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Figuring out what to do after college can be an exciting time! Graduate schools are an excellent opportunity to focus on a specific career path. However, you may need some help financing your studies. So, are some tips for finding scholarships and grants for graduate school.
Different Types of Scholarships and Grants for Graduate School
These are given to students to help fund their education and usually don’t have to be repaid. Scholarships and Grants can be provided by private or public entities. Here are some of the common types of grants you can receive.
The federal government offers grants to students who have financial challenges. One common one is the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grant. These funds often have specific requirements, such as teaching in a low-income area.
Some states also provide students with scholarships and grants for graduate schools. Do online research to find out what is offered in your area. Check out the website for your state’s education department. To find additional grants, look into databases, such as CareerOneStop or The College Board.
3. Institution Specific
Since graduate programs want to attract the top students, they also offer funds. For example, Michigan State University provides funds through their University Fellowship Programs. Contact your intended school’s financial aid office to learn more about their grants.
4. Organization or Corporation Based
Companies can also support students by providing scholarships and grants for graduate school. These grants are usually based on specific criteria, such as income. They also support research projects to help the community. For example, Pizer offers a Global Medical Grants Program.
5. Demographic Specific
Some grants are geared toward minority students to increase representation in certain careers. The AICPA Scholarship Award for Minority Accounting Students supports Asian students. Search online directories, such as Fastweb, to find available resources.
6. Based on a Field of Study
Grants can also be awarded to those focused on a particular area of study, such as nursing. The Foster G. McGaw Graduate Students Scholarship is offered to students enrolled in healthcare management. If you’re interested in research-based fields, also look into fellowships opportunities. The National Science Foundation offers students a Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
Applying for Grants and Scholarships
To apply for these different types of funds, you will need to fill out a Free Application for Student Aid form (FAFSA). Make sure you read it carefully and fill out all the required fields. Also, stay on track with the upcoming deadlines. Most importantly apply early and have your information ready ahead of time.
The first step to filling out this form is to create a FAFSA ID that allows you to sign in to the electronic portal. The next step is to gather all the necessary documents. You will need to supply information such as your social security number. Other questions focus on your dependency status and financial information.
You will also need to list at least one college to receive your application. The final stage is to sign and submit your form. Look out for the confirmation page to verify your FAFSA was sent successfully.
Remember minor errors can delay the process. So, here are some common FAFSA mistakes to try and avoid:
- Leaving fields blank
- Using commas or decimal points in a numerical field
- Incorrectly listing your social security number
- Not using your legal name
- Entering the wrong address
Tips for Finding Funds
Once you understand the different types of funds, start researching to find the right one for you. Here are some tips for finding scholarships and grants for graduate school.
1. Check With Your Intended School
The college you plan to attend can be a great resource for finding scholarships. Check their website or call their financial aid office. If you meet the qualifications, get more information about the application process. If they don’t have internal opportunities, they can still provide you with outside resources.
2. Talk With Your Academic Advisor
Your academic advisor probably knows you pretty well. They may be able to find grants that would be a good fit for you. Also, working in the education field, they have multiple outside resources. Your advisor might even be willing to help you during the application process.
3. Take Advantage of Your Network
Exploring your network is one of the first steps for finding scholarships and grants for graduate school. If you’re a part of a church group or national club, consider reaching out to other members. Your parents are also good resources. They may have connections with charitable corporations.
4. Search Online
There are many online databases, such as GoGrad, to help you find resources. When searching these, be sure to be as specific as possible. Use certain qualifiers, like the name of a school or a particular field of study.
5. Pay Attention to Deadlines
It’s important to keep track of deadlines to ensure your application is reviewed. Mark the dates on your calendar or add a notification on your phone. Also, keep in mind some scholarship applications require written essays. So, you want to give yourself enough time to complete that before the deadline.
How to Successfully Find Scholarships and Grants for Graduate School
Continuing your education helps you come one step closer to your dream career. Although, attending graduate school can be costly. So, keep in mind this information when looking for scholarships and grants for graduate school.