Every student dreams of attending graduate school to outshine in his desired career. You can get one of the best jobs only if you have some advanced degree. Going to graduate school is a memorable and exciting endeavor, but you need a lot of money to fulfill this dream.
Graduate schools are not like undergraduate schools, and they cost a lot. Moreover, the additional expenses of transportation, course material, and certifications make the process more complicated. On average, students usually carry a debt of $84,300 when they graduate with a master’s degree.
Since paying for graduate school is an expensive deal, you must know how to get through it smartly. Thankfully, there are ways to finance your graduate education. Through federal aids, university funding, and private loans, you can pass graduate school without worrying much about financial costs.
To help you out in paying your graduate school fee, here are the possible ways in which you can use and succeed in paying your fee without any worries.
Fill out forms for Federal Student Loans
As a first step, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It will determine what sort of financial assistance you need for graduate school fees. You may get qualified for one of the following loans:
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Also known as Stafford loan is the best loan if you are considering taking a loan. The interest rate on a loan is reasonable and has better repayment options.
Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loans
These are credit-based loans at a relatively higher interest rate than Stafford.
Your school can also offer financial aid and work-study positions. As many schools offer scholarships, fellowships, and grants, you need to visit your school’s financial aid office to know more about it.
You may get state aid depending upon its availability in your state.
If you qualify for a federal grant, you don’t need to repay them. You can check the complete list of federal grants here.
Some other ways to pay for graduate school
Loans always rescue at the last minute, but you have to repay them with high-interest rates. Getting your hands on sources that you don’t have to repay at high-interest rates would be the option you never want to miss.
Employer Tuition Reimbursement Programs
The best way to pay your graduate school fee is to find the employer who pays for your degree.
To utilize this option, you must be working in a bigger, reputed company. Some employers will be willing to pay based on their requirements and process. Always ask requirements (such as staying at the company for years) that your employer puts for the reimbursement.
Find A TA Position
Try to get a teaching assistant or research assistant position at your graduate school. The assigned tasks will be related to grading papers, organizing labs, prepping for the class, and assisting in research.
As a TA, you will get your payment directly or in the form of a reduced tuition fee, depending on school policies. This way, you can avoid many loans and also extend your network.
Become a Resident Advisor
You can also become a resident advisor (RA) to help students settle in their dorm rooms, show the way to the dining hall, and maintain quiet hours.
RAs are paid a handsome amount that may cover the portion of room and board charges and meal plans. You can even succeed in receiving reduced tuition fees. However, the type of compensation depends on the school you are going to.
Private Student Loan
If you have reached the limit of how much you can borrow from federal student loans, you can borrow private student loans to cover your graduate school costs. The terms and interest rates for private loans vary by the lenders and fluctuate with time.
It’s better to research the terms and conditions of the lender you are considering borrowing from to avoid any future complications.