WHAT TYPE OF GRADUATE FINANCIAL AID IS BEST FOR YOU?

Today’s students have access to a wide spectrum of funding options, some of which will suit their individual needs better than others. While some degree paths are heavily focused on fellowship and research grant opportunities, others may offer employer assisted tuition programs or military benefits. Similarly, funding options for students at the masters versus doctorate levels may also vary.

Determine what financial aid options may best suit your needs in the guide options below.

During the most recent academic year, public and private master’s degrees averaged $26,288 and $61,104, respectively. As the rising cost of education outpaces economic growth, many students are realizing their dreams of further education will only be possible if alternate methods of funding can be secured.

GRADUATE SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIP DATABASE

Finding funding, while time consuming, doesn’t have to be an arduous or disheartening process. Though top scholarship and fellowship programs are highly competitive, innumerable options are available for students of all different backgrounds and interests.

For students who are able to blend a mix of personal funds, scholarships and grants to avoid significant amounts of debt, graduate school is a significant step toward growing their careers.

A 2013 study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that individuals with a master’s degree earned 23 percent more than their bachelor’s level peers. Aside from long-term earning potential, a postgraduate degree also opens doors to expanded career options, advanced skill sets, and teaching or research positions.

Aside from general and degree-specific scholarships, countless specialized grants are available to students of varied backgrounds and interests. The following databases have been compiled to help students find a scholarship created with them in mind.

MBA SCHOLARSHIPS

With 2015 estimates of tuition and fees for an MBA topping out at $140,000 – not to mention lost income – scholarships for this degree can make a significant dent in overall debt. Whether offered by a private foundation or for-profit company, MBA students typically have many scholarships available to them, provided they know where to look.

Learn more about MBA scholarships

Business school graduate students can find a wide variety of scholarships available, many that are offered by foundations, associations, donors and businesses. They can be applied to annual tuition, as well as related fees, including technology and books. Search dozens of scholarships for an MBA degree programs.

Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship

Awarded to a full-time graduate student who is pursuing an advanced degree and intends a career in state or local government finance.

Amount $13,000
Application Due Date February 19

Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship

For full- or part-time upper division or graduate students studying in one of several finance-related areas including business administration, and who belong to one of a number of minority groups.

Amount $8,000
Application Due Date February 19

Women are often the most underrepresented group in business and MBA programs, according to research from the Graduate Management Council. Earning an MBA can lead to significant career advancement in leadership and business endeavors. Find a variety of scholarships and grants specifically tailored for women MBA students.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Career Development Grants

Grants made to provide assistance to women making a change of career, seeking advancement in a current career or reentering the workforce.

Amount $2,000 to $12,000
Application Due Date December 15

Chicana / Latina Foundation Scholarship Program

Offered to women of Chicana/Latina heritage who are enrolled in a college or university program in one of 13 Northern California counties.

Amount $1,500
Application Due Date March

Samuel Schulman Memorial Scholarship

Applicant must be a single mother entering or continuing in school to earn a marketable skill. Must be a resident and attending a college or university in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange or Riverside counties in California.

Amount $2,000 to $12,000
Application Due Date December 15

For minority groups, such as African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics and American Indians/Alaskan Natives/Pacific Islanders, pursuing an MBA can lead to increased diversification in the business world. Learn more about these scholarship opportunities specifically created to help these groups fund and achieve their MBA.

National Black MBA Association Graduate Scholarship

For students pursuing careers in business, academia and related professions. Must be a member of the NBMBAA to be eligible.

Amount Up to $10,000
Application Due Date April 17

The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

Merit-based award that supports 30 students annually. Must be child of naturalized citizens or be a permanent resident or naturalized citizen on his or her own.

Amount Up to $90,000 over two years
Application Due Date November 1

Kosciuszko Foundation Tuition Scholarships

Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of Polish descent and a graduate student at a college or university in the United States. Available to full-time student only.

Amount $1,000 to $7,000
Application Due Date January 15

Active military service members and veterans alike can utilize various MBA funding opportunities, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill. Additionally, scholarship and grant options are available to help advance an active duty members transition to a civilian employment path. Find more information about military scholarships in the following MBA scholarships.

