Financial Aid. Graduate life entails economic sacrifices and requires the support of your significant other and your family. Even with a full graduate scholarship or a position such as Graduate Assistant, Research Assistant, or Teaching Assistant, your lifestyle will be austere. Loans are available, of course, and part-time jobs. But graduate work is time-consuming and requires discipline. Are all those years of study and sacrifice worth it? What is most important to you? Money? Long-term fulfillment? Check the program's record about financial aid and what percent of graduate students receive financial aid. In addition, professional organizations can become sources of funding once you are engaged in a research project.
University-Based Financial Aid. The most common and most readily available type of financial aid is university-based. Also, once you are in a program, additional grants and scholarships are available in the form of research assistantships (TA) and teaching assistantships (TA). Most of the support offered by academic institutions goes to students who apply to the Ph.D. program. You may have to pay full fare for the M.A. program, but your grades may earn you a paid internship or tuition waiver. When you apply to a doctoral program, you are simultaneously applying for financial aid. If you are granted a fellowship or some other financial offer from a university, wait until you have received all offers before committing to a program.
Non-AcademicGraduate Financing. There are scholarships for minorities, women, and other groups that are underrepresented in the academic professions. There are summer programs and scholarships for specific programs.