Graduate School Grants

Nobody said graduate school was going to be free or cheap. In fact, the tuition for four years of graduate school can run as high as a mortgage. Finding funding for higher education will take some research. This is where grants really come into play.

These funds are granted by a range of organizations and can really make all the difference when it comes to paying tuition and dealing with school- and living-related expenses.

There are many grants available if you know where to look. The following includes a basic overview regarding the grants available, who’s qualified for such grants, and how to apply for the best graduate school grants available.

Graduating cap on a gold coin with a diploma

Grants Are Different from Scholarships and Loans

The first thing to realize is that grants are different than other types of funding. Many scholarships tend to be merit-based and loans have to be repaid. In contrast, grants are basically free money in the sense that they are need-based and do not have to be paid back. This is what makes them so appealing to all types of graduate students.

Know the Categories

It’s important to note that there are many types of graduate school grants out there. There are those that are student-specific, subject-specific, based on degree-level, and those focused on minorities. Grants are given by many different sources. Most commonly, you can find grants from both federal and state governments, universities and both public an private organizations.

Federal Government Grants

The federal government wants to help its citizens succeed. This is why there are funds that are periodically placed aside to help people attend school. The Pell Grant has been around since 1972. It is focused on providing funds to low-income students. The specific amount of this grant fluctuates depending upon the government’s budget and needs.

State Grants

Minimalist university building

If you want to apply to graduate school, you need to investigate your state’s grant programs. There are many need-based and even specialized grants offered by a range of states. Not every program and application is the same. Thus, you will need to look around to see what your home state has to offer. To qualify for such aid, remember that you will need to be a legal resident of the state for a set amount of time.

Apply for Anything and Everything

Though you want to be sure that you fit a grant’s characteristics, you should be willing to try for just about any graduate school grant you see. Take the time to be thorough when it comes to graduate school grants. You want to show the organization granting such funds that you truly deserve this money. Thus, be clear about how you intend to not only use the grants but what your future career goals are like.

Graduate School Specific Grants

There are actually a wide array of funds available only to graduate and doctoral students. This is something to remember when looking for funds to pay for your graduate school program. These funds may come from the graduate school itself or from private organizations around the world. Be aware that there may be funds for specific types of purchases or uses. For example, you may find small grants available for travel or for the purchase of important technology like laptops. No grant is too small.

Demographics and Characteristics

There are incredibly specific grants available today. This is because just about anyone can establish a grant. Thus, you can find grants for left-handed bisexuals who are first-generation college students. When looking for graduate school grants, you should always consider your interests, hobbies, and such demographic or characteristics as your religion, ethnicity, background, and sexuality. There are a number of graduate school grants available today that are specific to such categories. You never know which grants can be used for both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Minority Grants

The United States was built around providing immigrants with a place to go. Thus, there are many grants in place to help minorities succeed. You can find grants African American, Native American, Asian American, and Hispanic populations, among others, because these groups have been struggled to send their children to school. Many non-profits afford funding to such groups to help them get an edge on the competition.

Women-Focused Funding

Group of diverse women

Women have not always been considered equal. In the past, they were not even allowed to attend four-year schools. However, times are changing. To help ease the pay gap between the genders, there are many grants available to women. If you are looking for women-focused graduate school grants, keep in mind that there will be general funding opportunities and there will also be those directed towards degree programs where women have been underrepresented. For example, women going into the sciences or mathematics will no doubt be able to find some stellar graduate school grants. These funds are available from both major corporations and from non-profits.

First Generation College Students

Some families have never had people attend college. This makes it all the more difficult for their children because such families will have little knowledge of the application process or about how to save and fund such an expense. Many groups today – Sallie Mae and Coca Cola included – offer grants to first generation college students from less than stellar backgrounds.

Military Students

There are funds for students who are a member of one of the branches of military. People in active and inactive duty may be able to apply for grants from the military itself or from organizations around the world. Additionally, there are funds for children and spouses of people currently serving. Be sure to inquire with the military section of you or your loved one so that you can explore funding opportunities.

Low Income Graduate Student Funds

If your family falls below the poverty line, you may be eligible for a range of need-based aid opportunities. These funds can come from a range of organizations. It is important to look into such funding opportunities. Remember that you may need to prove your family’s income when securing such grants.

