Ascent Blog: Blog

Your 2022 Guide to Voting in College: Tips for Students and First-Time Voters
Oct 01, 2022 | By: Erica Arvanitis
Categories: Blog, For Students, For Cosigners, For Schools, For College Students, For Parents and Cosigners
Being a college student means you’re consistently busy. Whether it’s figuring out where to live, what classes to take, or… Read More
10 Key Financial Terms To Know Before You Graduate
Sep 21, 2022 | By: Breanna Knight
Categories: Blog, For Students, For College Students, For High School Students, For Grad Students
Transitioning out of school can be overwhelming and often comes with many changes. Whether it’s graduating from high school, moving… Read More
What is EFC and What Does it Mean on FAFSA?
Sep 19, 2022 | By: Ascent
Categories: Blog, For Cosigners
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) determines how much financial aid you would receive based on your family's taxed and untaxed income,… Read More
What is FAFSA and How Does it Work?
Sep 15, 2022 | By: Ascent
Categories: Blog, For Students, For Cosigners, For High School Students
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form current and future students need to fill out to… Read More
What is a Coding Bootcamp and How Does It Work?
Sep 13, 2022 | By: Ascent
Categories: Blog, For High School Students, For Bootcamps
A coding bootcamp is an accelerated learning program for students to learn how to code in different programming languages. Learn… Read More
Building a Digital Portfolio Website as a Student
Sep 08, 2022 | By: Jennifer Ly - SDSU Marketing Operations Intern
Categories: Blog, For Students, For College Students
I like to think of portfolios as an extension of a resume. Portfolios are filled with things I wish to… Read More
5 Ascent Interns Share Their Best Productivity Tips
Sep 06, 2022 | By: Gemma Cook - Social Media Marketing Intern
Categories: For Students, For College Students, For High School Students, For Grad Students
We asked 5 Ascent interns to share their best productivity tips for balancing academics, work, and other commitments. Read More
What’s the Difference Between Federal and Private Student Loans?
Federal and private student loans each have benefits and drawbacks. Learn more about what makes them different and more from… Read More
Conversations on Coaching with Felicia Wetzel, Ascent’s Student Success Coach
Jul 26, 2022 | By: Breanna Knight
Categories: Blog, For Students, For College Students, For High School Students
Felicia Wetzel is a part of the Ascent team, driving students to become their best selves through her expertise as… Read More
How to Pay for Graduate School
Jul 26, 2022 | By: Ascent
Categories: Blog, For Students, For Grad Students
Thinking of applying to grad school but don't know how to pay for it? Learn about the many ways to… Read More

{
“@context”: “https://schema.org/”,
“@type”: “HowTo”,
“name”: “How to Pay for Graduate School”,
“description”: “Thinking of applying to grad school but don’t know how to pay for it? Learn about the many ways to pay for graduate school without overwhelming debt.”,
“image”: “https://www.ascentfunding.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Grad-School-Blog.jpg”,
“step”: [{
“@type”: “HowToStep”,
“text”: “Figuring out how to pay for grad school can be stressful. At times it might seem like an impossible dream. But, like most impossible tasks, student loans for grad school start to feel possible when you lay out all the details. That’s why we suggest starting by building a budget to see what your grad school expenses look like
In this budget, you’ll factor in everything you’ll need for graduate school, like books, living expenses, and the cost of tuition. Then, do a financial wellness check and list your monthly expenses, including any subscriptions you might have or other bills. Your budget will provide an overview of your current spending habits and help you find what to cut.
Building a budget can also help you see how often you use your debit or credit card. If you find yourself shopping at the same stores each month, look to see if your bank offers rewards programs. Some can give cash back or bonus points toward your next bill. The small steps you take now can help you as you go to grad school and start to manage your money smarter.
Now that you have a budget, let’s explore financial aid.”,
“name”: “1. Build a Budget”
},{
“@type”: “HowToStep”,
“text”: “Hopefully, your budget gives you a better idea of your expenses. It can help you understand your options to pay for grad school.
If you haven’t already completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), we recommend taking the time to submit yours soon after the October 1st release. The FAFSA is a government form that helps determine your eligibility for federal aid like grants, scholarships, federal loans, and other programs like work-study. You’ll need your federal tax forms handy to complete your FAFSA application. Check out our FAFSA 101 guide for more details.
Unlike completing the FAFSA as an undergraduate student, graduate and professional students will apply for grad school financial aid as independent students, so you won’t need to worry about having your parent’s federal tax info available.
The Federal Student Aid website offers a comprehensive “Graduate School Preparation Checklist” with more information on how and when to apply for the FAFSA.
Once you receive your Student Aid Report, you’ll be able to see which federal aid you’re eligible for to apply to pay for grad school. If you find you have enough to cover the cost of attendance and maybe your books, be sure to include that in your budget.”,
“name”: “2. Apply for the FAFSA”
},{
“@type”: “HowToStep”,
“text”: “One of the federal programs you may qualify for, based on your Student Aid Report after completing the FAFSA, is Federal Work-Study. Federal Work-Study provides undergraduate and graduate students with part-time jobs based on financial needs. This means you could work for your university, a non-profit organization, or a public agency while in school and be paid at least minimum wage, depending on the job.
Remember that all federal aid, including work-study, is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.”,
“name”: “3. Consider a Work-Study Program”
},{
“@type”: “HowToStep”,
“text”: “If work-study isn’t an option for you, you can still look for a part-time job or an internship to help you earn money while going to grad school.

