Scholarships for Graduate Students 101: What You Need To Know
The number of graduate students in the U.S. has tripled since the 1970s. Receiving a graduate school degree can help set you up for your desired career, bump up your salary potential, and allow you to follow your passion. However, at the same time, going to graduate school can leave you with even more debt than you left undergrad with.
For some grad school programs, there is an obvious ROI. However, others might leave you unsure of how able you’ll be able to pay back your debt in the years after school.
This is why it’s essential to find scholarships for graduate students that help you pursue your field of study while minimizing your debt.
While it might be discouraging to find so many of the scholarship resources online discussing undergraduate opportunities, there are also plenty of funding options for grad students. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
The Benefits of Scholarship for Graduate Students
When you are thinking about going to graduate school, money is likely on your mind. When you receive graduate student scholarships, you don’t have to pay them back, unlike loans.
There are countless benefits to receive scholarships for your education. For one, it helps to reduce the impact of tuition costs on you. Tuition is rising at the national level, and scholarships help lessen this burden.
They also give you more time to focus on your studies. When you receive a scholarship, it means you might not have to work as much outside of school. This lets you put your energy where you want to: into your schoolwork.
When you get scholarships, it also helps to reduce the student loans you take out. Being burdened with student loans is a major generational issue at this point. Scholarships can take the place of loans but don’t have to be paid back later.
Scholarships can also help you when you don’t qualify for any or enough federal aid. They also serve to fill in the gap for people who aren’t low-income or high-income.
How to Apply For Grad Student Scholarships
If you’re wondering how to get scholarships as a grad student, it’s not as difficult as you might expect. Once you have found a list of scholarships that you qualify for, there are a number of steps to take.
First, make sure that you aren’t just applying for one big scholarship. Look for a number of scholarships to apply for. You might find that piecing together several smaller scholarships works better than aiming for one large dollar amount scholarship.
Next, you’ll need to gather the necessary documents. These include all of your awards, grades, academic achievements, and other key information. This way, you’ll have it all available when you are ready to apply.
The next step is to make a spreadsheet. This will help you stay organized. In the spreadsheet, you can track deadlines, the status of your application, and more.
It is now time to write the required essays for the scholarships you are applying to. Not all scholarships require essays, but many do.
Is also common that scholarship application request letters of recommendation. Brainstorm about the best possible references you have. These might be professors from your undergraduate education or employers.
Sometimes there is an interview process attached to scholarship applications. It is worth preparing for the interview ahead of time. Treat these interviews as if they were job interviews.
Finally, the last step is to the patient. It can be agonizing to send in all of your scholarships only to wait so long to hear back. The decision-making process can be lengthy, so it’s best to relax and not fret too much until you receive a response.
Grad Student Financial Aid: What You Need to Know
There are two basic types of financial aid for graduate students. The first is non-need-based financial aid in the second need-based financial aid.
Non-need-based financial aid is also sometimes called “merit-based aid.” The type of funding is awarded based on your academic performance, athletic ability, or community activities.
Need-based financial aid is based on your financial needs. This is usually granted in the form of loans, grants, and work-study.
Student loans can be granted by the federal government. However, they also can come from private entities like banks or financial institutions. There can be a lot of differences between loan types, so it’s worth looking into the details before making your decision about funding.
Once you have started graduate school, your financial aid journey isn’t necessarily over. You will be required to report any changes in your financial situation as soon as they happen to the financial aid office. This might include experiencing unforeseen economic hardship or receiving outside awards.
Scholarships for Graduate Students
Funding your graduate studies doesn’t have to all fall on your shoulders. There are countless scholarships for graduate students that you might qualify for. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
It can be a good idea to apply for as much independent funding as you can. It’s also worth looking into whether your place of employment offers tuition assistance.
American Society of Quality Statistics Division Scholarships
These scholarships are offered to undergraduate and graduate students that are interested in statistics and quality management. This organization provides grants and scholarships to help students to refine their skills regarding social statistics.
American-Scandanavian Foundation Awards for Scandanavians
There is more than $500,000 in funding offered to Scandanavians from the ASF. The scholarships go towards those who are undertaking research programs or study in the U.S. for up to one year.
Critical Language Scholarship Program
These scholarships are offered by the U.S. Department of State. They help to fund the intensive overseas study of languages that are considered to be of critical need. These include:
Participants will have all of their program costs covered including travel, visa fees, and more. Students will attend summer language programs at American Overseas Research Centers or one of their partners.
