If you are heading to grad school, there are a wide range of master’s scholarships available. Scholarships for masters degrees may help you go to graduate school for free. They could offset other expenses such as the cost of researching for your thesis.
Financial aid for graduate school is different than it is for an undergrad degree. Federal financial aid is available to grad students in the form of work study and loans. Pell Grants are only for undergraduates. As such, finding a master’s degree scholarship may make the most financial sense.
Unlike federal loans, graduate school scholarships are money you get. But don’t have to pay back. As long as you abide by the terms and conditions.
IS IT HARD TO GET SCHOLARSHIPS FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL?
Grad school scholarships come with their own criteria for eligibility. Getting a scholarship that helps pay for your master’s degree may require:
- Merit (E.g. academic talents, athletic ability, creativity)
- Financial need
- Desire to study a specific topic (E.g. Oncology Nursing, Architecture, Project Management, etc.)
- Intention to research in a chosen area (E.g. Archaeological Research)
- Demonstrated qualities (E.g. Leadership or Public Service)
Some scholarships for master’s degrees are also open to undergrads. So, you’ll be up against both sets of students who are competing for the awards.
One example is the Davis-Putter Scholarship. Scholarships from the Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund pay $15,000. The grants help students who are active in movements for social and economic justice.
You’ll also find master’s degree scholarships that may fund grad students who are women or minorities. The Holly A. Cornell Scholarship is one example. This $7,500 award is from the American Water Works Society. It goes to talented female and/or minority students. The recipient needs to be pursuing a degree and research in the field of water supply and treatment.
Another example is the Jonathon Lax Scholarship Fund for Gay Men. These tuition scholarships come in amounts of $5,000 or $10,000. They are set aside to help gay men who live in the five-county Philadelphia region obtain more education.
There are also scholarships for graduate students in specific fields of study. One example is the Frederic G. MELCHER Scholarship. Two candidates receive $7,500 each.
To apply, you need to be a student pursuing a Master’s in Library Science (MLS) degree. And plan to work in children’s librarianship.
WHAT BENEFITS ARE THERE TO PURSUING MASTERS SCHOLARSHIPS?
As a graduate student, getting a master’s degree scholarship may come with many benefits. For one, the money might cover tuition, books, living expenses and research.
This may free you up to focus on completing your master’s degree. Without having to take out loans or get a job to pay for your classes.
You may also reap rewards of attaining a master’s degree when you graduate. Employment in master’s-level occupations is on the rise by almost 17 percent from 2016 to 2026. That’s the fastest of any education level.
This may explain why in the 2017-18 period alone, 775,000 students earned a master’s degree. Yet many students weigh the cost of pursuing a master’s degree with the cost of attaining it.
For sure, the average costs of graduate tuition and required fees has been climbing. What does graduate school cost? The National Center for Education Statistics has been tracking this data.
On average, the tuition and fees associated with pursuing a master’s degree are:
- Private institution: $20,368
- Public institution: $8,763
- Average overall: $14,537
It is no surprise that recently, 70.4% of graduate students received some type of financial aid. Almost half of these students (43.8 %) took out loans. Take away? if you are trying to go to graduate school for free, securing a scholarship or grant may be ideal.