Graduate school is expensive and if you are planning on entering a professional college than itâ€™s going to be more so. A typical year of graduate school costs somewhere between $17,000 for a master’s at a community university to more than $56,000 at dental school. As compared to undergraduate education, there is a far lesser amount of money available for graduate school. And most graduate schools also tend to give awards on the basis of merit rather than financial requirement.
So what can I do to get aid for my graduate degree program?
1. Polish up that CV. Graduate school admission is based on your merit and youâ€™re Grade Point Average Score. So if you donâ€™t really have a good scholastic record then you should be careful. Sell yourself to these colleges on the basis of the status of your undergraduate school, recommendation letter from noted individuals, special interests and your specific research fields. If your scholastic record is not as wonderful as you’d like, use your submission to publicize other strengths like field work, jobs, research opportunities, extra classes, lecturing assignments which will impress the graduate school board.
2. Go for a PhD rather than a master’s if that is available in your field. Most PhD programs bear their students for a minimum of four years. If you are a good student and have an aptitude for the subject, the college will do its best to retain you and you get a good degree in the bargain.
3. Assistantships may require to work as an assistant to a professor in return for a stipend (the usual stipend is about $10,000). Almost a part of all full-time candidates for master’s degrees in science are paid for work as assistants. You may also be able to counterbalance some of your tuition by working at a part-time job alloted by your school on or off campus. But the payment is usually minimal
Although these are just a few options available to the graduate student to finance their college life, most of the time, the money is still not sufficient, itâ€™s just not enough! The best option available to any student is a federal loan which will supply the money for your college related expenses at a low interest rate.
The most common federal loans for graduate students are,
1. The Perkins Loan is provided for both undergraduate and graduate students at fixed 5% interest rate.
2. The Subsidized Stafford Loan is available for both graduate and undergraduate study with the government paying the interest on this type of loan
3. The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is also available for graduate and undergraduate study. In this loan the student is responsible for the interest that is accumulated on the loan while they are in school.
4. Graduate PLUS Loans are available if you are a graduate or professional student working on an additional degree or certificate.
Private Loans- even if you have managed to get a federal loan sometimes the money can fall short and the last option available is called as a private loan or an alternative loan. But there are a large range of difficulties with a private loan like,
â€¢ Interest rates on private student loans are variable and much higher than a federal loan.
â€¢ Interest on private loans added to the primary amount of money ultimately raising the monthly payments tremendously.
â€¢ Approval and terms for private loans are based credit history. If your credit history is doubtful youâ€™ll need a cosigner,
â€¢ Poor or negligible credit may also affect a higher interest rate.
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Graduate student loans are difficult to get but essential if you want a good education for your future so be the early bird who gets the worm by applying early to almost every source you can think about, for financial aid to help you through Degree College!