5 ideas to help you pay for graduate school

Graduate School Tuition Assistance Options

  • Teaching and Graduate Assistantships
  • Grants and Scholarships
  • Get the Workplace to Pay
  • Join the Military
  • Public Sector Work

People who are interesting in getting a master’s or doctoral degree may worry about paying for grad school. With the cost of higher education mounting, they may not want to take on a huge student loan debt. Below are five other ways to pay for a graduate education.

Ranking: 50 Best Value Alternative Graduate Schools in the West

1. Teaching and Graduate Assistantships

These tend to be offered more to people who are pursuing a doctoral program than a master’s program. However, they can be good ways to pay for both living expenses and tuition while working directly within the field studied. In fact, for people who plan to pursue a career in academia, these types of positions can be very important in establishing needed connections and experience.

2. Grants and Scholarships

Identifying all of the grant and scholarships available can be a significant undertaking itself, but it can also be worthwhile. There are grants and scholarships for many different types of situations, from people who are from a specific town or region to people who are studying certain subjects at a certain university and more. As Forbes reports, there are even medically-based scholarships for people with chronic conditions including mental health diagnoses, asthma, and diabetes. Many grants and scholarships are not well-publicized, so it pays to do a lot of research.

3. Get the Workplace to Pay

Many workplaces offer full or partial tuition reimbursement. Some workplaces require that the subject studied be related to a person’s position, but this is not always the case. This is a valuable enough benefit that a person who is considering going to graduate school might want to look into changing jobs in order to take advantage of it. Since the workplace offer education as a benefit, they may also be more likely than other employers to be flexible regarding a person’s school obligations. One employer to look at is the university itself, which may offer free or reduced tuition to staff.

4. Join the Military

Joining the military is a serious decision that requires a significant commitment, so it is probably not the best solution for people who are not already inclined toward military service. However, for those who are interested in the armed forces, joining the military can be an excellent way of paying for grad school. As Kiplinger reports, there is an Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship program that offers tuition funding and a stipend to people who are getting a degree in veterinary care, medicine, optometry, dentistry or nursing. The person will be required to serve the same number of years in the military as years of support.

5. Public Sector Work

Like the military and some private employers, some state or federal positions will pay for a person’s graduate school education. Usually, the person pledges to work for the government for a certain time period, such as five years, after graduation. This can be a particularly good option for someone who is interested in a career in government work.

Many people might feel that the high cost of graduate education prevents them from pursuing their educational dreams. However, there are a number of creative solutions to paying for grad school, and many of them open additional career vistas for students along the way.