Financial Aid Options for Graduate School

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Financial Aid
Financial Aid

Although Pell Grants or subsidized Stafford loans are not available for graduate students,
there are several financial aid options available for graduate students:

A number of graduate programs offer students money towards financing their education.

Ph.D. programs are more likely than PSY.D programs to offer student funding, and doctoral programs are more likely than masters programs.

  • Merit-based scholarships for highly qualified students who the program is eager to attract.
  • Research or teaching assistantships. A research assistant works with
    a professor to explore a particular area of research. A teaching assistant
    usually grades papers, prepares notes and assists a professor in teaching
    graduate or undergraduate courses.

Unsubsidized Stafford and Graduate Plus Loans

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

  • Students can borrow up to 20,500 per year
  • Acceptance is not based on credit
  • The current interest rate is 5.41%.

After exhausting the funding from Stafford loans, students can also apply for a Graduate Plus Loan

  • The loan amount can cover the entire tuition amount
  • Applicants need to pass a simple credit check, and must also file a FAFSA, even though the Graduate Plus Loans are not need-based
  • The current interest rate is 6.41%.

Tax Incentives

The IRS also offers a tax incentive for graduate students in the form of the Lifetime Learning Credit.

  • Credit for up to 20% of the first 10,000 in expenses, totaling a maximum of a 2,000 non-refundable tax credit (non-refundable means that it can only be used to reduce your tax liability, not to increase your refund).
  • Credit is reduced depending on income and is phased out entirely above a certain income.