Where to Find Financial Aid for Graduate Students

Where to Find Financial Aid for Graduate Students

Getting a graduate degree can provide you with more employment options and opportunities. However, graduate studies don’t come cheap. It would take a lot of financial planning for you to afford graduate school education in case you earn just a meager income and haven’t saved up for this. Don’t lose hope, though, because there are various organizations that provide financial aid and grant loans as well as scholarships for those looking to pursue graduate school education.


Check whether the graduate school you’re applying to is a member of federal student aid programs. If it is, check the requirements that will make you eligible for federal student aid. You can then start filling up the application form through FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

In-house financial aid and scholarship programs

There are many graduate schools offering in-house scholarship and financial aid programs. Schools that are participating members of the federal student aid use the FAFSA to get information regarding a student’s eligibility and financial status.

If you plan on pursuing graduate studies in private schools, you must inquire about the requirements these schools ask from students looking for financial aid. These requirements typically include the graduate school essay, in which you can write about your financial status and why the school should grant you a scholarship or provide you with financial aid with the help of a sample graduate school essay.

There are also graduate schools that do not have in-house scholarships and financial aid programs but are affiliated with various funding organizations. Below are just some organizations that provide funding for graduate school students in need of financial aid.

NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program

If you plan to get a graduate degree in fields such as Aeronautical Engineering, Mechanical and Electric Engineering, Aeronautics, or Computer Science, then you should try applying for scholarships from the NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program. This program gives grants of up to $11,000 per school year and you can even get an annual stipend of $35,000.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation

You can get a scholarship worth $30,000 from Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation if you want to get a graduate degree in the field of public service.

The Ford Foundation

If you plan to pursue a doctorate degree in academic disciplines such as Computer Science, Engineering, Earth Sciences, History, and other related fields, then you should check whether you’re eligible for a scholarship from Ford Foundation.

American Association for University Women

The American Association for University Women (AAUW) foundation offers grants to women pursuing graduate studies, regardless of socio-economic background, religion, or race.

Gates Millennium Scholars

An offshoot of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates Millenium Scholars GMS has been offering financial aid to more than 12,000 deserving students ever since 1999. The goal of this program is to provide financially challenged students with access to quality education. Increasing the representation of certain groups in different academic fields such as health sciences, engineering, mathematics, etc. is also a goal of this program.

Top Graduate Schools: Portland State University, North Carolina Central University, and Cornell University

Top Graduate Schools: Portland State University, North Carolina Central University, and Cornell University

Portland State University

Portland State University or PSU is a tertiary educational institution that is acclaimed as one of the top schools in the country. Being founded in the 1940s, Portland State University is rather young in comparison to other schools of the same caliber. PSU has played a big role in promoting education to the youth by having various community programs and events. Throughout its history, PSU has helped in forming and educating not only the youth, but also adults through their undergraduate studies and graduate studies in PSU. Some of the graduate programs that are offered at PSU include those in the arts and sciences, public affairs, and business administration.

North Carolina Central University

North Carolina Central University or NCCU has grown into a diverse and prestigious educational institution. When NCCU first began as a school primarily for African Americans in 1910, the school didn’t have nearly as many courses and programs as they have today. Aside from the excellent undergraduate education at NCCU, the school also has top-notch graduate studies for those who want to pursue their studies further. NCCU has a wide and varied selection of graduate programs that includes educational Technology, business administration, psychology, and special education.

Cornell University

Cornell University is one of the most famous and reputable schools in America. Located in New York, one of the busiest and diverse states in the country, Cornell has attracted students from all over the world with its high quality education. In fact, Cornell has affilliations with numerous companies from around the world. Cornell also has top-notch graduate programs and doctorate studies in fields such as Aerospace Engineering, Medieval Studies, Microbiology, and Zoology.

Why It’s Good To Pursue Graduate Studies During an Economic Recession

Why It’s Good To Pursue Graduate Studies During an Economic Recession

An economic recession is a good time for you to evaluate your current career and long-term career goals. When a country’s in an economic recession, the overall gross domestic product of the nation declines for two successive quarters. Unemployment rates rise and prices of commodities keep on increasing. During an economic recession, there’s a big chance that companies will downsize and lay off employees so that expenses will be decreased.

During an economic recession, many college graduates usually have a hard time trying to get jobs because the job market is unstable. Earning a steady income during this period is also more difficult, which makes it even harder for graduates to pay off student loans. Instead of just waiting for the economic recession to be over, you can take advantage of this period by enrolling yourself in a graduate program that will certainly help advance your career.

In fact, a study conducted by the University of Washington reveals that many people opt to pursue graduate studies during periods of economic recession. When economic recession occurred between 2001 and 2003, grad school applications increased in number. It was also during this time that the number of persons taking the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) increased by nine percent.

