27 Mar Graduate School Financial Aid – Do You Know What Your Options Are
While graduate students can take advantage of various Federal and private loan programs, they can also choose financial aid options that aren’t available to undergraduates. Graduate school is expensive, and students look for way to meet the expense and keep the costs low. Students should research their financial options before applying to graduate school. Sensible planning and research could result in paying a small tuition.
Federal and Private Loans
Approximately 54% of graduate students pay their tuition with student loans. The qualifying requirements for a student loan are minimum, and many lenders offer loans to students with bad credit. There are two types of student loans: Federal and Private. Federal loans are the most popular because they are non-credit based and include very low interest rates. Federal Loans available to graduate students include the Perkins Loan, Direct Loans, Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, and Federal PLUS Loan.
The Federal government does not finance or insure private student loans. Instead, banks, credit unions, and other private lenders finance these loans. Thus, your credit score has a huge impact on the loan’s interest rate. However, if approved for a private loan, you’ll receive fast processing and have funds for additional education-related expenses.
Graduate School Fellowships
Fellowships are like scholarships and grants, but meant for graduate students. Graduate students with a fellowship receive a monetary award that pays for tuition, books, and other expenses. Fellowship requirements vary. In most cases, graduate students must simply maintain a high GPA. Many colleges and universities offer fellowships. In addition, private organizations award graduate school fellowships.
Financial Aid for On-the-Job Training
If you need money to pay for graduate school, consider working as an assistant. Graduate students can work for a college or university department and receive tuition assistance, expense stipend, or housing benefits. The standard work requirement is 15-20 hours per week, and students can work for a single semester or an entire year. Different opportunities include Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, and Resident Assistants.