PNC-SVA “Serving with Integrity” Scholarship

Open to individuals who have been honorably discharged from Active Duty military service or currently serving in Guard or Reserve. Sponsored by the Student Veterans of America and PNC Bank.

Amount $10,000
Application Due Date November 2

SVA-NBC Universal Scholarship

Sponsored by Comcast/NBC Universal and the Student Veterans of America. Open to veterans pursuing a degree at an accredited U.S. college or university. Requires completion of an essay.

Amount $12,000
Application Due Date November 2

Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship Program

Applicant must be a woman, or child of a woman, who is currently serving or has served honorably in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard.

Amount Up to $2,500
Application Due Date January 15
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Female students currently account for 53 percent of the national student body, yet they remain underrepresented in numerous key areas. Funders and foundations alike are stepping up to the plate to provide financial incentives to women entering traditionally male-dominated fields. In addition to areas related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) topics, women can find scholarships for almost any topic of interest with this resource.

Learn more about scholarships for women

Innumerable opportunities are available to help support women’s career and academic pursuits in graduate school. Many scholarships and grants will help offset school costs, such as tuition, books and fees, as well as provide advancement in various fields. Explore what scholarships are available to women graduates.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Dissertation Fellowships

Graduate school funding for women preparing to complete dissertations, full-time post-doctorial research, and/or research for a publication project. The dissertation fellowship can cover any or all of the following: education and living expenses, including childcare; research assistants and equipment; travel for field research and conferences.

Amount $20,000
Application Date November 15

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Postdoctral Research Leave Fellowship

Postdoctoral funding for women engaged full-time in the completion of a dissertation, and post-doctoral institutional research or research for publication. The postdoctoral fellowship can be used to purchase equipment, hire research assistants, pay for publication costs, and cover living and childcare expenses.

Amount $30,000
Application Date November 15

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Summer/Short-Term Research Publication Grants

An 8-week grant for graduate scholars engaged in independent research for publication and preparing research for publication. Grant money can cover living expense, research assistants, clerical and non-technical support, office supplies, and journal fees.

Amount $6,000
Application Date November 15

A Masters in Business Administration (MBA) can help many women achieve their goals in the business world, including leadership, entrepreneurship, and executive areas of business. Learn more about the variety of funding options available to women MBA students below.

Ada I. Pressman Memorial Scholarships

Open to women undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing degrees in all areas of engineering, including construction, chemical, computer, mechanical, and marine/oceanographic engineering. This scholarship is renewable for up to five years.

Amount $5,000
Application Due Date February 15

AAUW Selected Professional Fellowships, Science and Technology Group

Aimed at supporting women entering graduate work in disciplines in which women have traditionally been underrepresented, including master’s programs in architecture, computer science, engineering, mathematics, and statistics. Covers education and living expenses, including travel to professional meetings and conferences.

Amount $5,000- $18,000
Application Due Date January 10

Amelia Earhart Fellowships

The 35 Amelia Earhart Fellowships overseen by Zonta International are awarded annually to women pursuing doctoral degrees in aerospace science and aerospace engineering fields. Applicants must be enrolled full-time in a qualifying PhD program, and the fellowships do not cover post-doctoral research.

Amount $10,000
Application Due Date November 15

Women have often been underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industries. However, in recent years, these industries have sought to increase the number of women professionals, and today, many scholarship and grant opportunities are available to help women achieve their STEM graduate school goals.

AAUW Selected Professional Focus Professions Group Fellowships

Fellowship grants that provide education and living expense to minority women pursuing graduate studies, specifically African-Americans, Mexican Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. Targeted at graduate-level study in fields in which these groups have been historically underrepresented, including MBA programs (second year of study only); JD in law (third year of study only); and MD or DO in medicine (third or fourth year of study).

Amount $5,000- $18,000
Application Due Date January 10

C200 Scholar Awards

As part of its “Reachout Program,” which partners women business leaders and entrepreneurs with MBA programs at various universities, the Committee of 200 awards to students in these programs who display leadership and entrepreneurial spirit. The scholarships are based on merit and need.

