You’ve made it through your undergraduate studies. The long haul is nearly over. The only thing left is your graduate degree. As you head into the home stretch, the last thing you want is a mountain of debt. One of the biggest challenges to getting a higher education is the expense. In the long run, it should be worth it when you get a rewarding career. However, you can keep your costs down by considering five resources that can help you to earn scholarships.
Check Out Professional Associations Connected to Your Degree
There are a host of professional associations linked to various careers. They offer scholarships geared for promising individuals who plan on joining their field. The first step is to join associations that share your interests. Examples include the American Anthropological Association, the Club Managers Association of America, the American Botanical Council, and the Association for Early Learning Leaders. Dig into a comprehensive listing of associations to find the right fit for you. You’ll need to join before you can begin applying for scholarships.
Focus on Scholarships that Match Your Gender or Ethnic Background
If you are a woman or a minority, doors may open for graduate scholarships. Many universities aim to promote more diversity in their student body. If you fit either of the categories of being a woman or a minority, such as a Native American, an Asian American, a Hispanic, or an African-American, don’t be afraid to speak to someone in the financial aid department about your opportunities. Your academic performance and any other special talents may be to your advantage. If your field is in high demand, your choices in scholarships may expand.
Consider Programs Offered for Those in Need
If you come from a background with few financial resources, your economic status can help you in graduate school. Many colleges offer scholarships for those who are economically disadvantaged. Many scholarships target those in a low-income bracket. The Unmet Need Scholarship program, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program and the National Medical Fellowships Need-Based Scholarship Program are only a few options available that may help you to cut down your level of debt. When you sit down with a financial aid advisor, discuss opportunities for individuals in a low or no-income bracket.
Turn to Sallie Mae’s Wealth of Information
While Sallie Mae’s main focus is as a loan company, it also provides you with free access to a database that has listings for nearly a million scholarship opportunities earmarked for graduates. Your skills, academic performance, interests, and degree focus will all be taken into account. Your masters in psychology in California could be within your grasp much sooner than you think at a price that makes you smile. Take the time to perform a thorough search. Apply for everything that applies to you. The more feelers you put out there, the better chance you will get a scholarship. You may even be fortunate enough to have more than one opportunity.
Shoot for Employment at Your College with Tuition Remission
Employment opportunities at your college could allow you to earn your degree tuition-free. You’ll still have other fees, including the cost of books and access to technology. Room and board would also be separate. However, being a teaching assistant or research assistant could be worth it for you, especially if you have your own home or apartment. You could also gain valuable insights when you are working with professors at the university. You could manage to earn your graduate degree without any debt hanging over your head at graduation.
Websites and search engines provide you with extensive listings for scholarship opportunities. Grants are another goldmine. A record of academic excellence can also be on your side. If you are focusing on a field that is under-served, many companies will be begging for you. They’ll offer financial opportunities to add you to their ranks. Leave no stone unturned to make your way toward the career you have always wanted. Your main goal should be able to get your graduate degree at a price that you can afford, rather than spend the next twenty years paying it off.