Best Grants for Graduate School

Carlos Paniagua Emiliano
Carlos Paniagua Emiliano

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Daniel Kahn
Daniel Kahn
Daniel is the co-founder and COO at Sparrow. Daniel is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company, working closely with other members of the executive team to develop and implement strategies to support the growth and success of the company.
Daniel was a 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 lister in the Education category.  Daniel was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina and graduated from Duke University in 2020.
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Camden Ford
Camden Ford

Camden leads Sparrow’s business operations – everything from product management to business analytics. After graduating Cum Laude from Duke University where he studied Civil Engineering, Camden worked as a Consultant for A.T. Kearney where he worked in their Strategic Operations practice. With a strong background in analytics, Camden strives to deliver data-driven conclusions and insights.

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November 13, 2023
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January 22 · 5 min read

What’s better than free money to pay for school?

Unfortunately, finding free money for graduate school can be challenging. However, there are options such as grants to help pay for your education. 

A grant is a type of financial aid that does not have to be repaid and is typically given based on need. In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of a grant, eligibility requirements, and how to find a grant for graduate school. 

Benefits of a Grant 

A major benefit of grants is that the money is free, and you’re not responsible for paying it back unlike a loan. However, there are other long-term benefits of a grant. Receiving a grant could mean less scholarship applications to fill out or less student loans to borrow. 

Who is Eligible for a Grant for Graduate School?

For the most part, if you’re a student or will be a student at an accredited university, you are eligible for grants. In order to qualify for federal grants for graduate school, you will need to demonstrate financial need by filling out the FAFSA. Some federal grants, such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, are available to students under certain circumstances. 

Depending on the award, the provider might ask for a minimum GPA, type of degree program, or research goals. 

What is the Difference Between a Grant and a Fellowship?

Fellowships are also a great source to earn money for graduate school. They offer free money that you can use to pay for your education, similar to grants. Fellowships don’t need to be paid back as well. 

However, the difference between a fellowship and a grant is the reason why the money is issued to a student. While most grants require you to demonstrate financial need, fellowships will be based on academic achievement or research. 

How to Find Grants for Graduate School 

Your best bet in finding grants is through federal and state governments, your school, and professional organizations. 

Federal Grants

In order to receive grants from the federal government, you will need to fill out the FAFSA. 

You won’t be eligible for the Pell Grant since that grant is exclusively for undergraduate students. However, there are a few other federal grants you should consider. 


The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant offers a $4,000 per year grant for a graduate student. In order to be eligible, you must agree to teach full-time for four school years.

Fulbright Grant 

If you like to travel and want to learn more about the world, consider the Fulbright program and the grant they offer. The grants are administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. These grants are intended for individual study or research projects or for English Teaching Assistants Programs. In order to be eligible, you must hold a bachelor’s degree and have sufficient language skills fit for your chosen country. 

State Grants

Different states offer grants that cover a graduate education. They will vary and have different requirements beyond financial need, such as participation in a certain field of study. Reach out to your state’s department of education or education agency to learn more about the grants they might offer. 

School Grants

Universities may offer grants to students pursuing a graduate education. Some universities will require that you demonstrate financial need. Others might automatically consider you for grants and other types of assistance. Check your university’s graduate school to learn more about the grants offered for your field of study. Don’t hesitate to ask the school’s financial aid office as well. 

Professional Organization Grants 

Professional organizations or associations are another great source for grants. Professional organizations usually seek to advance a particular profession or the interests of their members. Because of this, members pursuing a graduate degree could be eligible for grants. If you’re interested in a particular organization, such as the American Bar Association or the American Marketing Association, check their website to see the resources that they offer. 

Final Thoughts 

Graduate school can be very pricey, but it can also be an important tool for social mobility. Fortunately, there are many ways to find financial assistance. See what grants you qualify for before applying for student loans. Remember, exhaust all your options before turning to private student loans.

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