Grad school is an animal that is almost completely different from the undergrad experience. One of the most significant ways it differs is within cost: graduate school tends, on a per-credit basis, to be more expensive compared to undergrad classes. The corollary for this bit of information is that financial aid is considerably less available to graduate students than to their undergraduate counterparts.
Thus, one of a grad student’s — or potential grad student’s — most important decisions is how to pay for grad school. Generally, you will receive notice pretty early in the process of figuring out which college you will attend. Some schools may even provide financial aid information along with your approval letter. Dr . Don Martin, an education writer for U. S. News and Entire world Report , offers these tips for getting the most out of your graduate student financial aid package:
1 . Complete all scholarship plus loan forms and documents. As with you application materials, this should be done correctly and on time. Unfortunately, some students miss out on financial aid because they did not submit their paperwork on time, they did not follow directions or even they made mistakes. If you do not obtain information on financial aid within one week of being admitted, contact the financial aid workplace.
2 . Be prepared to do some good-faith negotiating on the financial aid offers you receive. I saw numerous admitted students do this the wrong way. They might contact me, and say, “I’ve just received your financial aid offer. Another school has offered me twice as much — will you complement or exceed that amount? ” This is not the way to handle things.
You can negotiate provides by contacting the person who signed your own admission letter. Start by thanking them for admitting you and for the good financial aid the school has already offered. This is such a simple gesture, but it will go a long way. Let them know you are considering some other options — which they expect — yet do not indicate how much you have been provided elsewhere unless you are asked.
Finally, ask if the college has a policy that enables staff to re-evaluate a financial aid package. The answer to this question will most likely be yes. Then ask, “Would you consider re-evaluating my offer, and can I provide any information to assist with that? ”
Your request may not lead to additional funding, but it will be met with a much more positive response about re-evaluating your award.
3. Request an registration deposit extension. There is nothing wrong with requesting an extension if you need a single. Enrollment deposits are almost always non-refundable, plus they are getting pretty high — a few institutions charge a few hundred bucks, while others charge several thousand.
Admitted students waiting to hear from all other programs or waiting to hear about financial aid from other programs to which they have been admitted should consider requesting an enrollment deposit extension. Students just who may be reconsidering their decision to start grad school that year and are thinking about deferring should also consider asking for an extension.
Contact the particular admissions office, and ask if you can possess a few extra weeks before submitting your deposit. If your rationale is credible, you will usually be given a little extra time.
4. Do not stop asking for assistance when you have enrolled. Graduate scholarship bucks are being received throughout the academic year. The key is knowing when to ask about them.
The best time to ask if additional funding has become available is a few weeks before last exams. Go to the financial aid office and enquire if any additional funds have become available. But don’t stop there; ensure it is known that you are willing provide any information needed to be considered for these extra funds.
While these tips are by no means exhaustive and may not assure success in funding all of your graduate school aid needs, they will place you ahead of the game — plus hopefully ahead of other students, too — when it comes to paying for grad college.