Amount $10,000
Application Due Date No set date

Chicana/Latina Foundation Scholarship Program

The Chicana/Latina Foundation is a regional organization serving Northern California. It awards merit-based scholarships for undergraduate and graduate schooling for students of Chicana/Latina heritage in designated counties of California.

Amount $1,500
Application Due Date March

From biology and anatomy to chemistry and nursing, women can increase their expertise by achieving a graduate degree. Find dozens of funding opportunities specifically for women seeking to complete a degree program in nursing and the physical and life sciences.

Nursing and Healthcare AACN Scholarships

AACN scholarships are targeted to further the continuing education and specialization goals of active registered nurses pursuing further graduate studies. They can cover up to $3,000 in tuition costs and other expenses, including up to $750 for travel.

Amount Up to $3,000
Application Due Date Varies

AfterCollege/AACN Scholarships

A joint venture between the AACN and AfterCollege, this scholarship offers awards of $2,500 quarterly to graduate students in nursing programs, particularly those who are on track to become a nurse educator. Applicants must be members of the AACN.

Amount $2,500 quarterly
Application Due Date March 31, June 30, September 30, December 31

Thompson Scholarship for Women in Safety

Awarded by the ASSE to women pursuing a graduate degree in fields related to occupational safety management and engineering, including occupational health nursing and medicine, fire and environmental safety, and industrial risk management.

Amount $1,000
Application Due Date December 1

For women interested in advancing their education in counseling, public health, psychology or social work, there are a variety of tailored financial aid opportunities including scholarships and grants. Learn more about the specific options available to prospective women graduates in these degree programs.

Social Work Scholarships American Cancer Society Health Professional Training Grants

The ACS targets one of its grants for Health Professional Training at second-year master’s degree students in clinical oncology social work. The grant covers two years of graduate training.

Amount $12,000
Application Due Date October 15

American Society on Aging Graduate Student Research Award

The ASA’s Graduate Student Research Award is given to a student who is nominated by an ASA member for graduate research in the field of aging, including clinical social-work research in this area. Applicants must have a faculty sponsor and a fully formed research project ready to undertake.

Amount Not available
Application Due Date September 30

Carol A. Sarchet Scholarship

This scholarship is open to students in the CSU Schools of Social Work; Education; Occupational Therapy; Human Development & Family Studies; Food Science & Human Nutrition; Family & Consumer Sciences; or Design & Merchandising. Candidates must be first generation students, and preference is given to those raised in foster or kinship care.

Amount $2,250
Application Due Date March 1

The high and increasing demand for educators, from early to special education, has provided a vast array of special funding opportunities for women seeking an education graduate degree. Explore dozens of scholarship opportunities available to women pursuing a graduate degree in education.

Renshaw Fellowship

Doctoral students or applicants to doctoral programs in education who are members of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute can apply for the Renshaw Fellowship, which is targeted at individuals aiming to teach at the college level or to work as a superintendent or administrator/researcher in the field of curriculum development.

Amount $12,000
Application Due Date January 16

Barbara Lotze Scholarships for Future Teachers

Future high-school physics teachers can apply for a $2,000 scholarship from the AAPT. These scholarships are available to students pursuing a teaching certificate at the undergraduate and graduate school levels.

Amount $2,000
Application Due Date December 1

American Chemical Society (ACS)-Hach Second Career Teacher Scholarship

Administered by the American Chemical Society, the ACS-Hach Second Career Teacher Scholarship is aimed at chemistry majors and professionals in the chemistry field who are pursuing a master’s in education with the intention of teaching chemistry. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and at least one year of experience working in a professional capacity. For those who have not spent at least a year working in a field related to chemistry, there is an ACS-Hach Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Scholarship

Amount Up to $6,000
Application Due Date February 1
MILITARY VETERANS SCHOLARSHIPS

Although 62 percent of military veterans are first-generation college students, the number of retired military learners is set to soar. As of 2013, more than one million veterans were taking advantage of GI benefits to pursue their educations, and this number is expected to increase by 20 percent in the coming years. Given that 85 percent of veteran students are considered nontraditional, this resource provides crucial awareness of scholarships that aren’t exclusively focused on high school seniors.