Subject or Degree Specific Grants

There’s often funding for specific types of degrees or areas. Thus, if you want to go into nursing, there may be nurse or healthcare specific grants that you qualify for. Be aware of this when you are looking for funding for school. Some of these funds are in place with the intention that service will be exchange at a later date. For example, if you want to be a teacher, a state may provide you with grants for school if you then commit to teaching in the state for a set amount of time.

Consider the Type of School

Additionally, take the time to see what funding options there are for the schools you are considering. There may be grants focused on specific schools. Additionally, there may be grants focused on private or public institutions. In fact, there are even grants focused on the length of the program in which you want to enroll. Get as much information as possible about the schools you want to attend so that you have it in front of you when looking for potential grants.

Mix and Match

Don’t settle as soon as you receive your first acceptance letter. Once you have one graduate school grant, it’s time to dig in and continue your research and applications. There’s no cap on the amount of grants you can qualify for and receive. Take the time to really look around and apply to as many as possible.

The Application Matters

Man checking up all in the form

Take your time to be thorough when it comes to applying for grants. You want to appear professional, focused, and intelligent. There are thousands of people competing for the same funds. Think about how you can set yourself apart from these people. You want to show your commitment to your chosen career path and goals. Thus, be sure to keep this in mind when answering all questions and writing all essays.

Stay Organized

The only way to secure graduate school grants is to be organized. You will need copies of your financial documents, proof of residence and citizenship, your birth certificate, a resume, essays, and transcripts. You always want to submit complete applications. If you leave something out, the organization probably will not contact you since there are so many other applications to deal with. Additionally, you need to turn in your applications early. You don’t want to wait too long to send out your materials only for an accident or slip-up to make them late. Some groups immediately throw away or return late applications.

If you are committed to finding graduate school grants, you will start your research as early on as possible. This is a chance of a lifetime. If you find the funds, you will not have to worry about working two jobs while in school or taking out huge loans. Grants really can make attending school a possibility. Take this hunt seriously so that you can find as many grants as possible.

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44 Comments on “Graduate School Grants”

  1. Sena Ojo wrote:

    To whom it may concern,

    I had the pleasure of reading the up on grants offered to Graduate students at the following link:

    this link has resurrected hope in perilous times. Nevertheless, I am writing to see what websites I should navigate to find and apply for graduate grants as I am in great need of them. Whatever assistance provided will be greatly appreciate.

    Thanks for taking the time to listen, I hope to hear from you soon,


    Sena Ojo

  2. Whitney Jordan wrote:

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I had the pleasure of reading the up on grants offered to Graduate students at the following link:

    this link has resurrected hope in perilous times. Nevertheless, I am writing to see what websites I should navigate to find and apply for graduate grants as I am in great need of them. Whatever assistance provided will be greatly appreciate.

    Thanks for taking the time to listen, I hope to hear from you soon,


    Whitney Jordan

  3. Tricia Gustave wrote:

    To whom it may concern,

    My name is Tricia Gustave and I have my BA in Computer Engineer, Technology and my Minor in AutoCAD from the University of Houston. I have been employed at the same company for 11 years doing hardware/software installs for Architects and Engineer companies. I decided to expand my education about 2 years ago for an MBA in Information Technology. I have 1 more class left to graduate and I am seeking grants/scholarships to fund this class. Any assistance in the right direction would be greatly appreciate.

    Thank you for your time,

    Tricia Gustave

  4. Selam Alebel wrote:

    My name is Selam Alebel, 32 year women. I have my BA in Accounting with great distinction (3.75) and also Bsc Management information system. I wants study Master program in Accounting (MBA). I am seeking scholarships to fund my postgraduate program

  5. Maria Sandu wrote:

    To whom it may concern,

    My name is Maria Sandu. I am a mom returning to school and I am writing to find a grant to finance my MBA studies.Any information or assistance will be greatly appreciate.

    Thank you,

    Maria Sandu

  6. Kristen Moore wrote:

    To whom it may concern,

    My name is Kristen Moore. I recently graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology and Sociology (concentration in criminal justice) as well as completed the Pre-Medicine program. I am attending a doctoral program for clinical psychology (concentration in forensics) in Fall 2012 semester. I am 22 and have no income as of right now, my husband is getting out of the Marine Corps in August 2012 before he also starts back to school, for his BS in aviation. I am seeking any funding assistance and would greatly appreciate your advice/direction.

