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Graduate School Financial Assistance

Many individuals give up on attending graduate school for financial reasons. Graduate school can be expensive; therefore, it is very important to consider and apply for all types of financial aid. The most common types of financial aid are reviewed below. Also, review websites such as The Financial Aid office has an extensive list of available external funding sources here.

Grants & Fellowships - Most grants and fellowships are awards that provide the cost of tuition and fees plus a stipend (salary) to cover living expenses. As a rule, grants are given to those with financial need while fellowships are awarded more often for academic achievement. Funding for grants and fellowships may be provided by the school itself, as well as private foundations, industry, or government agencies. A fellowship sometimes requires students to provide a service to the school.

Assistantships - Awarded by individual departments, assistantships require students to provide a service to the university in exchange for a stipend. Assistantships tend to be in the areas of teaching, research, and administration. Often times, tuition is subsidized or waived outright. Assistantship areas and responsibilities will vary according to program or department.

Education Loans - Most institutions have loan programs for which graduate students may be eligible. These programs can include the Federal Perkins Loan Program, the Subsidized & Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan Program, and private/state sponsored Guaranteed Student Loan Programs.

College Work-Study Program - Eligible students are provided part-time employment during the academic year and possibly full or part-time employment during the summer.

Other Employment - Some schools have arrangements with local businesses and industries whereby a student might be utilized for research or consultation.

Minority Resources - Many graduate and professional schools have allotted resources to the recruitment and retention of minority graduate students. This additional funding has created more fellowship/grant awards and has provided a greater ability to bring prospective students to campuses. Inquire about minority programs when requesting application and financial aid information from schools and programs of interest.

Career Development Center

Buffalo State College  •  1300 Elmwood Avenue  •  Cleveland Hall 306
Buffalo, New York 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-5811  •  Fax: (716) 878-3152