Graduate Financial Aid in the U.S.

Graduate Financial Aid in the U.S.


Studying in the United states is expensive. Besides the financial aid system can be very
confusing. But we want to give you some tips that can make it much easier for you in the long run. Listen to our podcasts and learn more about scholarships, grants, loans and funding.

Voiced by: Ann Merrill

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Graduate Education in the United States is expensive. The good news, though, is many universities offer partial or full funding. Graduate financial aid is always merit-based, meaning it is awarded to the most promising applicants with demonstrated academic potential, research and teaching experience.

Most commonly, graduate students in the U.S. have an “assistantship”, which provides a tuition wavier and a stipend. For a research assistantship, a graduate student helps a professor with his or her research, working in the lab, for example. With a teaching assistantship, a graduate student teaches classes at the university, usually a lower-level undergraduate class. For an administrative assistantship, a graduate student works in a departmental office helping the academic advisers, secretary or other department staff. A graduate assistantship which requires twenty hours of work per week provides a full tuition waiver, meaning the student does not pay university fees for study, and a stipend that is sufficient to cover living expenses, such as rent, food, etc. In other words, a student with a full assistantship is paid to go to graduate school and work part-time at the university.

Some universities also offer fellowships and grants for graduate studies. Graduate School Fellowships are usually extremely competitive, and are offered to a small percentage of top graduate students at the university.