Some people choose to go to school to open career doors; some people seem to go to school AS a career. Graduate students are some of the latter. It is difficult to remain in school for so long. The financial element is usually the most difficult part. Years and years of studies and loans might get you where you want to be career wise, but the average graduate student finishes school these days with $60,000- $70,000 of debt! It is DEFINITELY worth your while to pursue every avenue of financial aid available to you as a graduate student. The interest on student loans is difficult to pay off, let alone the actual principal.
Higher education is one of the best benefits available in our culture, and it is accessible to all, although you have to work hard for it. Federal financial aid is limited for graduate students, and certain scholarships are linked to tough competition, but there are many scholarships out there. Often it is just a matter of finding the right ones. The purpose of scholarships is to help scholars.
Many scholarship programs are open to both undergraduate and graduate students, but grants and scholarships solely for graduate students are often more specific. They will be offered by the school you attend or career specific organizations. Visit your school’s financial aid office, and search online according to your field of study.
- Registered Nurses enrolled in a graduate program can apply for scholarships awarded by the March of Dimes Foundation. A number of $5,000 scholarships are given out each year.
- The Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship is offered by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). Foster G. McGaw founded the American Hospital Supply Corporation, and in his honor this scholarship is awarded each year to help students through their final year of a healthcare management graduate program. Up to 20 $5,000 scholarships are given out each year.
- The United States Department of State provides The Fulbright Program. Through this program, about 1,700 American students get assistance in their studies and research. The program allows U.S. students the opportunity to go overseas and also supports overseas students to come to the U.S. to study. Even though many of these awards are given out, this is a very competitive program. The government invests over $200 million dollars into theses grants, which are awarded in many fields of study.
- Highly motivated college juniors can apply for The Beinecke Scholarship. This is a significant scholarship for American graduate students studying in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Studies. 20 scholars each receive $34,000 and can use these funds to study anywhere in the world.
There is also a Beinecke African Scholarship Program to support African graduate students who want to study in conservation or wildlife ecology at an American university. Two of these scholarships are awarded each year and are funded by The Sperry Fund and The Wildlife Conservation Society.
- Quacquarelli Symonds (QC) awards one $10,000 scholarship through The Scholarship for Academic Excellence program. To gain access to an application, attend a QS World Grad School Tour fair. After filling out a QS Graduate Applicant Survey, you receive an email which takes you to an online application. A 500 word essay on a specific topic is also required.
- The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) gives out scholarships to 29 young men and 29 young women who are student-athletes and also maintain a GPA of 3.2 or higher. These NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships are each worth $7,500 and go to students planning to continue their studies at the graduate level.
The NCAA also awards one male student-athlete and one female student-athlete $24,000 to pursue postgraduate studies through The Walter Byers Scholarship Program. The winning students have shown exceptional academic merit and have maintained a GPA of 3.5 or higher. This scholarship is potentially renewable for a second year.
A third scholarship offered by the NCAA is The Jim McKay Scholarship. This program awards one male student-athlete and one female student-athlete $10,000. The winning students have shown academic excellence and maintained a GPA of 3.5 or higher. These students also show promise to contribute to sports communications.