Grants For Graduate School
There is no doubt about it; graduate studies are expensive here in the US. Yet while tuition fees are higher than in most other countries, there are also a lot more funding opportunities. Graduate grants are just one of these many types of financial aid available and are often considered the best because the money never has to be repaid.
Unfortunately, the application process for these grants is far more rigorous than any other type, and funding is limited to the most outstanding applicants and you are by no means guaranteed the funding that you apply for. You can help your chances of being approved by making sure that the graduate grant you are applying for fits right into your area of study and that you comply with all of their requirements.
There are two main categories of graduate grant resources: you can apply to government funded graduate grants and/or privately funded graduate grants. Government funded graduate grants are awarded at the departmental level for each individual educational institution. The funds, however, are not distributed equally. Natural sciences receive the most funding to back research initiatives, with social sciences and humanities receiving little, if any funding, depending on the school. This is because humanities and social science grad students very rarely do original research. Rather, they are almost always working on ideas and initiatives being pursued by their professors.
You can also apply for privately funded graduate grants. There are all sorts of independent foundations and scholarship funds created to award graduate grants to students with research initiatives in line with the company or foundation’s vision. For example, if you are a medical sciences student you will want to consider grant funds from hospitals and medical institutions around the country. They may offer graduate grants that you were unaware of, or may even consider sponsoring your research efforts on a one time basis to gain access to your results. Ask your school about these private funding opportunities and they will be able to give you a good starting point. You should also consider doing cold calls to corporations that may have been over looked as excellent funding sources.
Privately funded graduate grants are also commonly given out to graduate students of minority races. These almost always come from a minority foundation such as the United Negro Fund or the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, for example. There are also graduate grants given out in the public realm for minority graduate students, who are studying in areas traditionally underrepresented by minorities.
If you are a woman seeking graduate grants there are many options available to you. To learn more visit our page on graduate grants for women.