Learn more about military veteran scholarships

There are numerous options for military veterans seeking graduate school financial aid assistance. From government-funded programs to countless scholarship opportunities, veterans can find funding to help offset the cost of graduate school.

Google SVA Scholarship

Candidate must be an Active Duty or veteran student currently enrolled in or accepted to a college degree program in computer science, computer engineering or closely-related subject.

Amount $10,000
Application Deadline November 2

Anne Gannett Award for Veterans

For veterans who are former music students who interrupted their education to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and wish to resume music study in pursuit of a music career.

Amount $2,000
Application Deadline May 1

Army Nurse Corps Association (ANCA) Scholarship

Offered to those currently serving or honorably discharged veterans of a U.S. Army component (Army, National Guard or Reserve) who is currently enrolled in a nursing or nurse anesthesia undergraduate or graduate program. Must not be currently receiving from a U.S. Army component (GI Bill benefits or ROTC scholarship.)

Amount $3,000
Application Deadline March 21

Multiple scholarships and grants are available to disabled war veterans, such as those who were injured during combat in Operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom. Funding opportunities like these, and many more, are available to assist and offset disabled war veterans’ graduate school costs.

American Airlines Veteran’s Initiative Scholarship

Military veterans who are pursuing aviation or aeronautical education or training are eligible. Personal factors considered include achievements, teamwork, leadership skills, motivation, and community service involvement.

Amount $5,000
Application Deadline November 16

Colorado Technical University Wounded Warrior Scholarship

Open to U.S Armed Forces (including National Guard and Reserve) Active Duty members or veterans currently receiving medical treatment for injuries (over 30 percent) suffered in the line of duty.

Amount Full tuition, approx. $15,000 annually
Application Deadline September 15

New York State Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute – MERIT Scholarship

Available to members of the U.S. Armed Forces at any time on or after August 2, 1990 and who became severely and permanently disabled as a result of injury or illness suffered or incurred in combat or during training for combat. Must be New York State resident attending a postsecondary institution in New York State. Also open to spouses, children, and other financial dependents.

Amount Up to $22,487
Application Deadline June 30

While families of military veterans may have not served in the military, they often have helped support the military and its members. In respect of the spouses and dependents of military veterans, many scholarship and grant opportunities are available to them for graduate school, such as the AMVETS National Scholarship Program and Leadership Through Action – Tillman Military Scholars program.

Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) Non-Member Scholarships

These scholarships are open to U.S. Navy, Marine and Coast Guard personnel and veterans, as well as their spouses, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Does not require FRA membership.

Amount $3,000 and $5,000
Application Deadline April 15

Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) Member Scholarships

These FRA-sponsored scholarships are open to spouses, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of current FRA members in good standing. FRA membership requires an affiliation with the U.S. Navy, Marines or Coast Guard. A number of these awards give preference to post-graduate students.

Amount $5,000
Application Deadline April 15

506th Airborne Infantry Regiment Association Scholarships

Family member applicants must be a child, grandchild, sibling or spouse of a veteran who served with the 506th Airborne. Factors considered include the applicant’s overall academic excellence, financial need and quality of the chosen postsecondary institution.

Amount $1,000
Application Deadline April 30
LGBTQ SCHOLARSHIPS

This growing area of funding is set to expand exponentially as more educational institutions, foundations, companies, and individuals begin earmarking scholarships for this community. Options are expansive, ranging from grants to students pursuing gender topics to students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ). Many of these funding options are also available to individuals who are considered allies of the LGBTQ community.

Learn more about LGBTQ scholarships

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals pursuing graduate degrees in the arts – theater, photography, fine and graphic arts – can find a variety of financial aid options to help them fund their schooling. Learn more about the variety of scholarships available to LGBTQ graduate art students.

Bill Bendiner and Doug Morgenson Scholarship

Sponsored by the Pride Foundation and open to residents of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, but may apply funds for study elsewhere. Open to LGBTQ identifying students pursuing a career in human services, health sciences, or the visual arts.

