Just the application process for graduate school can be expensive. An average application fee of $45 added to the cost of official transcripts for every institution attended, copying costs, postage, and long-distance phone calls can add up quickly. Many schools will waive the application fee for minority students and students who can document financial hardship. Information about fee waivers should be requested from individual programs.
If you need financial assistance, ask for it! Financial assistance may be offered in the form of assistantships, fellowships, work-study and loans. Financial assistance is more common for doctoral students, but many masters programs offer them as well.
Assistantships usually require students to provide a service in return for a tuition waiver and stipend. Assistantships vary by institution and the application process will be unique to the specific institution. Some assistantships will waive part of the tuition while others will waive the total tuition and will give a stipend amount each month or pay period. Assistantship responsibilities usually include teaching (TA), research (RA), lab coordination, or administration.
Students interested in assistantships should contact their department first. Assistantships may also be found in the library system, residence life, student activities, admissions department and other student services offices.
Loan programs similar to the packages offered to undergraduate students are available to graduate students. There are applications and deadlines for these programs. Students should contact the Financial Aid office of their graduate school to find out more information regarding loans.
Also, there are funding opportunities that you can apply to before you have even been accepted into a graduate school program. For more help with this, contact the Grants and Funding Information Service for help with that process.