    Thank you,

    Kristen Moore

  7. Steve Miller wrote:

    I am interested in transitioning from my current level of education as a Physical Therapist Assistant and attending a Graduate Physical Therapsit program. Are there any oportunities for a 20 something middle class white man?

  8. Juliana Adepoju wrote:

    I am currently working and I am returning back to school at Bowie State University. I would like to know where I can access grants avaialble for graduate students. I am studying Oragnizationall Communications and look forward to teching in the future. Are theere any grants that support graduate students, and where can I access them? Thank you

  9. Alesha Scherffius wrote:

    I have recently been released from prison. I received my bachelors in Criminal Justice in 2004. While incarcerated I took some classes in business management and got to thinking of a way to help mentally ill offenders. I am looking to get my MBA to start my own business. Once it is off the ground I am looking to turn it into a non-profit to help mentally ill offenders in my home town. I would greatly appreciate any assistance in finding a way to fund my education being that I live off of my disability.
    Thank you for any assisstance you can provide.

  10. Qasim wrote:

    I am looking to find a grant that will allow me to pursue my gradute studies. I would like to open a community center here in the citty of chelsea, ma where I grew up at. I have a lot of ideas in which case I am eagered to begin this journey toward a Masters Degree. But I am just unsure as to the steps on pursuing the degree and proper funding. So it would be greatly appreciated if I could recieve proper information on pursuing my graduate degree and funding.

  11. LaToya wrote:

    I am seeking a Masters in counseling. I am an army spouse and having to get student loans at this point in time and I know when it is all over with we are going to be so far in debit and way over our head with this. I am really seeking grants, scholarships anything that would help out with the cost of college.

  12. mark giordano wrote:

    Hello, I am interested in finging out what state, federal and private grants are out they to go back to Graduate school. Please send me all sites or information where I may apply. Thank You.

  13. Maira wrote:

    Hello. I just completed my BA in psychology and want to pursue an MA in clinical psychology with a child and adolescene concentration. I was told that I am no longer eligible to receive financial aid because I am now a graudate student. I have a 3.79 GPA and am searching for scholarships and grants that could help pay for grad school. Any helpful information would be greatly appreciated.

  14. Polina Hachey wrote:

    Hello, I am interested in scholarships and grants to help to pay for my tuition in UCF. I am currently enrolled for Fall 2012 in graduate Criminal Justice program online. I have graduate from Russia with BA in foreign languages with GPA 3.78 and from Florida Keys Community College with GPA of 4.00.
    I would appreciate any help I can get in terms of looking for funds to pursue my dream of getting my MS in Criminal Justice Thank you!

  15. Rick Pearson wrote:

    I am looking for scholarships and grants that will pay for graduate school at UMUC. I am working on my masters degree in health administration…I plan to start classes spring/2013. Please help.

  16. Reolia Brinker wrote:

    I am a 58yr. old African American woman. I have two adult children, one is a full-time college student working on her Bachelors in Nursing. I recently graduated with a Bachelors of Professional Studies in Organizational Communications with honors. I am the youngest of 7 children and the only one who has achieved a college degree. I have over $44,000 in outstanding student loans; therefore, I am searching for grants/scholarships to fund my masters degree program. I would like to help adults struggling with literacy.

  17. adil wrote:

    i am medical student . i will graduate in February 2014 . i am looking for post graduate school er ship . Are there any grants that support graduate students, and where can I access them?
    Thank you

  18. Georgina wrote:

    I’m a 37 yr old Mexican and plan on furthering my education. Entering graduate school in about a month (or less) I am looking for grants for funding. I used loans to cover my BA degree and don’t wish to increase my loan amount any further ($70,000+). I have three children, 15, 4 & 2 yrs and soon our 15 yr old will be attending college.

  19. Orlando wrote:

    I am a 46 year old african american man who has two bachelors degrees, one of which is an engineering degree. I never used a loan in my life, so I graduated from undergraduate school debt free, and I want to continue that idea. I am interested in getting an MBA with a concentration in either decision science, finance or IT. I would love any information you have for grants for graduate students. All information is greatly appreciated. Thank You.

