How to Find Graduate School Scholarships
There is an abundance of scholarships for high school and college students, but finding scholarships for grad school can be a difficult mission. This article lists places to look for graduate school scholarships, as well as other resources for helping to offset the cost of earning your master’s or professional degree (and beyond)!
Where to Look for Graduate School Scholarships
There are some popular websites that emphasize scholarships for graduate school (see full list below with links included). But we thought it was also important to point out some non-traditional approaches to finding money for grad school.
If you belong to any professional organizations, research to see if your group has scholarship opportunities available to its members. Some examples of professional organizations include the National Political Science Honor Society (Pi Sigma Alpha), the American Bar Association (ABA), and AIGA, the professional association for design.
Discover and join the related professional organizations for your career path. Many have student membership rates, and offer multiple scholarships each year.
There are many graduate scholarships for those studying in a specific field. English majors, for example, can apply for The Kurt Brown Prizes, three $500 scholarships to help fund events related to your field of study, such as a writers’ conference or residency. If you are studying finance, you can apply for the Government Finance Officers Association scholarships.
Search by Demographics
There are plenty of graduate scholarships available for specific populations. Most scholarship search sites will ask you to identify some key demographics to try to match you with scholarship opportunities. Specific populations could include, women, African Americans, Asians, Native Americans, and more. In addition, there are scholarship opportunities for first-generation college students, and physically disabled students. Scholarship search sites, such as our site, StudentScholarshipSearch.com can simplify your search and help to speed up to process of finding scholarships you qualify for.
Search by Region
Don't forget to look into scholarships from your home state or region. Most people forget about these and focus more on national scholarships. But a smaller candidate pool can increase your chances. You can look online or call your state's Department of Education for more information.
- Sallie Mae
- CareerOneStop (US Dept. of Labor)
Other Funding Opportunities for Graduate School
Talk to Your Employer
Some companies offer to pay for your education (or a portion of it) if they are partners with a certain school, or if you agree to obtain a certain credential. Touch base with your Human Resources department to see what tuition assistance or discounts may be available to you. They may even assist with the costs of texts or study materials.
Look into Academic Fellowships
Graduate fellowships are awarded for academic excellence and often include an internship or other form of service commitment, allowing you to gain processional experience while still working toward your educational goals. Fellowships often include a stipend, living allowance, or housing assistance as part of the award amount.
Look into Research Fellowships
If research is important in your field of study, you may be eligible for a scholarship from your college or organization. For example, the National Science Foundation offers a Graduate Research Fellowship Program to graduate students.
Apply for Grants
Grants are like scholarships, a form a financial aid that you don't have to pay back. The most well-known grants are offered by federal or state governments, universities, and professional or philanthropic organizations. For example, Fulbright Grants, which are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, are for graduate students interested in international studies.
Some graduate students seek out research assistantships or teaching assistantships at their college to help offset the cost of school. If you are still researching grad schools, consider which schools offer assistantships. These positions typically come with a stipend and/or discounted tuition in exchange for graduate level students assisting with teaching or research.