Graduate school is expensive, especially when we consider the opportunity cost of attending full time. If you’re in school, you’re not earning a paycheck. For this reason alone, it’s not unreasonable to consider attending on a part time basis. Your employer might be willing to contribute towards the cost of your education. However, if you’re determined to enroll full time there are a few things to consider. At the Masters level, most schools do not provide scholarships or grants. You can receive educational loans. Once you have earned your undergraduate degree, unlike the undergraduate financial aid process, you are considered an independent student regardless of your age. Your parents’ income is no longer a factor in determining eligibility for graduate financial aid. As a Doctoral student, the process for fellowships and teaching or research assistantships is highly competitive. You should however expect to receive assistance if you are accepted into a doctoral program that is an appropriate fit to your credentials. Doctoral program assistance will often include a tuition plus a partial or full stipend. The stipend may entail working for a professor as a teaching or research assistant. In many technical fields, institutions are very eager to fill spots with US citizens, especially women and minorities. In addition, there are many highly competitive external funding sources specific to field of study.
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D. is the founder and principal educational consultant of College Career Consulting, LLC. She has over 30 years of experience as a university faculty member and shares her knowledge, professional resources and support with students who are ready to advance their lifelong educational and career journeys.