Financial Aid for Graduate School: What You Need to Know

Going back to school for a graduate degree is an exciting decision that can lead to many opportunities in your career. However, the cost of tuition and other expenses can be daunting. Luckily, there are financial aid options available to help alleviate the burden of graduate school expenses. Here’s what you need to know about financial aid for graduate school.

Types of Financial Aid

There are several types of financial aid available for graduate students. The most common forms include scholarships, grants, and loans.

Scholarships are awarded based on merit or need and do not have to be repaid. They can be offered by universities or external organizations.

Grants are similar to scholarships in that they do not have to be repaid but are typically awarded based on financial need rather than merit.

Loans, on the other hand, do have to be repaid with interest. Federal loans are often preferred as they typically offer lower interest rates than private loans.

Applying for Financial Aid

To apply for financial aid, you will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application will determine your eligibility for federal student aid programs like grants and loans.

In addition to the FAFSA, some universities may require additional information such as a CSS Profile or institutional application. Be sure to check with your university’s financial aid office for any additional requirements.

Tips for Maximizing Your Financial Aid

To maximize your financial aid award package, it’s important to start early and stay organized. Make sure you submit all necessary applications before their deadlines and keep track of any required documents or information needed throughout the process.

You should also research scholarship opportunities from external organizations in addition to those offered by your university. Many professional organizations offer scholarships specifically for graduate students in certain fields.

Lastly, consider working part-time or taking advantage of paid internships through your program as a way to offset costs and gain valuable experience in your field.


Graduate school can be expensive, but financial aid options are available to help alleviate the burden. Be sure to research and apply for scholarships, grants, and loans early on in the process. Don’t forget to fill out the FAFSA and any additional applications required by your university. With careful planning and organization, you can maximize your financial aid award package and focus on achieving your academic and professional goals.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.