Amount $1,000
Deadline January 11

Bill McKnight Legacy Scholarship

Available to Arts and Humanities students in the queer community. Sponsored by the Pride Foundation and open to residents of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, but may apply funds for study elsewhere. Preference given to residents of Kitsap County/Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Amount $2,000
Deadline January 11

Gregori Jakovina Endowment Scholarship

Candidate must be LGBT or child of a LGBT parent, a resident of Oregon or Clark County, Washington, and pursuing a career in the arts.

Amount $500
Deadline January 15

LGBTQ students seeking a degree in a scientific discipline — such as chemistry, geology, physics, engineering, and biology — can find a wide variety of funding options for graduate school. Explore the many scholarship opportunities available to physical and life science LGBTQ graduate students.

Women in Medicine Leadership Scholarships

Four scholarships awarded to women studying at allopathic or osteopathic medical schools in the U.S. or Canada. Factors considered include academic standing and contributed/demonstrated leadership in the LGBTQ community.

Amount $5,000
Deadline February 1

AfterCollege STEM Inclusion Scholarship

Eligibility to students currently working toward a STEM-related degree from a group underrepresented in their field of study, including groups defined by sexual orientation.

Amount $500
Deadline December 31

National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP) Out to Innovate Scholarship for LGBTQ+ Students in STEM

Must be declared major in accredited STEM or STEM-related teaching field and an active supporter of and participant in programs or organizations promoting LGBTQ inclusion and visibility.

Amount $5,000
Deadline First Saturday in June

The social sciences examine various aspects of the human experience, including society, culture and economy. There are various scholarship and grant options for LGBTQ-individuals wishing to pursue a social science graduate degree.

Alexander G. Gray, Jr., Scholarship Fund

Applicant must be enrolled at a law school in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a member of the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar.

Amount $2,500
Deadline February 17

Kay Longcope Scholarship Award

Applicants must be an LGBT individual of color planning to pursue a career in journalism and be able to demonstrate their passion and commitment to the profession. Selection based on journalistic and scholastic ability. Applicants also must demonstrate an awareness of the issues facing the LGBT community and the importance of fair and accurate news coverage.

Amount Up to $3,000
Deadline May 15

Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award

Must be enrolled in a journalism program. Selection based on journalistic and scholastic ability. Applicants also must demonstrate an awareness of the issues facing the LGBT community and the importance of fair and accurate news coverage.

Amount Up to $3,000
Deadline May 15

Becoming a leader in the LGBTQ community can be supported with an advanced degree in various community and advocacy-related graduate degree programs. Find a vast array of scholarship and grant opportunities available to LGBTQ-individuals who demonstrate active community roles, or a desire to lead in their communities in the near future.

American Atheists Chinn Scholarships

Must be an atheist and self-identify as gay or lesbian, or have a demonstrated commitment to LGBT rights and equality.

Amount $500
Deadline February 1

Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women & Transgender Community (APIQWTC) Scholarship

Awarded to Asian/Pacific Islander lesbian, bisexual, or queer women or transgender individuals pursuing technical/professional training or an undergraduate/graduate degree.

Amount $1,000
Deadline February 12

Audre Lorde Scholarship Fund

Eligible to “out” black lesbian women over 40 and attending a post-secondary institution in the U.S. full- or part-time.

Amount $1,000
Deadline June 30

FINANCING YOUR FUTURE: STUDENT LOANS

Students typically pursue a blend of funding options, incorporating scholarships and grants alongside any necessary loans. The following section will review loan options and provide helpful tips on how to navigate common steps, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

While private loans are available, the vast majority of student financial aid experts strongly recommend taking full advantage of federal loans before considering those offered by lending agencies and banks. This is due in part to lower and more stable interest rates, but also because private loans generally don’t offer the same flexible repayment plans as federal lenders.

To qualify for federal loans, all students – regardless of their educational level – must fill out the FAFSA® every year they are enrolled in a degree program. This document, which is based on either the student’s or their parent’s financial information, assesses income levels to predict the amount of funding available via federal grants and loans.

Students who used federal funds during baccalaureate studies will be familiar with the process, although there are a few different options available for advanced degrees. Some of the most common questions associated with completing the FAFSA® and taking on student loans include:

1
When?

Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at the first of the new year. Students should aim to have all documents ready so they can apply as soon as the new calendar year starts.

