There are several types of financial aid for graduate students. The most common types include grants, scholarships, and loans. Grants and scholarships are monetary gifts a person does not have to repay. Students do have to repay loans, but they can usually do so after they have graduated. Fellowships and internships may also provide money a person can use to fund his graduate-level education.
Scholarships and grants are among the most common types of financial aid for graduate students. Both of these types of aid are free, which means a person can use them to fund his education without having to repay the money he receives. Often, grants are offered by government agencies for people who are able to demonstrate financial need, and some private organizations and graduate schools may offer grants as well. In many cases, a student has to commit to earning a specific number of credits each year to be eligible for a grant, and he may have to demonstrate that he is making academic progress to maintain it.
A graduate school may also award scholarships as financial aid for graduate students. Often, scholarships are awarded to students who have high grade-point averages, demonstrate leadership abilities, or have particular talents or skills; some are awarded on the basis of financial need as well. Some scholarships are even awarded based on ethnicity and course of study. An individual may get a scholarship for graduate school tuition from the school he is attending or from another organization or business. Some organizations and businesses that grant scholarships run essay contents through which people can win scholarship money for graduate school.
Fellowships and internships or assistant positions are also among the types of financial aid a graduate student may receive. Neither require repayment. Often, fellowships provide living expense stipends, waivers of tuition, and money to fund research. They are usually granted by a school, organization, or government agency and based on merit or need. A graduate student may also obtain money for graduate study by working as an assistant to a professor or as a research assistant. The amounts awarded for assistant positions vary, but often include tuition waivers and monthly stipends.
Graduate student loans are also among the common types of financial aid for graduate students. Unlike other types of aid, loans do require repayment. Students may obtain them from the government, the school they attend, or private lenders.