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Grants for graduate school is a type of financial aid that does not involve repayment and making them a great option to afford graduate study. These grants also tend to be financial need based. Recipients use the funds to offset the costs of an advanced degree. It could also be a master’s degree, professional degree program like law, medicine, dentistry or PhD.
By 2029, enrollment in graduate programs is likely to reach 3.1 million according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Sallie Mae’s recent report cites 48% of students rely on grants in average amounts of $6,030 in 2019 to 2020.
When you’re applying for a grant, you may need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some providers also assess your GPA as part of their application process.
Start applying for these grants for graduate school to help make your dreams of higher education into reality. Don’t forget to check the eligibility criteria and apply before the due date.
Grant funding opportunities may be available from the federal and state governments, graduate schools and private organizations. Some grants for graduate school could also be for a specific major, research focus or student demographic. Here are a few grant programs that master’s and doctoral students may qualify for.
The federal government offers several grants for graduate level studies.
Teach Grant: It provides up to $4,000. It is for students who are completing (or plan to) course work needed to begin a career in teaching. Grant recipients also must take certain classes and teach in an underserved area or the grant turns into a loan.
Pell Grant: It’s also a federal grant which typically does not need to be repaid. Graduate students may be eligible to receive a Pell Grant if you’re enrolled in a post bachelor teacher certification program. However, this grant usually goes to undergrads so check if you’re eligible. In many cases, graduate and professional students are ‘independent’ for FAFSA purposes. It means you don’t input your parents’ income.
Fulbright U.S. Student Program: The U.S. Department of Education transfers funds through the State Dept. to Fulbright programs. These grants also help students complete research or English Teaching Assistant programs in host countries.
Some states offer need based grants for graduate study. These tend to be for state residents. Grad students who reside in TX and attend a state university may qualify for a Texas Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG). Also, the Colorado Graduate Grant is for CO resident grad students with financial need.
The graduate school you plan to attend may also offer grants for grad students enrolled in a specific graduate program. Check with the school’s financial aid office for details.
If you’re California resident, the SUG (State University Grant) is for grad students attending a school in the state’s university system such as CSU. If you’re planning to attend University of Pennsylvania, each of the 12 graduate and professional schools provides grant funding based on financial need.
These grants often support research projects. You may find them at nonprofits such as the Geological Society of America’s Graduate Student Research Grant. Private companies such as Pfizer have grants for grad school. Pfizer offers a Global Medical Grants Program that supports projects of all sizes that benefit the community.
Grants for graduate school often go to specific groups (i.e. minorities, women, education level). One is the Annual Black Entrepreneurship Grant. It for an African American graduate student with a new business idea or plan.
Grants may tie into the graduate degree you are pursuing. The Sigma Foundation for Nursing provides research grants up to $5,000 each. It could also help you advance in nursing through research.
Grants and fellowships differ in their eligibility requirements. Grants for graduate tend to go to students who lack the money to pay for their graduate education. Fellowship programs are short term opportunity for research and development. They often go to professional students with strong research skills as well as high academic success.
For example, a fellowship for women returning to physics research careers after a break is the M. Hildred Blewett Fellowship from APS. The fellowship is a one academic year award of up to $45,000 that selectees use towards a PhD.
A graduate assistantship is paid part time work. You may receive a monthly stipend or tuition waiver while working a certain number of hours. In exchange for tuition, you agree to work on campus in an area related to your major. Examples of jobs are teaching assistant, research or graduate assistant. You don’t typically need to repay a grant or work to earn the money (unless after graduation).
Western Illinois University (WIU) is a four year school that offers graduate assistantships. They may be valued at $15,000. Students with full time assistantships work 20 hours per week. You could teach up to 6 semester hours per semester. You may also receive a monthly stipend for living expenses and a tuition waiver.
Boost your odds of securing a grant for graduate school with these helpful tips. Make sure to read through the application directions and provide all needed information.
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The sources for school statistics and data is the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.