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Funding Graduate & Professional School

Financial aid is available for graduate school, although competition for the various forms of aid for graduate study is often greater than you may have experienced in your undergraduate program. The most common forms of aid are fellowships, assistantships, grants, and loans.


An aid package may consist of a combination of these funding sources:
Fellowships Fellowships cover living expenses and often tuition in return for research or work on a project. Fellowships may be single- or multi-year awards and are usually based on an individual’s merit as measured by grades, GRE scores, publications, and letters of recommendation.
Assistantships  Assistantships are campus-affiliated work assignments that provide a stipend and often waive tuition and/or other matriculation fees for a designated number of work hours. Talk with administrators of your individual program about the availability of assistantships with your department. Other general assistantships may be available elsewhere on campus, often within student services units, and may or may not relate to your field of study.
Grants Grants are awarded to cover expenses associated with carrying out research or other specific projects, such as expenses for travel, materials, or computers.
Loans Loans are available from the government and from private sources. These are very similar to those you may have applied for during your undergraduate program.
Scholarships Many colleges and academic departments may offer scholarships. Scholarship opportunities typically have qualifications. Check with financial aid or the department for more information.
Tuition Assistance or Reimbursement Some employers offer opportunities for you to continue your graduate education. Tuition assistance is money the employer pays for your tuition as long as you meet certain qualifications. Tuition reimbursement requires that you invest in your education upfront, and the employer will give you money back after you completed a specified amount of time.
Funding for Underrepresented Populations Some institutions offer application-fee waivers and other forms of funding in order to help diversify their student body. Outside scholarships and specialized funding may also be available. If you are part of an underrepresented group, research any special funding options within your chosen program and other outside sources.

Additional resources

  • Online personal finance tools help you build real-life-ready financial skills. Free but registration is required.
  • Free Scholarship and College Searches & Financial Aid Tools—Free scholarship search site that has 500,000 scholarships worth more than $1 billion. Registration required.
  • The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid—This award-winning site is a comprehensive annotated collection of information about student financial aid on the web.
  • Information or financial aid programs, resource providers, and loans, assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships.
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF): Scholarship for students of Hispanic heritage to get funding for school.
  • NativePartnership: A great site that provides Native Americans scholarships for graduate students who are attending or have been accepted into an accredited graduate school.
  • US Department of Education: Find and Pay for College
  • Free scholarship website where you can search nearly four million scholarships, along with other financial aid, including grants and more!
  • Scholarship Search sponsored by Sallie Mae
  • UNFC: This fund sends more that 60,000 students to college each year since 1944.
  • UT Graduate School Funding
  • UT Graduate School Fellowships

Here’s a list of Dr. Don Asher’s top resources on how you can save money when attending graduate school: