Graduate Government Financial Aid
Unlike your undergraduate financial aid, loans are usually the only form of government financial aid offered during graduate school. You must still complete FASFA to receive federal financial aid for graduate programs. Many students receive Federal Pell Grants during their undergrad but they are rarely offered in graduate school and only to those who are enrolled in a teacher certification program. There are graduate assistant and work study options available for students to work on campus and receive financial assistance. You must apply to these graduate assistant programs through the school of which you will be attending. Federal financial aid options include:
Federal loans have a maximum limit on how much you may pull. The Direct Loan Program tops off at $20,500 a year but there are some exceptions for certain health professions programs. The Perkins loan is for students with great financial need and the limit is $8,000 a year. If you pull all of your federal loans and are still in need of financial assistance you may seek aid from private loans at a bank or credit union.
Click here for graduate school financial aid information
Public vs. Private School Financial Aid
Public schools are funded by state and local governments with taxpayer money which typically makes them a cheaper option compared to private schools, which do not receive government funding. Not all schools participate in the federal student aid programs so it is important to call the school and ask. Private schools may be non-profit or for-profit which may affect federal loan availability.
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Tip: Thinking about attending school out of state? Some schools offer in-state tuition after your first year at the school, this varies by state and program. Ask your school of interest if this option is available to you when researching programs.