Grants for Masters Degree

One of the largest obstacles to going to graduate school is the tuition. With tuition, books and other expenses running from twenty to thirty thousand dollars per year, coupled with the loss of income usually suffered while attending, it is easy to see why some people do not seek an advanced degree. However, money should never hold back someone with grad potential. Instead, formulate a plan that will make this a reality.

  • Step One. Check the universities in your state for a suitable graduate program. You can often save thousands of dollars by attending a public university in your state of residence. Even better if they are in the area you currently live as this will eliminate the costs of moving.

  • Step Two. Go over your current budget to see what you can trim in anticipation of the probable decrease in income. Can you lower your food budget, shut off luxury things like cable television, and reduce entertainment expenses. Determine what you will have left for housing so if you do have to move to another area of the state, or even country, you will know what you can afford and avoid areas where the cost of living is prohibitive.

  • Step Three. Research your university options to find out tuition costs as well as all add-on costs such as lab fees, parking, health insurance or activity fees. There can be a vast difference between two universities whose programs are both acceptable so it would make sense to go with the more affordable choice.

  • Step Four. Determine how much of the total cost (tuition, books, fees and living expenses) you can currently cover without borrowing anything such as with savings, gifts from family or a spouses contribution. Also calculate what you expect to be able to earn if you will continue to hold some sort of employment.

  • Step Five. Look into grants for master degree students, work study programs, tuition reimbursement programs through your employer and anything else that does not have to be paid back. Sometimes you can get some funding from the school itself in the form of a fellowship usually awarded for excellent academic record or sometimes based on financial need. Additionally, they may offer assistantships.

  • Step Six. What is left you will need to get through loans. The main loan program is the Federal Stafford Loan. There are two types, subsidized and unsubsidized, meaning that you may or may not have to make interest payments while attending school. Another loan is the Perkins Loan.

The United Negro College Fund’s slogan “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” is true for everyone – don’t waste yours, put it to work on an advanced degree!

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