How do I apply for graduate financial aid?

In the following order:

  • File your FAFSA. The FAFSA financial aid application qualifies you for most sources of federal student aid and is required by some private, non-government sources of aid as well. It's a misconception that graduate students can't or shouldn't file the FAFSA. Everyone should.
  • Find scholarships, fellowships, and grants. Scholarships are the single best source of funding for graduate school as they're dollars you don't have to repay. Visit our free scholarship search site, and the ScholarshipPoints program, for more information about locating scholarships.
  • See if you qualify for any teaching assistantships. Working during graduate school is one of the better ways, assuming you can manage your time well, to graduate with less debt. If you don't, consider working at least part time.
  • Apply for the Graduate Stafford Loan using our online application. Graduate Stafford loans are a good place to start as they are not credit-based and most students qualify.
  • Weigh the differences between a graduate PLUS loan and a graduate private student loan, as varying interest rates and other credit conditions may make one loan program better than the other at differing times.

Did you still have questions you need answers to? Ask in our Graduate Financial Aid Forum!

Back to Graduate Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions »

Other graduate financial aid questions