One of the biggest concerns people often have about graduate school is its cost. A student has to factor in tuition, living expenses, food, transportation, and books — all of which add up to a considerable amount.
However some schools offer tuition coverage along with a modest stipend to help offset these costs. Most PhD programs in the sciences have a stipend of this form in return for the students’ activity as a research assistant (RA) or teaching assistant (TA).
But what to do if the program you’re interested in doesn’t offer tuition coverage or stipends? There are other ways of finding scholarships that can help you at least partially cover your expenses so you have the flexibility to apply to the graduate programs of your choice.
Scholarships are monetary awards that are typically designed for a specific goal such as covering a student’s partial or full tuition. Most scholarships are one-time grants that are merit-based and require an application.
A fellowship is typically a long-term competitive award. Many fellowships include scholarships that pay for partial or full tuition. Fellowships often require participation in a research project or other activity, either during a candidate’s program or post graduation. Fellowships may also involve some form of return to the school through outreach, research, or activity in a program.
You can find more scholarships and fellowships at these websites:
Picture courtesy 401K 2012 (flickr)
Visit the campus you’re considering and talk to current graduate students there. You want to get a real sense of what their life is like and hear their honest feedback about the school. — Gary White, director of the Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma, Podcast Episode #3