  20. Alyssa wrote:

    I was reccently accepted into the Speech Pathology Masters Program (Communication Disorders) and am curious if anyone knows of any grants or scholarships that are available. I was accepted into a MN school.

  21. Janetta wrote:


    I am a middle-age woman returning to College to get my MS in Psychology– Child and Adolescent Development. I have a BA in Psychology and an AA in Criminal Justice. I am the only child in my family to have a college degree and I am left-handed (my children are also Lefty’s). I am a U.S. Marine Veteran, wife to a Marine who will be retiring summer of 2014 and is working towards his BA in Electrical Engineering (he has 3-4 more years till he graduates), mother of 2 children (3 & 7) and have been a stay at home mom for the last 3 1/2 years due to having my last child. We live in Maryland. For me to get a job would not even cover the cost of childcare for both of my children. Our family would be paying out money for before/after care for my older child and pay daycare for my younger child for me to hold a job around here. Any Help would be greatly appreciated.

  22. Krista wrote:

    I graduated in undergraduate studies in 2012. I have a degree in education and psychology and a minor in coaching. I have been accepted to an accredited program to get my masters in Occupational Therapy. Because I had to fund my four years of college I am inundated with college loans. I Have always been an honor roll student and scholar/athlete. I am a memberof PCH in Psychology and Mortor Board I am determined to help others by working in this profession. Any grants available for my situation? THANKS

  23. Elizabeth E. L. Fon wrote:

    I need funding and grands for my tuition at graduate school

  24. Stephoanie Peterson wrote:

    I am writing because I would like to pursue a Master’s in Public Health and not able to take out alot of loans money because I am a single mom not knowing when I can repay the money back I trying to fins a website that I can obtain free grants moneywithout doing alot of paperwork for.

  25. Shirley Savino wrote:

    I am writing because I am working on my Ph.D. in Education and only have about a year left. I have exhausted all of my student loans. I have recently been diagnosed with an illness that only progresses. I am in dyer need for grants to help me pay for my remaining year of tuition. I have begun writing my dissertation, we have sold all of our assets, to pay for three quarters, but have nothing left to give. I promised my 13 year old son that I would finish before anything happened to me and I am sticking to that promise. One medication alone costs me $1000.00 per month that I must take for the rest of my life. Luckily my health insurance covers a portion of that. ANY assistance would be greatly appreciated.

  26. Valeria Gonzalez wrote:

    To whom it may concern:

    My name is Valeria, I am graduating with a BS in Nursing this coming December. I have an Associate degree in Nursing and I have been working as a Cardiovascular RN for three years. I am interested in continuing with my Doctorate in Nursing at the University of Utah.

  27. Monah Yancy wrote:

    Good afternoon,

    My name is Monah Yancy and I will be attending The Actor Studio Drama School at Pace University in the fall. I am looking for scholarships and grants that will assist with paying for school rather than take out loans. I excited about this new journey in my life, but need help on exactly what is out there for me. I am a 38 African American woman and most sites I visit I must live in that state to qualify. HELP!

  28. michael muraguri wrote:

    My name is Michael Muraguri,currently a first year graduate student @ Egerton university in kenya,undertaking Master of Research and Public.Am writing to find a grant to finance my studies.Any information or assistance will be greately appreciated.
    Michael Muraguri

  29. Getu wrote:

    I am Getu from Ethiopia having soil & water Engineering first degree with 3.26 GPA out of 4 points. I want to join graduate university in hydraulic or civil Engineering or any related field. I need funding and grand for scholarship chance tuition and living payment please

  30. Mary wrote:

    I am Mary from Nairobi Kenya.I secured full scholarship for Global MBA at Chonam National university Aug 31st intake.I need funding for living expenses and accommodation for the whole one year course worth USD7000 as stated in the certificate of admission.This will allow me apply for visa before it is too late.

    Kindly assist.

  31. kiflu biferu wrote:

    I would like to avail myself to a MBA sponsorship in my country, Ethiopia.

