offer up to $30,000 of financial aid, as well as fellowships and leadership trainings.
NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program
This program is accessible to students of graduate school programs under the fields of Engineering such as Aeronautics, Aeronautical Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical and Electric Engineering, and others. NASA ASP beneficiaries are entitled to grants of up to $11,000 in a school year, as well as a yearly stipend amounting to $35,000.