Funding Grad School

Continuing your education and going to graduate school to earn your master's degree or PhD sounds like a great idea, but how do you fund such extensive education? During tough economic times, many schools have less money to fund grad students which will lower your chances of affording school. But, if you really want to up your odds, there are some things you should know. US News offers some tips on how to get financial aid for your graduate school education.

  • Apply to wealthier schools. Public universities in states with stronger economies, and schools with endowments large enough or managed well enough to weather Wall Street's collapse, have more money to hand out.
  • Apply early. To lock up the best Ph.D. students, schools are making earlier offers and demanding quicker commitments, says Michael Lesk, who chairs Rutgers's Department of Library and Information Science.
  • Work the competition. The growing number of professional graduate programs, especially online, is sparking price competition. About 1,000 universities now offer masters' in business, for example, up from about 700 in 2002.
  • Think long term. Julia Mortyakova, president of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students, says students need to think realistically about their careers and salary prospects before investing time in or spending borrowed money on graduate degrees.

With some careful planning, you can increase your chances of getting the funding you need for you advanced degree. Online masters degrees programs can also be a good option.

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