Paying for Grad School Starts Here
Tools and resources to help you finance your graduate degree.
Consider Your Savings
When it comes to paying for graduate school, the first step is to consider your savings. Have you saved up any money that can go toward your education? Many students choose to take a break between undergrad and graduate school in order to build their savings, which can help them greatly reduce their debt.
Start by creating a budget, which will help you understand what your regular monthly expenses look like. Evaluate how much of your savings can go towards a graduate degree, while still maintaining enough to pay monthly bills and cover unexpected expenses.Niche's Paying for Grad School Guide
Scholarships & Grants
Your next option should be money that you don’t need to pay back. Scholarships and grants aren’t just available for undergraduate students, they are also an important financial tool for those seeking a graduate degree.
Typically, grants are need-based, while scholarships are linked to either need or merit. These options may come from your graduate program or from public and private organizations and nonprofits. Our scholarship tool is a great place to start your search.$500 Graduate Student Scholarship
Assistantships & Fellowships
A research-based or teaching-based assistantship may also help you pay for graduate school. These positions pay at least part of your tuition (sometimes full tuition) and a stipend. Earning one of these positions is based on merit, so if you graduated from college with a high GPA, this could be an option for you.
Fellowships are similar to assistantships, but don’t require you to work on campus for a set number of hours. A graduate fellowship typically includes tuition remission and/or a living stipend.
Assistance from an Employer
Many employers, particularly at larger corporations, are willing to fully or partially finance employees’ degrees. This is especially true if your degree (and the advanced, specialized knowledge that comes with it) will benefit the company.
Other companies may reimburse a percentage of your tuition, so this option is worth looking into if you’ve already started your career.
Think About a Part-Time Job
While focusing on your studies is important, a part-time job can help you generate income and build your professional experience during graduate school. Working a part-time job can help reduce the amount of money you’ll need to borrow, and keep your debt manageable.
We’ve partnered with WayUp to help you search for the paid internship and job opportunities that are right for you. Sign-up to start looking for opportunities that match your major and career goals.Search WayUp for Job Opportunities
Filling out the FAFSA is an important step for graduate students. Federal aid is also available for those who plan to get a graduate degree, so you’ll want to see which types of aid you qualify for. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for:
- Stafford Loans
- Grad PLUS Loans
- School-Funded Aid
- State Aid
Private Student Loans & ISAs
If you’ve exhausted the above options, private student loans or an income share agreement may help you fill in the gap. These loans and agreements can be issued by banks, credit unions, and other financial service companies. Pay attention to factors like interest rates and when you’ll be expected to begin repaying the loan.
If you have good credit, however, private loans may allow you to borrow more than federal loans and may even offer a better interest rate. Similarly, an income share agreement allows you to receive an upfront payment for tuition, but you agree to pay back a percentage of your future income for a set number of payments.See My Options
You're on your way to a fully financed graduate degree.