Finding a Graduate Grant
Finishing an undergraduate program is already very costly, what more if you enroll in a graduate degree program? This is the main reason why many graduate students fail to pursue their dreams of further enhancing their knowledge through enrolling in graduate or master’s degree programs. You don't need to worry because the United States government still offers a graduate grant for you. If you finished college mainly through federal student loans, you can apply for these loans if you wish to pursue graduate studies. Aside from the Perkins Loan and the Graduate Stafford Loan, you can also apply for the Federal Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan.
The Federal Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan is one of the two types of PLUS loans administered by the federal government. (The other PLUS loan is for parents who have children in college). This loan is a credit-based loan for graduate students and professionals who want to pursue a graduate or master’s degree. What makes this appealing to students is that it has low interest rate and you will need to pay for it only after you finish your studies. Both types of PLUS loans are available through the Federal Family Education Loan Program or through the Direct Loan Program. To be eligible for the Federal Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan, you must fulfill the following requirements: you are a graduate or professional student, enrolled in a program at least half time, have a good credit record, working to get a degree and is already independent of your parents.
You can also take advantage of a graduate grant from colleges and universities as well as from private organizations. Many of these institutions are looking for students in a specific area of study. Minority graduate students even have an advantage over Caucasian students because many organizations are offering grants for them. Some of the organizations that offer a graduate grant for the minority population include the American Indian Graduate Center Fellowships, the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science Inc. and the Cornell University Graduate School Fellowships for Minorities. The Black Collegian Organization provides a list of grants, fellowships and internships for African American students who are interested to pursue graduate and post-graduate studies.
To save money, many graduate and post-graduate students are returning to college through online degree programs. This non-traditional way of education is more cost effective because you do not need to spend on transportation, housing and other school relation expenses. You can still apply for a graduate grant even if you are just enrolled in an online degree. The University of Phoenix in Arizona is one of the leading universities in the country that offers grants for graduate students who are enrolled in online degree programs. One of its popular grant programs is the Project Reach which provides funding to the Masters in Education. The school also offers financial aid to graduate students who are willing to teach in high-need locations. There are still many alternative organizations which offer grants to their members. Some of these groups include fraternal and sorority organizations.