When finding a part-time job, check your school’s website. There’s usually a hub of on-campus jobs for students to choose from, especially if you plan on living on campus and don’t have access to a car or other transportation. On-campus jobs probably come and go quickly, so if you can’t find a job nearby, explore Indeed or LinkedIn for other opportunities.
Internships can be a great way to build a network and meet people with the jobs you ultimately want after graduation. For tips on finding your dream internship, check out our 9-step internship checklist.
If accepting a 9-month or 12-month internship is too long of a commitment or requires you to travel off-campus, look into micro-internships as a possible alternative. Most micro-internships are virtual and shorter in length, usually between 5-40 hours of work. You’ll get the chance to work for real companies on short-term projects, giving you the ultimate resume boost. You can take on a micro-internship while working another part-time job or internship to provide you with even more flexibility with your cash throughout the school year.
Whether you apply for a part-time job, internship, or micro-internship, make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself with too many obligations – or prioritize your job over your classwork. Remember, you’re attending grad school for a reason.”,
“name”: “4. Explore Part-Time Jobs & Internships”
},{
“@type”: “HowToStep”,
“text”: “Beyond the FAFSA, companies offer scholarship opportunities all year long. They can be a great way to cover your extra costs to pay for grad school.
Scholarships are a great way to earn money in school while not stressing about having to pay them back since scholarships are free money you win. Some scholarship giveaways require an essay, while others, like Ascent’s scholarships, don’t require an essay. To help you get started, check out our top tips for applying for private scholarships.
On the other hand, students can apply for fellowships in a specific academic program, project, or research. You could be required to assist in teaching or get an internship in the field you want to work in after graduate school. Depending on your focus, fellowships are merit-based scholarships offered to grad students for advanced academic study.
Now that we’ve covered most ways to pay for grad school, we’ll dive into alternative options, including employee programs and private student loans.”,
“name”: “5. Check Out Private Scholarships & Fellowships”
},{
“@type”: “HowToStep”,
“text”: “If you’re currently working, your employer may offer a tuition reimbursement benefit to employees. Some employers value education and want to help their employees pay for college/grad school if they can. While there is no guarantee that your employer will help, it doesn’t hurt to check out any programs they may have.”,
“name”: “6. Ask Your Employer for Help”
},{
“@type”: “HowToStep”,
“text”: “Private student loans are the best option for graduate students who may not qualify for need-based assistance but still need financial support to pay for grad school.
Do your research and ensure you’ll be able to borrow what you need for school while considering the other financial opportunities we mentioned. Depending on your situation, you may apply for a private student loan with a cosigner or go solo. Applying with an eligible cosigner may help you qualify for lower interest rates. Applying for a non-cosigned loan can help you build credit in your name. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each one before applying.”,
“name”: “7. Look into Private Student Loans”
},{
“@type”: “HowToStep”,
“text”: “Last but not least – If you have some time to save before grad school, you may consider opening a savings account and start to set aside some money. You can use this to cover tuition and books or as an emergency fund if unexpected expenses arise. It’s never too late to start a savings account, especially if you plan on working while going to school.
Look at some other budget tips to see if they can help you save a little.”,
“name”: “8. Open a Savings Account”
}]
}