How to Pay For Grad School

How to Pay For Grad School
  • Opening Intro -

    You have finished or are nearing the end of your undergraduate studies and will soon consider both your work and continuing education options.

    If grad school is your preference, there may be one overarching hindrance from pursuing this option: money.


Even if you are cash-strapped, there are a number of ways to pay for grad school.

1. Apply for a Pell Grant — Reserved almost exclusively for college students pursuing their first undergraduate degree, there is one exception where a Pell grant can cover your postbaccalaureate education: teacher certification. Qualified programs, however, cannot lead to a master’s degree, but will lead to a postbaccalaureate teacher certification program if it leads to a license to teach at an elementary or secondary school in the student’s state.

2. Qualify for an Assistantship — Opportunities are limited, but universities do offer both research and teaching assistantships that make it possible to cover at least some of your advanced education costs. Tuition and living expenses are covered, at least in part, and students also gain experience not readily available elsewhere.

3. Apply for College Scholarships — The lion’s share of college scholarships are available to undergraduate students. Still, there are scholarships that are set aside exclusively for grad students. The first place to look is through your university’s financial aid department. You may find that scholarships are in place to meet specific students needs or areas of study. You can also find college scholarships by visiting our search page.

4. Consider Your Loan Options — It is a fact that most graduate students must borrow money to pay for grad school. Federal PLUS loans make it possible for students to borrow funds from the U.S. Department of Education and enjoy a fixed interest rate of 7.9 percent. Under the PLUS program, grad students may borrow up to 100 percent of their education-related expenses as verified by the university.

5. Seek Tuition Reimbursement — If you work full time, your employer may offer an education benefit. Some corporations will contribute funds for defraying an employee’s tuition following the successful completing of a class. Reimbursements may be based on grad achieve as well as the type of courses taken.

Financial Considerations

Grad school can open doors and may be a requirement for your field of study. Debt can also drag you down, therefore consider several options including minimizing your loans. While grants and scholarships are not paid back, loans are. Seek as much as aid and other relief possible to finish grad school with the lightest debt load possible.


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Categories: College Budgeting