The undergraduate years are behind you and you find yourself at a crossroads. Should you join the “real world” and get a job, or pursue more education? Not surprisingly, many young people are taking the second path these days given high unemployment rates. After earning a Bachelor’s degree, students have accrued a sizeable amount of debt from the previous 4 years. Therefore, the idea of paying for more school is intimidating (not to mention the tuition increases occurring nationwide). It is, however, a new challenge and an opportunity to make one more marketable later on. But who ever heard of graduate school financial aid?
It does exist, and you can earn your MA with financial assistance. MA financial aid is available to students in several forms—apply for it!
These sources can reduce your college expenses, making graduate school a realistic pursuit.
- Work Study
- Tax Credits
- State Financial Aid
- Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible. FAFSA applications are accepted from January to the end of June each year. Federal aid may or may not be your preference, as other aid programs exist, but apply anyway.
- Talk to the university’s financial aid office about options. Colleges do not always publicize the grants and scholarships that they sponsor, but many have them. Also, as you may recall from undergrad, Work Study is often available through universities and must be discussed with the financial aid office. Finding information about these opportunities should be a priority.
- Loans are an invaluable resource for graduate students. The very same loans that were offered in undergrad are made available for MA students as well. The Stafford and Perkins loans are often used by graduate students, as are private loans.
- Tax credits are great opportunities. Previously unheard of in the undergrad years, graduate students are eligible for two separate tax credits: the Hope Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. Unlike the standard federal aid where students first receive an estimate from the government and then a different award amount from the university, these credits provide 100% of what you qualify for, 100% of the time.
Clearly, MA financial aid is available to students in a variety of ways. The key is to have an idea of what is out there and what is needed. You know what is available now, so apply for as many opportunities as possible (and early) to maximize your award. If graduate school is your goal do not sacrifice the opportunity to better yourself, as there are solutions to your education financing worries. Go Financial Aid consultants are here to help with any financial aid concerns, so you always have a shoulder to lean on.