  32. Misheck Maganjo Munyi wrote:

    This is a humble request for funding Masters Studies. I am a Kenyan Citizen, a Civil Engineer. I am resident in Kenya. I have received an unconditional offer for a Master of Integrated Water Management (MIWM) at the University of Queensland, Australia. The Program,18 Month-long, will commence in February, 2017. Funding requirement for One year is Tuition Fees AUD$33280, Living Expenses AUD$18610 and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) AUD$946 giving a yearly total of AUD$52836. Total cost of the Programme is estimated at AUD$92645 by International WaterCentre (IWC) which has awarded me AUD$7000 partial Tuition Scholarship and AUD$2500 Airfare to Brisbane, Australia. Offer package attached. Thank you.
    Kind regards,

    Misheck M. Munyi

  33. Ibrahim m. Hassan wrote:

    Hello am Ibrahim completed my undergraduate in Kenyatta University and was just employed by county government of Marsabit in Kenya and wanted to do my msc in lands and water resources management at University of Nairobi and I really in need of assistance to do my Msc for this reason I will appreciate if I get financial support. thanks

  34. Savannah wrote:

    Hi! I am a former graduate from NYU with a degree in Drama. I am looking to go back to a career college for Dental Assisting. Are there any grants that I can get? Thank you for your time.

  35. Jada Brown wrote:

    To Whom it May concern,

    Good afternoon, I am Jada from South Carolina. I am a 2015 graduate from the College of Charleston with a B.S. in Exercise Science. Over the past 2 years I have worked in a chiropractic office and obtained observation hours in various clinics so that I may meet requirements for Physical Therapy School. I am currently enrolled in doctoral of physical therapy program at Howard University and seeking funding for my school and living expenses. Due to circumstances with the school I was notified later than normal of my acceptance into the program back in April of 2017 and have still not received any notification of Financial Aid. I have tried obtaining loans without a cosigner so that they are not responsible for my debt and have thus been unsuccessful in attaining enough aid. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated as it will allow me to pursue my schooling and take care of any bills and living arrangements I may acquire while in school.
    Jada B.

  36. larex folly wrote:

    Request for a grant to run an already secured admission in to an overseas university to run a masters degree programme. Thanks……

  37. Nelson Naanpukin Bimi wrote:

    I am 53 years and working as ICT (IT) teacher and needs €6000 to do my MBA degree which will help me plan for my retirement career . If this my request is granted, it will help me pursue this program at Ghana Technology University College in Ghana, Accra. Thanks in anticipation.

  38. betiel wrote:

    hi my name beti i am looking forinternational scholar i want to ask do give distance eduction

  39. Anna Huff wrote:

    To whom it may concern
    My name is Anna Huff. I am a single mother of a Child with special needs. I’m currently working full time for non-profit. I’m looking for financial help to pay for books and class studies. to complete my Masters in social work.
    Any help or guidance wold be greatly appreciated.
    Anna Huff

  40. DeAna Oliver wrote:

    My name is DeAna Oliver and I recently graduated from Penn State University, with a degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services with a minor in Labor Employment Relations. I maintained above a 3.0 while being Captain of a Division1 Team. I am seeking funding to pursue my Masters Degree in England, starting in September. I will be pursuing my Masters in Human Resources Management and Organization. Anything would help!
    Thank You!

  41. Megan K Zumbuhl wrote:

    I am Megan Zumbuhl and I am from Raymond, WA. I will be a first generation college student and I begin in the fall. I have a 4.0 and I am rated 4 overall in my class. My mom is a single-unemployed mother. I have a job so I am a primary source of income in my house but it’s hard because I am still a student and I still plan to go to college at Lewis Clark State College. Anything would help.

  42. Alicia wrote:


    I am in need of financing my graduate degree in
    Social work. I have been accepted into a program however I need financial assistance.

  43. Miranda Aldrich wrote:

    Hi, my name is Miranda Aldrich and I am graduating from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY in May 2020. I have been accepted into Social Work for my Master’s degree at Syracuse University and would appreciate financial assistance towards my degree and for furthering my education.

    Thank you very much! Anything would help and be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for your time.

  44. Delia G. wrote:

    I am Delia G. and I am from Lima, Peru residence in USA. I am searching for a scholarships or grants to cover my Master Degree. I have an Accounting Undergraduate from Lima, Peru and transfer all credits to USA. I already had be accepted to a University but it is too expensive. I have a 3.02 GPA. I am the primary income provider. What resources will I able to find to get assistance ?
    Thank you,


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