Funding Your Graduate Education
Federal Student Aid
...from the U.S. Department of Education (ED)
For information about types of federal student aid, eligibility criteria, and repaying student loans, visit www.studentaid.ed.gov
Federal student aid accounts for the largest percentage of aid received by graduate and professional students, so be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov
...from other federal agencies
To find out about funding from agencies other than ED, take a look at www.students.gov
Donít forget to research tax benefits at the Internal Revenue Serviceís Web site! www.irs.gov
Your state might offer assistance for graduate or professional school. Contact information for state higher education agencies is at www.ed.gov/Programs/bastmp/SHEA.htm
According to ED statistics, your school is likely to provide nearly as much of your graduate funding as the federal government is. To find out what aid is available at your school, contact the financial aid office as well as a faculty member in your area of study. For instance, if you plan to seek a Master of Arts in French Literature, you might speak to the Chair or to the Director of Graduate Studies for the French Department.
Here are some other places you should consider looking for funding:
- the reference section of your school or public library
- the Internet (there is a free scholarship search at www.studentaid.ed.gov)
- foundations, religious organizations, community organizations, local businesses, and civic groups
- organizations (including professional associations) related to your field of interest
- ethnicity-based organizations
- your employer
- your state vocational rehabilitation agency (if appropriate); a list of state agencies is at www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/rsa/index.html
Points to Consider
Save your money
You donít have to pay for information about aid. If a company offers to help you find financial aid for a fee, read Looking for Student Aid at www.studentaid.ed.gov/LSA before you agree to pay for services.
You also donít have to pay to submit the FAFSA. If you visit a Web site that asks for payment for the FAFSA, youíre not at the official ED site. Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov
Know how to handle your student loans
Check out EDís publication called Repaying Your Student Loans at www.studentaid.ed.gov/repayingpub
Visit www.studentaid.ed.gov or call 1-800-4-FED-AID (TTY for the hearing-impaired: 1-800-730-8913)
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