Pursuing graduate studies can help you when it comes to shifting careers.

Recessions are a great time for you to start thinking about and evaluating your career path. Ask yourself about your long-term goals. If you think you no longer belong in the industry you’re currently working in, you might want to consider a career shift. You can go into a different industry and pursue a path you like more or one that is less affected by the changing economy. Graduate studies will provide you with the right knowledge and give you the training you need for the industry you want to pursue. Once you complete your studies, you will then have a degree that can help you get a higher income.

If you want employers to invest more on you, invest in yourself first.

It usually takes only two to three years for an economy to rise again. When the economy recovers, companies will then start hiring employees again. If you already have your graduate degree or are close to getting it by that time, then you’ll surely have an advantage over other applicants for the position you want. When you pursue graduate studies, you not only learn more, you also make yourself more valuable to employers.

If you’ve already made up your mind about going to graduate school, then you have to start preparing various documents such as your transcripts and other requirements. Get letters of recommendation from your college professors and make the necessary preparations for the GRE and other tests. You should also be able to write an impressive graduate admission essay. Doing so with the help of a sample graduate school essay will increase your chances of getting accepted into the graduate program you wish to pursue.

Top Graduate Schools: Johns Hopkins University, Purdue University, and Ohio State University

Top Graduate Schools: Johns Hopkins University, Purdue University, and Ohio State University

Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Graduate School

Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876, and holds the title as the first American university to be centered on research. JHU is best known for its excellence in the field of mechanical sciences, like engineering, but the institution also offers numerous other courses and programs. Aside from undergraduate courses, JHU also offers a number of doctorate courses and graduate programs. Some of the graduate programs offered by JHU include engineering, creative writing, fine arts, and public policy. Just remember to bring a jacket and some other warm clothing when going to this school, because Baltimore winters can get really cold.

Purdue University

Anyone who has done research on the elite universities in America has probably come across Purdue University. Purdue has a high quality of education that has evolved through a long and rich history, which began in 1869, when the university was founded. The university has a wide array of undergraduate studies for students to choose from. Those who want to enter into graduate school might be happy to know that Purdue University offers both graduate and doctorate degrees. Some of the graduate programs offered in Purdue University include life sciences, aviation, the arts, and business administration.

Ohio State University

Ohio State University specializes in agricultural studies, but the institution has developed and branched-out into many other fields of study. The school has gained fame across the nation as a top competitor in college sports and a premier institution for education. Some of the courses offered at Ohio State include biology, education, the arts, and allied health services. Aside from the numerous undergraduate courses offered at Ohio State University, there are also a number of graduate and doctorate studies offered at Ohio State.

What to Focus on in Your Med School Personal Statement

What to Focus on in Your Med School Personal Statement

You need to have a strong focus before you can write an effective personal statement for medical school. CMU talks about some tips in choosing a focus for your personal statement.

Understanding the focus of your med school personal statement

Focus refers to the main point of your statement. Sometimes it is called a theme. Most of what you say in your statement will contribute to supporting your focus. In the very broadest sense, the focus of all medical school personal statements is Why I Should Be Accepted to Medical School.

Of course, you have to do better than the example given above. You have to present your focus in a finer and more subtle way.

The blog adds that:

Most of the time a focus is an abstract quality: the desire to help others, the importance of individual contribution, the drive to unite science and compassion.

Selecting a focus

When choosing your focus, you have to take into account the tips from the blog.

It should be unique. It does not have to be life shattering, but you should be able to write about it with conviction, enthusiasm and authority.
It should be an experience you feel some passion for. You must be able to support it as a turning point in your life. Ask yourself, How did I change as a result of this experience? For example, did it give you a new perspective or understanding, did it give you a new direction in life, or help you come to an important realization?
Don’t limit yourself to thinking of experiences that can translate well into the moral of… and that’s why I want to be a doctor. Choose something that you feel is truly representative of you, and something that you feel you can use to transition to other relevant aspects of your life.

Make sure that you choose a focus that you are really interested to write about. A personal statement can be a bit daunting to write, this is why you need to have enough motivation.

When you write your med school personal statement, you have to make sure that you are clear with your focus. This site gives tips on how to make your easy clear and easy to read.

Think about the program director. Consider the hundreds of files each program director reviews. Making your statement easy to read is both a courtesy and an illustration of your ability to communicate effectively.

Be sure it grammatically correct and flawlessly printed. Get feedback on your statement from several trusted advisors.

Your med school personal statement focus is crucial for your whole essay. You have to use a strong focus and you need to present it in a clear manner to impress the admissions panel.

Top Five Most Prestigious Graduate School Programs in the United States

Top Five Most Prestigious Graduate School Programs in the United States

Until now, there is no single organization that is authorized to rank graduate school programs in the US. This is why the rankings of various graduate school programs vary. Different institutions use different methodologies when it comes to gathering and analyzing data about graduate school programs, producing dissimilar results.

