How to Find Financial Aid for PhD Programs

There are many resources that doctorate students can pull from for funding their advanced education. The federal government provides resources for graduate and doctorate students looking for financial aid. Their website includes information on campus-based aid , Stafford Loans , and PLUS Loans for graduate or professional students . When it comes to funding graduate-level educational endeavors though, many times federal support is insufficient by itself to support students.

The following are other possible avenues to investigate when looking for financial aid.


Typically scholarships are awarded to students who show excellence or talent in a specific area. When applying for scholarships at graduate level though, this has usually filtered out a large number of students who would not qualify for the scholarships anyway, hence, these are much more competitive than those in undergraduate studies. Scholarships can also be based on ethnic background, field of study, or a specific student’s financial need, so it becomes even more crucial to search out and actively be trying to attain as many scholarships pertinent to your own particular circumstances. A scholarship is a lump sum of money that does not need to be paid back, so in terms of financing higher education, it is one of the most lucrative methods for ensuring no debt upon graduation. They vary in amounts and the length of time that a student receives the aid. Additionally, there may be qualifiers for a scholarship, such as a certain GPA you must maintain, or a report detailing your educational experience.

Scholarships can be found through your school, private sources, institutions, organizations, or companies. In order to search for scholarships you should contact your school in addition to looking up key terms, such as your degree or ethnic background, in a search engine.


Like scholarships, grants are a lump sum of money that you do not need to repay. You can get grants from the government, private sources, or through schools. Government grants are typically offered to students in need. Private grants have their own individual criteria and guidelines, but many times follow a procedure of awarding money to those who, again, are the most in need of the money. In graduate school, grants can be used toward travel, research, experiments, or projects. This is largely because as a graduate student, you’re not bound to taking classes around the campus or doing research in a lab like in undergraduate studies. Many times, additional costs will be incurred as one travels and becomes more active in their respective field.


Private organizations, institutions, and the government offer fellowships to graduate students. Again, fellowships vary in the amount being awarded and can be used either toward research or education. Occasionally fellowships come in the form of a living stipend. Fellowships are based on merit, need, and the specific guidelines of the institution or organization awarding the fellowship. Fellowships are fairly common for graduate students, it’s a way for the costs of attendance to be reduced or eliminated, help with discretionary spending, and even the sometimes outlandish cost of rent sometimes associated with being close to the most accredited research institutions.

Assistantships and Internships

Many schools offer assistantships, such as working as a teacher’s assistant (TA) or a research assistant (RA). Typically these positions are within your field of study or department. Faculties and institutions choose the amount awarded to students within these positions. These are great because you get hands-on experience in the field, along with pay to help cover expenses. Since graduate school is so much more expensive, this is one of the better ways to approach attending and succeeding in your advanced studies.

Top Online PhD Computer Science Programs

Northcentral University DBA: Applied Comp Sci PhD: Business Admin - Applied Comp Sci MBA: Applied Comp Sci Northcentral University › Established in 1996 in Prescott Valley, Arizona, Northcentral University is a private, accredited college with online master and doctoral programs. Students can choose from a DBA or PhD in Applied Computer Science or earn their master's degree if they have not already. All programs require the student to hold a bachelor's degree but transfer credits are accepted.
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