2
What do I need?

If a student is applying as a dependent, they’ll need their parent’s financial records. As an independent, they’ll need their own financial documents along with their social security and driver’s license numbers, investment records, bank statements, federal tax records, documentation of untaxed income, and their federal student aid PIN number provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

3
How much?

Each of the main federal student loans have different lending amounts; for instance, the Perkins loan allows graduate students to borrow up to $8,500 per year, while the maximum amount for the Stafford loan is based on the current year of education.

4
How will loans affect me long-term?

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of going back to school and not fully consider the implications of taking on debt. While some loan repayment plans begin while students are still in school, the majority will start once a student has graduated. Students should be considering their next moves – be they further education or entering the workforce – before completing their degree. Students who pay toward their loans faithfully each month can use this time to help build good credit for future significant purchases, but those who fall behind may find themselves penalized when it comes time to purchase their first house or make other big buys.

5
What if I can’t start repaying my loans after I finish school?

Students should ensure they understand all of the terms and conditions before signing the dotted line for any loan. While the goal will always be to land a top job immediately after graduation, understanding options for deferment, forbearance, loan forgiveness, and alternate repayment plans can help alleviate a lot of anxiety and avoid negative credit scores if it takes a while to start repaying student debt.

6
Is there anything else I need to know?

Students who did not take advantage of federal funds during their undergraduate degree will also need to complete an entrance loan counseling session and sign the complete master promissory note before funds are disbursed.

When used knowledgeably, federal student loans can be a helpful addition to a student’s funding bundle. Aside from making the difference in whether or not a student is able to complete graduate school, they also remove many of the pressures of private loans. Our Student Loan and Graduate School guide provides details on these topics and more to consider when plotting out graduate school funds.

ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PAY FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL

Aside from traditional funding routes such as scholarships or loans, today’s students can utilize numerous innovative methods of paying for their graduate degrees. The Alternate Ways to Pay for Grad School guide highlights inventive ways to lessen the financial burden, including crowdfunding, employer tuition assistance programs, teaching or research assistantships, and general ideas about frugal living while in school.

These thrifty tips give students a weeklong glimpse of some cost cutting ideas.

SNAPSHOT: A Week of Frugal Living

Gasoline is cheapest on Sunday, so scheduling a fuel up for this day will save a few pennies per gallon. Lots of electronics stores will also have special flash sales on Sunday, so a trip to the local Best Buy may be in order for students in need of a tablet, laptop or other study aid.

Students who enjoy doing a lot of their shopping online can take advantage of the best sales on this day, ranging from clothing and electronics to textbooks and household items. Some websites will also allow users to sign up for notifications when new items go on sale.

Research has shown the best day for booking a flight is Tuesday, while they tend to be marked up on weekends. The day is also perfect for eating out, with the largest number of happy hours and meal deals being offered on the second day of the workweek.

Daily Finance found that hump day is the best for weekly grocery shopping. Not only do more than half of all stores start their sales on this day, they’ll often honor the previous week’s sales as well. As a bonus, if meat counters, bakeries, or prepared food counters have food nearing the end of its shelf life, this is the most common day for scoring a bargain.

Thinking about buying new clothes? Research has shown that a lot of shops and department stores mark down items on Wednesday evenings, making Thursday the perfect day to snag a good deal before items get picked over.

While the majority of yard and garage sales take place on weekends, sometimes sellers will have a preview or early bird sale on Friday. Students with nontraditional schedules that can take advantage of being one of the first on the scene can often find excellent bargains on items that typically get scooped up quickly.

Although many assume that retailers aren’t shy about charging full prices over the weekend, there are still plenty of bargains buys to be found. Clothing stores in particular are known to have some of the best sales on this day of the week.

General

Lots of resale shops and thrift stores will have sales based on items with same colored tag all being discounted on different days of the week.

These helpful hints are only the tip of the iceberg; further ideas for saving money while not feeling deprived can be found in the Alternate Ways to Pay for Grad School guide.

Train people well enough so they can leave, but treat them well enough so they don’t want to.

