Figuring out how to pay for graduate school is usually at the top of any prospective student’s list of things to consider. Luckily, there are a number of resources to help students pay for their education. Keep in mind that most financial aid awards – even loans – will require the attending an accredited accounting program.
Scholarships will be one of the most prized and commonly used forms of financial aid by any postsecondary student. Sometimes called fellowships, scholarships are forms of financial aid that don’t need to be paid back. Many of them are sponsored or administered by a variety of sources, including the master’s programs themselves, professional accounting organizations, charitable organizations and corporations. See below for more scholarship oppurtunities.
Like scholarships, grants are financial awards that do not have to be paid back. Sometimes “scholarships” and “grants” are considered interchangeable; the biggest difference, however, is that grants are usually need-based and scholarships are more often merit-based. Grants are available through many places, such as the school that offers the master’s program, psychology associations, local companies or organizations, state financial aid and the like. The most popular grant is the Pell Grant, which is offered through federal financial aid.
Some loans are available through the federal financial aid program. These loans might be subsidized (where there is no interest accrues until six months after graduation) or unsubsidized (where the interest begins to accrue immediately). In some cases, parent loans are available that allow parents to take out a certain amount of money toward their child’s education. And finally, there are private loans through banks and credit unions; these often have lower interest rates than a typical loan, but higher rates than a loan offered through the federal government.
Though these opportunities are most often reserved for students in doctoral programs, earning a fellowship while in a master’s program is a possibility. Fellowships are merit-based and designed to allow a student to pursue their degree full-time, and perhaps engage in research or clinical work, without worrying about financial constraints. These are sometimes offered by the schools themselves, or by professional organizations. As there are few fellowships available, they are all highly competitive.
It’s important to remember that in order to be eligible for many of these sources of funding, students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA®. Even if master’s students don’t expect to receive any financial aid from the federal government, this form will still help the school when it comes time to award scholarships or grants.
It’s also important to remember that accreditation matters for each of these financial options. Federal financial aid is awarded only to those who are enrolled in accredited schools. Some scholarships and grants also require enrollment in an accredited school before they will award any funds. To learn more about accreditation, and to make sure a school or program qualifies, visit the U.S. Department of Education.
Read more about financial did on the Best Financial Aid Guide.
Scholarships for Online Masters in Psychology Students
Scholarships play an important role in paying towards online masters in psychology degrees. Here are a few scholarships for online masters in psychology students.