In order to apply, you must be a U.S. citizen. You must be enrolled in a degree-granting program currently either at the graduate or undergraduate level.
These are need-based scholarships granted to students who are working for justice and peace. In addition to financial needs and academic performance, a student’s active participation in the progressive movement on campus is considered.
(Are you curious to see who has won our scholarships? Check out our recent scholarship recipients here!)
Eurasia Dissertation Support Fellowship
This scholarship is offered to graduate students that are almost finished with their doctoral programs. The field of study supported here must be in the social sciences and related humanities.
Up to $25,000 is offered for an academic year for this fellowship.
Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Education Foundation Scholarship
The scholarship program established by this foundation in 1998 aims to support students that are studying insurance or business. You must be enrolled or accepted in a graduate or undergraduate degree program and have a 3.0 GPA or higher. Your major must be in a field that is related to an insurance career.
Inter American Press Association Scholarship
This is a scholarship for journalism school graduates and young journalists. With this scholarship, you can study and report for an academic year in Latin America and the Caribbean if you’re American or Canadian. For journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean, you can spend a year studying in the U.S.
John Gyles Education Awards
You can receive up to $3,000 through this award. It is available for full-time graduate or undergraduate students. You must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and full Canadian or American citizenship.
Korean American Scholarship Foundation (KASF)
This is a non-profit organization that offers awards ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. In order to apply, you must be a Korean-American student that is currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program full-time.
Lemmermann Foundation Scholarship
These scholarships are offered in the humanities and classical studies for masters and doctoral students. When you apply, you must prove that you have a need to study and research in Rome, Italy.
Mary McEwen Schimke Scholarship
The Mary McEwen Schimke Scholarship is intended for women pursuing a graduate degree. The goal is to provide relief from child care and household expenses for these women. Worth up to $1,700, the award is made based on identified need and scholarly expectations.
Applicants must be over 30 years old. They also must be enrolled in graduate study in history, literature, or American studies.
Myra Sadker Doctoral Dissertation Award
This scholarship offers $2,000 to each recipient. The goal is to support graduate students who are working in the field of educational equity research. People who are writing doctoral-level dissertations exploring fairness and equity in education will be considered.
National Association of Hispanic Journalists Scholarships
These scholarships are for full-time graduate or undergraduate students that are pursuing journalism careers in English or Spanish language media. The scholarship amounts range between $1,000 and $5,000.
National Federation of Republican Women National Pathfinder Scholarship
The NFRW provides three annual scholarships of $2,500. These intend to support women that are seeking either graduate or undergraduate degrees. Students enrolled in Master’s degree programs and sophomore, junior, and senior undergraduates are eligible to apply.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Education Scholarships and Internships
There is a wide variety of funded graduate and undergraduate research and internship opportunities through this organization. Students working in science-related fields are eligible for various awards from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Educational Scholarships and Internships.
Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans
This competitive fellowship offers opportunities for new Americans. It supports two years of graduate study. This includes up to $20,000 in tuition support and up to $25,000 in maintenance grants.
In order to apply, applicants cannot be older than 30 years old by the deadline of the application. They must also hold a green card, be a naturalized citizen of the U.S., or be the child of two naturalized U.S. citizens.
Rabin Scholarship for the Advancement of Peace and Tolerance
This is an opportunity to study for one year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. One Canadian, one Arab, and one Jewish/Israeli student are selected each year. This is a $15,000 award and the student is asked to complete an essay or research project in return.
(Do you want to help ambitious students reach their goals? If so, consider donating to the Honor Society Foundation today.)
This prestigious scholarship allows scholars to study at the University of Oxford for two years. There is the possibility to renew study for a third year.
All of the costs of education are paid by the Rhodes Trustees. This includes tuition, matriculation, and more.
There is a maintenance allowance allotted to each Scholar. This is meant to cover expenses during the term and vacations. The cost of travel to and from Oxford is also covered.
Study-related travel might also be covered by the Rhodes Trustees.
Is It Time For You to Fund Your Graduate Studies?
Many people attend graduate school to advance their careers. However, the rising cost of education can make it daunting to take on large loan amounts. When you find scholarships that you qualify for and apply to them, you can significantly help lessen the burden.
At Honor Society, we distribute thousands of dollars of scholarships every month. If you’re working to finance your education, check out our directory of scholarships here.
Source: HonorSociety.org Member Articles
Scholarships for Graduate Students 101: What You Need To Know