Where Can I Find Scholarships for Graduate School?
Scholarships for graduate school can be more challenging to find than scholarships for an undergraduate education. However, many funding opportunities are available if you know where to look. Read on to learn more about these opportunities.
Graduate School Scholarships Overview
If you're a student seeking financial assistance for graduate-level studies, scholarships are available through private foundations and government agencies, as well as many universities. Scholarships may help you pay for graduate school tuition and living expenses. In most cases, you'll need to meet specific academic requirements. Many organizations look for scholarship candidates who maintained a high grade point average (GPA) at the undergraduate level, such as a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. You'll probably need to submit school transcripts and letters of recommendation as well.
Scholarships by Major
Many organizations award scholarships based on your proposed field of study. For example, Pi Lambda Theta offers scholarships to teachers pursuing graduate degrees in music and physical education. The Graduate Arts Award, offered by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, is only available to students who want to pursue graduate-level study in the performing arts or creative writing.
Some scholarships require post-graduate employment with a specific organization. For example, the Department of Defense's Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program requires one year of post-graduate employment at a participating facility for each year of graduate funding.
Scholarships by Department or School
Teaching assistantships are similar to scholarships and are usually awarded by a specific university department or school. As a teaching assistant, you'll receive financial assistance in exchange for teaching undergraduate classes and grading papers or exams. Students who maintain a high GPA and have a good relationship with department heads are often qualified to apply for teaching assistantships.
Finding Graduate Scholarships
A few schools maintain a searchable database of graduate funding opportunities. The website of the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid office allows you to search for graduate scholarship opportunities as well. The financial aid offices at many schools can help you locate departmental scholarships. If you're already enrolled in graduate school, you can ask your faculty advisor about scholarship or assistantship opportunities.