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Your Quick Guide to Paying for Graduate School

A piggy bank on top of a pile of books.

Want to change the world? There’s a degree for that! Learn about graduate school programs and meet admissions representatives at one of our grad school fairs, coming to a city near you!

Graduate school can be a great way to advance your career, explore new fields, and deepen your impact. That being said, it’s also major financial investment. So after you decide you want to go, your next question might be: “How on Earth am I going to pay it?”

Fortunately, there are a few options out there to help you pay for graduate school. With a little planning and research, you can ensure you’ll be financially sound as you pursue your degree.

Understand your own finances and potential earnings

While there are many resources available to help you finance your education (see video below), you still have to plan and prepare for the financial cost of attending graduate school. What will your future earnings be with your new degree? How much can you save or afford to spend out of pocket? These questions and others will help you be more clear-eyed about the cost of your program.

Research all funding options to avoid relying on one source of support

Most people search for scholarships to help cover the cost of their graduate degree. However, there are plenty of other resources available, if you do a little digging. Individual departments, professional associations, and even your employer might have money available for you to pursue an advanced degree.

Be sure to complete the FAFSA for federal loan support

By completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) you can qualify for federal, need-based student loans and work study opportunities. There are also loan repayment programs for federal loans that can help make the cost of attending graduate school more manageable.

Must-have resource: Good to know: A loan forgiveness program for people pursuing public service degrees

Don’t be afraid to ask for more aid

You’re building relationships with people throughout the process. Keep this in mind so you can feel comfortable asking questions and, if necessary, asking for additional support.

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by Allison Jones

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