About Scholarships and Other Funding Options for Your Master’s Degree
One of the most important decisions you are going to make as you pursue your master’s degree in education is how to pay for it. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can get assistance to fund your continuing education. How much financial aid you can get depends upon a few factors:
· Your record of achievement in your undergraduate program
· What specific field you are studying in your master’s of education program
· Your geographic location
· Which school you are attending
Depending on those factors, you often can find some way of easing the cost of your degree. Generally speaking, financial aid for your master’s degree will fall into three areas:
While it is true that scholarships and grants are more common for undergraduate degrees, there are still quite a few available for graduate students. The first place to look is at the university you are attending. Everyone knows that graduate school is expensive, and schools want to attract top candidates. There may be more school and private scholarships available than you might think. Here are some places to look for scholarships:
· Your graduate school: Ask your financial aid office for any scholarships for people seeking a master’s in education.
· Professional organizations: Look for scholarships at any professional organization on campus, or any with which you are affiliated.
· Scholarships That Are Career Specific: There are many graduate scholarships for particular fields (see our list here).
· Gender/Ethnicity-Specific: There are many other scholarships that are targeted towards women and minorities.
Also, you should look into scholarships for master’s degree students in that particular state. And, ask at your financial aid office if there are any local companies or other organizations that sponsor scholarships.
See some of the available scholarships we found for master’s of education students.
Loan Forgiveness Programs
While these are not exactly scholarships, this can be a great way to cancel out a big chunk of your student loan debt. One of the most common programs is the federal one called the Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers. You can cancel up to $17,500 of debt if you work for five years in specific elementary schools and secondary schools in low income areas. There are other federal loan forgiveness programs available through the Department of Education.
Graduate Teaching Assistantship
Many universities offer you the opportunity to learn how to teach effectively while you are in graduate school, and on top of it you receive a tuition remission and sometimes even a stipend.
A graduate teaching assistant can often get an annual stipend of $6,000-$15,000, as well as no cost tuition. This can be a huge help to getting you through graduate school without a boatload of debt.
And, you also will gain invaluable experience teaching in a real classroom, and you will be able to learn from other faculty as well.
A teaching assistant position is a lot of work; you will need to teach several classes, grade papers, have office hours to meet with students, and perhaps running lab sessions. But it is a fine way to save money and gain education at the same time.