Billionaire mogul Richard Branson

GET YOUR COMPANY TO FUND GRADUATE SCHOOL

One guiding principle many business leaders believe is that employers should help fund graduate programs — it can impart a sense of gratitude in employees and provides a more skilled workforce to companies. Numerous national organizations have tuition assistance programs in place already, but it’s always worth asking your current employers if an agreement could be made.

In many cases, companies will supplement educational costs in return for a commitment to stay with the organization for a set number of years after a degree is completed.

These are some of the best companies offering tuition reimbursement programs in the U.S. today:

Bank of America

PROGRAM: Tuition Reimbursement

BOA provides tuition assistance for employees seeking to complete graduate level classes, provided they are in some way related to their area of work.

Amount Up to $5,250 for job-related courses

Deloitte

PROGRAM: Graduate School Assistance Program

Deloitte offers its employees generous benefits, allowing them to attend graduate school and move into Senior Consultant roles upon graduation. After two years of post-college employment, workers receive full tuition reimbursement. They are also given a technology stipend during their education to help purchase necessary computer-related items.

Amount Full tuition reimbursement

Raytheon

PROGRAM: Educational Assistance Program

Employees completing approved classes and programs relevant to their positions at Raytheon can apply for their educational assistance program, provided they are employed full-time.

Amount Up to $10,000 annually

Google

PROGRAM: Tuition Reimbursement Program

In addition to other great benefits, Google employees who maintain A’s and B’s through their educations qualify for the company’s tuition reimbursement program.

Amount Up to $12,000 per year

UPS

PROGRAM: Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

UPS has invested close to $200 million in educational programs for its employees since 2009, offering assistance to both part and full-time workers.

Amount Varies

BP

PROGRAM: Educational Assistance

Employees of BP can take advantage of the company’s generous tuition assistance program, provided they’re enrolled in courses relevant to their area of work and achieve passing grades.

Amount Up to 90 percent of all eligible educational expenses

Microsoft

PROGRAM: Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

Microsoft is known for placing great importance on furthering the knowledge and skill sets of its employees, and the company provides assistance for both tuition and textbook costs.

Amount Up to $10,000 annually

J.M. Smucker Company

PROGRAM: Financial Well Being Program

Smucker’s takes great pride in providing holistic care for their employees, and this includes a generous reimbursement program providing up to 100 percent of the costs for all approved coursework.

Amount Up to 100 percent of all tuition expenses

Chevron

PROGRAM: Career Development and Training

Chevron takes a wide lens view when it comes to employees reaching their potential and continuing their educations. In addition to tuition reimbursement, the company also offers internal training, mentoring programs, and opportunities for professional development.

Amount Up to 75 percent of external training and educational pursuits

Starbucks

PROGRAM: College Achievement Plan (CAP)

70 percent of Starbucks employees are students or aspire to attend college, and the organization is focused on making that possible. The company recently partnered with Arizona State University to provide assistance to part and full-time employees undertaking online education.

Amount Up to 100 percent of all tuition expensess

To learn about additional companies providing tuition benefits, or to find tips on convincing your boss to provide educational assistance, check out the guide, Expert Guidance and Strategies for Company Tuition Reimbursement.

WHAT DOES A PHD COST?

The actual costs associated with obtaining a PhD can vary wildly based on the subject area, type of school, and institutional assistance available. The following section helps interested doctoral candidates learn about all the costs associated with working toward an education at this level.

Students have innumerable reasons for pursuing a doctoral degree, ranging from higher salaries to career requirements. In many academic or STEM-related fields, individuals may not be able to fully participate in their field without obtaining the highest level of degree available. Yet PhD programs can also cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, leaving cash-strapped students wondering if it’s practical to complete another degree.

BREAKING IT DOWN

Before enrolling in a program, students should have a thorough understanding of all the costs associated with committing to a further degree.

  • Annual/semester/credit tuition

    The cost of a PhD can vary significantly depending on whether the institution is public or private, and which degree path the student intends on pursuing. For in-state students at state colleges, tuition is typically between $7,000 to $10,000 annually, while students at private universities can expect to pay between $30,000 to $50,000 each year.

