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How do I get the Best Financial Aid for Graduate School?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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The best financial aid for graduate school is the kind that you will not have to pay back. These methods include scholarships and grants, as well as work study programs or teaching assistantships. Unfortunately for most graduate students, free financial aid for graduate school is difficult to find, and many scholarships and grants available to undergraduate students are not available to grad students. It is important to seek out all teaching assistantship positions at your school, as these jobs will help you pay for your tuition as well as your living expenses, such as rent.

A teaching assistantship is a type of financial aid for graduate school in which a graduate student will work for the school. Most teaching assistants will teach freshman-level courses, or they will work in labs or specific departments. They are paid a predetermined wage and are issued a paycheck as a living stipend, and they are also awarded assistantship money that is applied to their tuition costs. This is one of the best methods of financial aid for graduate school because it not only takes money off tuition costs, but also allows the student to have spending money for living expenses or entertainment.

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Scholarships are generally difficult to come by as a graduate student, but they are not impossible to find. Visiting the financial aid office at your school is a good place to begin looking for scholarship and grant opportunities, and the process of applying for such scholarships and grants can be a full-time job in itself. Many graduate students get no such financial aid for graduate school at all, so you should be prepared to apply for federal or private loans to finance your education. Some countries offer low-interest loans that will cost you less money than a private loan, and while you will end up having to pay such money back, you will be paying it back at a much lower rate than other options.

If you intend to attend graduate school part-time, you may be able to convince your employer to pay for all or part of your graduate education. Some businesses have an incentive to send you to school so you are qualified to take on more responsibility within the company, so they will offer you financial aid for graduate school or even cover complete tuition costs. Be sure to ask your employer about such options, and do not forget to consider financial aid for low-income students, as well as money from math, science, or language foundations.

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