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Graduate School Scholarships and Grants

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I learned that I was going to be continuing my education late July, which is very late to start applying for scholarships and grants. Does anyone have any advice about where to go to apply for scholarships or grants that are still open? #scholarships #grants #gradschool

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Jennifer’s Answer


Congrats, Makenzie! That’s awesome


My first recommendation would be to check in with both your school’s financial aid office & your grad school’s admissions department to ask if they have any other potential scholarships or grants that you can be considered for.

I would then reach out to any professors who helped write recommendations for you, as well as your concentration’s department chair to find out if they possibly have knowledge of any other donor programs (perhaps through alums) that might be willing to help fund and defray the total cost.

The third recommendation I would make would be to look at your institution’s policy on tuition remission or tuition reimbursement. These are sometimes benefits that certain higher ed institutions offer for employees (usually full-time employees). With tuition remission, you work full-time and then take a part-time class load, get good grades, and then at the end of the semester if you meet certain grade criteria, you are responsible for only paying a certain proportion of the cost (my alma mater is pretty generous in that 90% is covered up to 4 classes a year, depending on cost). With tuition reimbursement, you have to pay the tuition cost up-front out of your own pocket, then if you make it through the semester, get good grades and are still full-time employed by the university, you file paperwork to get reimbursed for a percentage of your costs. These types of programs give you the opportunity to have an income stream coming in (even if it’s for a position that isn’t directly related to your degree), while keeping your ultimate out-of-pocket expenses much lower. Sometimes, there’s a probationary period involved (6 months) or where you need to have already started working as a full-time employee by the time the semester has started in order to qualify for enrollment in classes that are covered under a tuition remission/reimbursement benefit model. If you’re able to find an opening within your department, that may also help open other doors down the line when you finally graduate. The downside to this is that it often means that the length of time it’ll take you to complete your degree may double in length. I would strongly recommend looking into this option if your institution offers it, especially given that the semester is likely to start sonic and it might be challenging to compete for other funding this late. However, it’ll hopefully give you more time to possibly find other funding.

I would also reach out to other professional organizations that people in your field typically join after graduation - those types of groups sometimes have philanthropic donors who are looking to help finance the education of other new upcoming practitioners in the field.

You can also check the Guidestar website and their data on universities, etc. 1099 PFs are tax filings that list the largest private foundation donors, and they might help you identify potential places to loo for funding from historical donors. You can also check the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Reach out to your school’s alumni office, as well, since they may have leads.

Good Luck!