Most graduate programs will offer some sort of financial aid ranging from assistantships, fellowships and research positions to grants, loans and scholarships. A careful exploration of all types of aid available to you could result in a decrease in your out-of-pocket costs.
In general, grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid. You may be required to work in some capacity (teaching, research, administrative assistance) in return for assistantships and fellowships. You will need to pay back any loans you receive.
Funds are available from federal and state governments, the university to which you apply, and from private foundations. Searching for aid can be time consuming. Here are some tips and resources to assist you in your search:
- Learn what you can about the process. Contact the financial aid office at your undergraduate school for general information, and at the schools to which you apply for program-specific resources.
- Apply for aid as early in the process as you can.
- Submit a FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) even if you don’t think you would be eligible for federal aid. You may need to file the form to apply for any aid.
- Look for grants and fellowships from private institutions. Financial assistance from these sources can be awarded on a wide variety of criteria, including (but not limited to) financial need, academic performance, gender, disabilities, race, religious affiliation, the state in which you are a resident, or membership in a club or association.
- If you are employed, investigate financial aid from your employer.
- Consider attending school part-time to spread out the cost.
- Take prerequisite courses at a less expensive institution.
- Join the military - they will finance some to all of your education in return for years of service.
- Don't absorb more debt than you feel you can handle.
- Keep in touch with your financial aid office for any changes that may occur in your needs or the programs from which you are receiving aid.
Other resources to assist you in your search for financial assistance for graduate study:
Scholarships, Fellowships, and Loans
Saint Michael's College faculty serve as advisors to prestigious scholarships. Investigate these opportunities early in your college career to insure you have the qualifications to be competitive for each.
Click on the name of each scholarship below for a link to detailed information and contact the faculty member who serves as the advisor for each program:
Video recording of faculty advisors talking about these Scholarships and Fellowships, including:
David L. Boren Graduate Fellowships
The David L. Boren Graduate Fellowships enable U.S. graduate students to pursue specialization in area and language study or to add an international dimension to their education. Boren Fellowships support students pursuing the study of languages, cultures and world regions that are critical to U.S. national security but are less frequently studied by U.S. graduate students. Note: this scholarship has a service requirement.
American Association of University Women
The largest source of funding exclusively for graduate women in the world, AAUW supports aspiring scholars around the globe, teachers and activists in local communities, women at critical stages of their careers, and those pursuing professions where women are underrepresented.
Social Science Research Foundation
Provides pre-dissertation and dissertation fellowships, postdoctoral fellowships and advanced research grants in both the social sciences and humanities.
International Education Financial Aid (IEFA)
IEFA is the premier resource for financial aid, college scholarship and grant information for US and international students wishing to study abroad.