  • Rent

    The cost of rent represents a wide spectrum across the U.S. Birmingham topped the 2015 list for affordable cities, averaging $949 for a two bedroom. Conversely, a two bedroom in San Francisco, the most costly city for renters, tops out at $3,650 per month.

  • Cost of living

    According to a living wage calculator provided by MIT, single adult students will spend just over $1,000 per month on average for living costs, including food, medical coverage, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses. These numbers are also likely to fluctuate based on their location

  • Books and fees

    Costs for books and additional fees are often wholly based on a student’s degree. While science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related paths tend to have more intensive fees for laboratory use and materials, humanities courses may require substantially more books. On average, books and fees combined cost between $1,500 and $3,000 per academic year.

  • Travel costs

    Research for doctoral level dissertations or projects is typically extensive, requiring students to spend hundreds of hours poring over materials. Depending on the area of study, this could either mean being able to access materials via a short car ride or spending several months in a foreign country. While these expenditures can quickly add up, scholarships and grants specifically covering research and conference travel costs abound.

  • Miscellaneous

    Aside from all the costs reviewed above, students should always plan to have funds on hand for unforeseen purchases. Whether it’s an unexpected trip to the mechanic, stocking up on winter clothes, or an emergency trip home, students should plan to spend approximately $3,000 to $5,000 per year on miscellaneous expenses.

After reading through all of the costs associated with undertaking a doctoral degree, interested students may be wondering how on earth they’ll ever be able to justify taking this next step. GoGrad’s Paying for Your PhD guide is here to answer this question and any others arising.

10 ADVANTAGES TO PURSUING AN ADVANCED DEGREE

Obtaining a doctoral degree has innumerable benefits for individuals in many different industries and areas of work.

While some fields – such as psychology or astrophysics – require professionals to hold a PhD to be fully certified, professionals in other areas often undertake this degree to move into specialized research or teaching roles. For mid-career workers who already hold a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree can help propel them into a senior-level role in their new industry.

Looking for more benefits? Keep reading.

Show me the money

Obtaining a master degree is an investment that pays off throughout your career. As reported by National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a master’s degree will net individuals a paycheck that’s 23 percent higher than their baccalaureate-holding colleagues, while those with a doctoral degree earned up to 52 percent more.

Educating the next generation

Whether deciding to pursue a professorship after years of experience in the field or moving directly into teaching, the vast majority of four-year universities require faculty to hold a PhD to teach courses.

Specialize your research

While some may think of in-depth research opportunities being relegated to STEM-related industries, the spread of digital technology is continually increasing the importance of both data gathering and data analysis. Individuals able to delve into research projects and glean useful insights are valuable to almost any industry.

Share the wealth (of knowledge)

Consultants to government agencies, non-profit organizations and corporate businesses display the highest levels of expertise and knowledge, gleaned from both years of experience and an advanced education.

Learn more of what you love

Students who pursue graduate degrees typically all have one thing in common: they love their subject. While undergraduate degrees offer excellent foundational knowledge and skills, advanced degrees allow students to truly immerse themselves and gain a holistic understanding of the discipline.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

As of 2014, less than one percent of the American population held a PhD and only eight percent had completed master’s level programs. Advanced degrees and those who complete them are highly respected due to the sheer fact that pursuing academics at this level requires commitment and intelligence.

See the world

Advanced degree holders recognized as leaders in their fields often have many opportunities to travel, be it for research collaboration, guest lectures or speaking at/attending conferences held by professional organizations.

Contribute to the greater good

Individuals with advanced degrees are typically those who innovate, push the boundaries of what’s possible, and lead groundbreaking research that changes the way people live their lives. Whether working in the arts and sciences, technology, medicine or law, master’s and PhD level professionals are constantly shifting the way the world works.

Get paid to study

Although highly competitive, numerous fellowship and grant opportunities not only pay all costs associated with an advance degree, in some cases they also provide a living stipend. Instead of worrying about housing expenses or other general costs of living, recipients of these awards are able to devote their full attention to learning.

Be flexible

While some jobs may be quite rigid in their structure, advanced degree holders often have more autonomy to structure their work days and projects. They may decide to split their time between offices, complete projects while traveling, or outsource basic tasks to focus on more specialized work.