Ranking results are also made complicated by the fact that the results published by organizations and magazines are often categorized into different academic fields. For example, the school that offers the best business and medical school programs may rank low in their engineering and computer graduate school programs. This is why this compilation lists five often cited top graduate school programs that are categorized according to different fields of study.

Top five law school programs

* Harvard University Law School
* Yale University Law School
* Columbia University Law School
* New York University School of Law
* Stanford University Law School

Top five graduate business and administration programs

* Harvard University – Harvard Business School (HBS)
* Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University
* The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
* Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management
* Stanford University Graduate School of Business

Top five medical school programs

* Harvard University Medical School
* University of California – San Francisco School of Medicine
* Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
* The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
* University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

The rankings of medical schools made by World Report and US News were done by weighing the merits of schools according to the primary care and research facilities and programs of medical schools. Business school rankings, on the other hand, are usually categorized based on the types of MBA programs available such as executive, full-time, part-time, dual, and online.

Based on the lists, Harvard University and Stanford University are often cited as two of the top universities offering excellent graduate programs. Harvard and Stanford are both renowned for their highly selective admission criteria and procedures, including them in the roster of the most prestigious universities in the US. The alumni of these two schools include politicians, CEOs, Nobel Prize winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, and various individuals who are widely recognized in their chosen fields.

When applying to any graduate program in any school, it’s important that you create an excellent graduate admission essay. Writing an impressive graduate admission essay with the help of a sample graduate school essay can help you get accepted into the school of your choice even if your college grades are not exceptionally high.

Top 5 Schools with the Best Engineering and Sciences Graduate Programs

Top 5 Schools with the Best Engineering and Sciences Graduate Programs

In 2008, five universities once again proved their worth in the academic world by offering some the best engineering graduate programs in the US. The course offering of these universities, aside from being acclaimed in the US, are also recognized as some of the best in the world. Here are the universities that offer the best engineering graduate programs in the US:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT, the university that has become almost synonymous to engineering, unsurprisingly holds the top spot in the list. Once again, Massachusetts’s very own institute of technology is recognized as having the best specialized engineering graduate programs in the entire country. Because MIT’s impressive faculty is composed of some of the best scientists and engineers in the world today, it comes as no surprise that its students receive world-class education and training.

Stanford University

The best Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering graduate programs in the country are offered in Stanford University. An evidence of the popularity Stanford’s engineering graduate programs? Its 2006-2007 graduate school enrollees exceeded that of undergraduate enrollees! The impressive academic reputation of Stanford University is not only recognized in the US, but also in the rest of the world.

University of California – Berkeley

The key to UC Berkeley’s success is its internationally renowned faculty. Besides, how can you have great students if you don’t have excellent teachers? Thanks to the university’s brilliant faculty, seven of its engineering graduate programs ranked number one on the list. UC Berkeley is also dedicated to innovation in the engineering field, as evidenced by the microelectronics contribution of its early alumni to Silicon Valley. Its early alumni also played vital roles in the structuring and development of the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Coming in at number four is Georgia Institute of Technology. With an impressive 3,559 enrollees to its engineering gradate school in 2007, Georgia Tech is undoubtedly popular among aspiring engineering experts. What Georgia Institute of Technology offers to its graduate students goes beyond academic learning. Its graduate students, aside from being highly competent in their field, are also active in sports conferences and Greek organizations.

University of Illinois (Urbana – Champaign)

The engineering graduate program of University of Illinois ranked fifth overall in 2007. Aside from its overall distinction as a reputable engineering graduate school, University of Illinois also enjoyed the recognition of offering the best Physics with a focus on Condensed Matter engineering graduate program in the country. The university’s Industrial/Manufacturing degree program ranked lowest at number 16.

Top 5 Social Sciences Graduate Programs in the US

Top 5 Social Sciences Graduate Programs in the US

Universities are not famous for nothing. These academic institutions are internationally recognized not only because they have impressive alumni rosters, but also because they offer first-class education. Here are the top five universities offering the best social sciences graduate programs in the US:

University of California – Berkeley

The university that offers the best social sciences degree programs in the US is University of California – Berkeley. UC-Berkeley, one of the two non-Ivy League schools in the list, offers world-class education to its culturally diverse students. Each of the university’s social sciences degree programs managed to enter the top five in each degree program ranking. In addition to this, the university’s non-social science degree programs all managed to make it to the top ten.

Yale University

Number two on the list is Yale University’s social sciences degree programs. This Ivy League university is not only known for its outstanding social sciences degree programs, but also for its brilliant faculty and excellent academic programs. Students who are genuinely interested in pursuing higher education will be more than happy with Yale’s educational system.

