Scholarships for graduate students are often overlooked, despite the fact that financial aid is widely available for undergraduate students. According to Kari Hooker, the director of scholarships at San Diego State University, approximately 29% of all scholarships awarded during the 2022-2023 cycle were given to graduate students.
The Center for American Progress reported that graduate students make up around 15% of the higher education student population, and the availability and funding amounts of scholarships can vary depending on the program. Nonetheless, experts emphasize that even small amounts of funding can make a significant difference.
Nellie Gaynor, an admissions counselor specializing in graduate school and MBA programs at Ivywise, highlighted that private colleges and universities tend to offer more scholarships due to their substantial endowments. However, Gaynor advises students to carefully evaluate these scholarship opportunities in the context of the entire package being offered, including academic programs, campus life, location, fit, and overall cost.
Ultimately, scholarships should be viewed as one aspect of the larger decision-making process when choosing between different admissions offers.
The application process for graduate scholarships can vary, but it often involves completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), writing an essay, and obtaining a letter of recommendation.
For prospective graduate and professional students, there are several factors to consider when searching for scholarships to finance an advanced degree.