Graduate Grants — Funding Your Second Degree

Pursuing a post graduate degree can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. In some industries, a graduate degree is necessary to start or advance your career in them. Whether you are bouncing from an undergraduate program right into a graduate program or you are reentering school as a career move, chances are good you are going to need a few graduate grants to help you pay for your degree. While not as plentiful as grants for undergraduates, you can find graduate grants in a number of places. Unfortunately, help from the government is limited. Beside a couple of department specific programs, most of the financial help you'll receive will be in the form of loans such as the Graduate Stafford Loan or the Perkins Loan.

That leaves the private sector as your place to look for graduate grants. The primary place you will find them is with organizations and educational facilities that may be looking for student pursuing a specific course of study. For example, the American Graduate Fellowships program provides two fellowships to student pursuing a doctoral study in the humanities. The Intercollegiate Studies Institute provides fellowships to students who plan to teach at a college level. The Mensa Education and Research Foundation offers graduate grants based on an essay submission.

There are several graduate grants aimed at assisting women and minority groups. So if you fall into either demographic you may be in a better position to get graduate grants that will pay for some of your advanced degree. Here are a just a few programs available. Native Americans are eligible for the Gerald Peet Fellowship or the Katrin Lamon Fund. Graduate grants that any minority group can apply for include the GEM Masters or Ph.D. Engineering Fellowship Programs, the American Geological Institute Minority Participation Program Geoscience Student Scholarships, the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, and the National Medical Fellowships Inc.

A last place to look for graduate grants is with corporations. Many of them offer grants to people participating in undergraduate degree programs, there may be a few who also offer the same to graduates. Be aware, however, that these corporations may require you to work for their company either while you are in school or after you have finished your program. Therefore, be sure to read the fine print of the graduate grants you apply for. While much more challenging than finding money for your first degree, you can find funding for your second degree. Just look everywhere you can and don't give up until you find that perfect program for you.

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