Stanford University

The six social sciences departments in Stanford University are sociology, psychology, political science, economics, communication, and anthropology. These departments, which are under the School of Humanities and Sciences, offer some of the best graduate studies in the US. The brilliant faculty members of Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences are not only good at providing education but also at conducting research.

Harvard University

Also included in the top 5 is Harvard University’s very own social sciences department from the School of Arts and Sciences. Harvard’s School of Arts and Sciences offer natural science, humanities, and social science degree programs. Graduate students who have already finished their course work in other universities are still welcome to study in Harvard as Visiting Fellows.

Princeton University

The secret to the success of Princeton University’s social sciences graduate studies is the school’s promotion of a healthy professor-student relationship for learning. Because of the university’s interdepartmental and joint degree offerings, the students are given more opportunities to pursue all their academic interests. Another great thing about Princeton is that it offers financial support for financially challenged students who can’t afford the tuition.

What are the qualities of an excellent graduate school essay?

What are the qualities of an excellent graduate school essay?

A graduate school essay is crucial in your application for a graduate study in any University. In writing a good graduate school essay, read an excellent sample graduate essay to guide you.

The quality of your graduate school essay has a great impact on the result of your admission application. So, it is necessary that you are going to write a flawless essay. Start by finding a well-written sample graduate school essay and identify the qualities that make it exceptional. Try to incorporate the qualities of a sample graduate school essay in your own essay. And try to avoid committing the common mistakes committed in writing a graduate school essay.

One of the usual mistakes in writing a graduate school essay is the attempt of the writer to impress the admission officers by being insincere in portraying his own personality. Although, a well-written sample graduate school essay you see on the Internet shows only the positive qualities of the writer, this doesn’t mean you have to made up qualities that would be included in your essay. You have to remember that the admission officers read hundreds of essays, therefore, they can see through your lies.

Another common mistake in writing a graduate school essay is writing a statement of purpose that is already a cliché. A good sample graduate school essay, reveals a statement of purpose that is fresh, interesting, and sincere.

The attempt to be humorous is another mistake that writers usually commit. When you read a good sample graduate essay, you will find that although the language is light, it is still formal. Being overly creative is a mistake in writing your graduate school essay. A well-written sample graduate school essay can capture the interest of the reader by the first reading because of the writer’s creativity in presenting his points, but it doesn’t mean that you would only focus on the creativity of your work. You have to remember that the most important aspect of a sample graduate school essay is the message that the writer is trying to deliver.

Another common mistake of the writer is focusing more on the the interesting experiences in his life that he forgot to talk about his future plans. A well-written sample graduate essay highlights the writers career goals. So, in writing your graduate school essay, give the impression that you are a person that is career and goal-oriented by talking about your future plans.

Another common mistake is the inclusion of controversial issues in the graduate school essay. A good sample graduate essay does not discuss sensitive issues such as religious and political views. For in discussing your stand in these issues, you risk offending the admission officers

Another mistake is using technical terms in writing a graduate essay. In a good sample graduate essay, jargon is not used. But some applicants employ jargon, having the wrong notion that this is an effective way to show one’s knowledge about the field he is applying to.

Avoiding these mistakes by following the structure and style of an excellent sample graduate school essay will give you better chances to be admitted in your desired graduate school.

Using Imagery to Write a Winning Graduate School Personal Statement

Using Imagery to Write a Winning Graduate School Personal Statement

It would be very helpful to incorporate some sense of imagery in your personal statement for graduate school. Using imagery is proven to capture the attention of the admissions panel who’s reading your essay. This is one creative way of presenting yourself to the school you’re applying to.

Imagery as an effective tool in hooking your readers

Imagery can be an effective tool when trying to connect to your readers. Though it may be difficult for some writers to form a compelling introduction, imagery can be used as supporting details or evidence that would back up the main idea of the essay. With imagery, you let readers view the world through your own eyes.

Tips in using imagery in your essay

An image is a vibrant and dynamic portrayal that appeals to the mind of those reading your essay, in this case, the admissions committee members. While different images are normally found in poetry and other pieces of reading materials, they can also be used when writing a personal statement

for graduate school. Just make sure that the essay won’t come out as too poetic. Keep your descriptions short, direct to the point, and attention-grabbing. If you really want to impress the admissions officers for them to approve your application, try to create a brilliant personal statement using detailed examples as well as images. Using illustrations to support your essay will be more than a welcome to the admissions panel.

What to keep in mind when using imagery in your essay

Bear in mind that using imagery in your essay is like adding one more chip of chance to getting that desired school admission. Imagery can help highlight your qualifications and convey a clearer message to your readers. Just be sure not to overdo it, or your admission essay may get too personal than intended. Use imagery only when needed and as support to your claims or the message you’re trying to get across.