Major Decisions Involved in Paying for Grad School

If you want to get an advanced degree without taking on a lot of debt, you should think about how to pay for grad school without taking out loans. Despite the fact that graduate education is costly, there are methods to pay for it without going into debt.

How to pay for graduate school without taking out loans?

If you've determined that going to graduate school is the appropriate move for you.

Here are some alternatives for paying for it without taking out loans:

  • Get a job at a university
  • Consider applying for a graduate assistantship.
  • Look for a job that pays for your education.
  • Make a formal application for specialized programs and awards.
  • Seek for "accelerated" or "certificate" programs.

Plus, are you ready for graduate school?

1. Get a job at a university

Getting a job at a university is one way to pay for graduate school without taking out loans. As an employment bonus, you may be eligible for free tuition at that university once you've been hired.

The requirements differ from one university to the next. Some require that the applicant be employed full-time, while others need that they have worked for a certain amount of time.

Mrs Frugalwoods, a prominent financial blogger who goes by the moniker "Mrs Frugalwoods," detailed how she went to graduate school without taking out any loans in a viral article a few years ago. She claimed that doing a lot of research was the key.

Mrs Frugalwoods spent a substantial amount of time investigating colleges in the Washington, D.C., region with job listings that matched her skills, knowing that people who work at many universities may attend graduate school for free.

She found a position at American University, a private university with a high cost of attendance for graduate students. She started working in August so that when January rolled around, she could begin a new semester with her program paid in full.

Working and studying at the same time isn't simple, and paying for school this way involves committing to the same employer for several years. To be eligible for tuition reimbursement, you'll almost certainly have to work full-time. Furthermore, simply because you work at the institution does not guarantee your admittance to the graduate program.

There may be tax consequences as well. Depending on the program and agreement, you may be required to pay taxes on the degree's value, even though you are receiving it for free. Understanding the tiny print might help you completely comprehend what the tuition remission benefit entails for you.

2. Consider applying for a graduate assistantship

A graduate assistantship is a part-time job at the university where you will be pursuing your master's degree. Unlike the example above, with a graduate assistantship, your primary focus is on your studies, and the assistantship is designed to help you obtain experience in your chosen profession.

An assistantship might entail a range of tasks, although it is generally focused on research or teaching. It might entail instructing undergrads, evaluating papers, or assisting professors with research.

Some assistantships cover the whole cost of tuition while also offering a stipend. Of course, it might be difficult to stretch a stipend far enough to pay living expenses, food, and school-related fees, especially if you reside in a high-cost-of-living location.

However, you will be completely engaged in your field of study and will have access to networking and professional growth possibilities if you take up an assistantship.

3. Look for a job that pays for your education

Some firms provide tuition assistance to encourage workers to continue their education and gain new skills. Large companies such as Starbucks, Best Buy, and Home Depot are examples.

Each business has its own set of policies. Starbucks, for example, will cover the whole cost of an online degree from Arizona State University. Home Depot will reimburse up to $5,000 per year to qualified schools, while Best Buy would reimburse up to $3,500 for undergraduate study and up to $5,250 for graduate work.

If you already have a job, inquire about tuition reimbursement through your HR department. Some employers may offer it on a case-by-case basis, particularly if the subject of study is directly connected to your present position. Working as an assignment help and essay help provider can help students to earn more.

Once you've identified firms that provide tuition reimbursement as a benefit, go out to existing workers to learn how they managed to go to school while working. Before committing, learn everything you can about the program and the agreement.

It's also crucial to be aware of your employer's expectations. Could you work on a part-time basis throughout some semesters? Do you have to commit to working at the same location for a specific number of years after your company decides to pay you for graduate school?

Examine how working full-time and attending school will influence your lifestyle, and be sure it's something you're willing to commit to. Dual responsibilities to school and employment might be challenging for some people.

4. Make a formal application for specialized programs and awards

Many institutions give financial help for graduate education through specialized programs, fellowships, scholarships, and grants. Michigan State University, for example, has fellowship programs that provide financial assistance to graduate students.

State governments fund some awards. For example, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources awards a grant to Ohio-based graduate students who are studying the state's geology.

Your undergraduate adviser may be able to help, as well as the financial aid offices of the graduate institutions you're interested in. Because some grants and scholarships are based on faculty recommendations, getting to know professors in the department where you want to study might be useful to learn about programs and acquire prospective grant recommendations.

5. Look for programs that are "accelerated" or "certificate" programs

Certain options are limited when it comes to the number of years it takes to finish a graduate degree. Other initiatives, on the other hand, may be expedited, lowering the cost. Universities, for example, frequently offer five-year dual BA/MA programs that allow students to finish with both degrees.

It's also worth considering whether you need graduate school at all or whether a specialized certificate program might be a better fit for your professional goals. Part-time courses in specific fields, such as UX design, can help you develop in your profession and can be a less expensive option to determine if the advanced study is appropriate for you.

Is graduate school the best choice for you?

Before you figure out how to pay for grad school without taking out loans, you should think about if going to school is the best choice for you. The first question is whether grad school is required to attain your professional objectives. For certain professions, such as law or medicine, the answer is obvious: a specialist degree is required.

However, the solution may not be as straightforward in other disciplines. Speaking with mentors, contacting alumni of graduate schools you're interested in, speaking with recruiters, and networking within your industry may all help you determine how vital grad school is for your career growth and financial future.

Perhaps your major reason for attending graduate school isn't to add another line to your résumé but rather to pursue a Ph.D. academic pathway. In certain situations, scholarships for scholars in your area may be offered.

Discuss the highs and lows with others who have walked the route, as well as what they wish they had known or done differently. Knowing what your life could look like in the next several years will help you pick the best plan for you — and your money account.

Here are the most acceptable student loan alternatives for graduate students if you decide to take out a modest amount of debt to bridge a financing gap.

Top 3 Grad School Funding Suggestions

1. Always complete the FAFSA.

It makes no difference whether you use federal student loans or not. Just in case, you should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for each year of graduate school.

It's also the sole method to be considered for work-study programs. Filling it out might be a nuisance, but it doesn't take long and is well worth it.

2. Select a School That Is Within Your Financial Means

Make sure that tuition is a significant element in your selection while looking for a suitable graduate program.

Despite the cost, it's enticing to attend a famous institution. What counts most, though, is that you perform the work and get the degree, not the university's prestige.

3. Take your time and go as slowly as you need to

You can still qualify for federal loans as long as you are a part-time student. If you're paying for school out of pocket, taking only a few classes every semester can help you save money.

Don't feel obligated to complete your degree quickly in order to "keep up" with your peers. Working at your own speed may be beneficial to your stress levels as well as your bank account. Make the best decision for yourself.


Before enrolling in any graduate degree program, don't forget to answer those first two questions. The cost/benefit analysis can help you assess whether or not graduate education is worthwhile for you in the first place; how your pay will influence your future steps.

This is a basic overview of the most frequent methods for funding graduate school, but you should conduct an additional study before making a final selection. Do not hesitate to reach out to an affordable assignment help service to get assistance.

About Author:

Max is a contributing writer to LiveWebTutors. He is a podcaster, style coach and has been a blogger and a professional blogger writing about educational skills, personal development and motivation since 2010. He operates a team of experts and qualified professionals who will provide high-quality Assignment Help Washington.


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