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Scholarships for Graduate Students & Beyond

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Thinking of pursuing a graduate degree? Whether you’re doing it for career advancement or personal enrichment, one thing is for certain – it’s not going to be cheap. On average, those receiving a master’s degree or higher will accumulate $57,000 in student loan debt, which doesn’t include any undergraduate debt. Even more shocking is the fact that nearly 25 percent will leave owing more than $100,000. That’s a substantial investment with no guarantee of a return. One way to reduce your graduate degree debt is to look for free money to help pay for tuition, housing, and other fees. Many graduate students have access to grants, fellowships, and assistantships, but there are also graduate scholarships that can help defray the costs of pursuing a higher degree. Here are a few that are currently accepting applications.

Open Graduate Scholarships

Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship

Award: $1,000 | Deadlines: July 31 & December 31

This essay-based scholarship program has been around for quite some time. Simply provide a 250-word or less response to one of three essay options: (1) “Why do you deserve to win?”, (2) “Describe your academic or career goals”, or (3) any topic of your choice. Graduate students can use the money for tuition, room, and board, or any required fees. You must be currently enrolled or planning to enroll within the next year.

Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

Award: Varies | Deadline: September 26

This graduate scholarship program offers several prizes, ranging from $25 (semi-finalists) to $10,000 (1st place). You must write an essay (800 to 1,600 words in length) addressing one of three topics based on the Ayn Rand book, Atlas Shrugged. U.S. citizenship is not required.

Women in International Trade Scholarship

Award: $1,500 | Deadlines: April 1 & November 1

Graduate students who identify as female and have an interest in international trade or global development are eligible for this scholarship. They offer two awards each year; one in the spring (April 1 deadline) and one in the fall (October 1 deadline). You must submit an essay (1,000 words or less) addressing one of the topics provided for a chance to win.

Education Matters Scholarship

Award: $5,000 | Deadline: November 30

Unigo offers a fun graduate scholarship that has been around for over a decade. To win, submit a short essay (250 words or less) that answers the following prompt: “What would you say to someone who thinks education doesn’t matter, or that college is a waste of time and money?” The award may be used for current or future college expenses.

Getting Real About Distracted Driving Scholarship

Award: $1,500 | Deadline: December 31

Frustrated by distracted drivers? This may be the perfect graduate scholarship for you. Winners are chosen based on the quality of their advertisements. You may submit artwork for a billboard, poster or print ad, radio ad, or video PSA. Be sure your work has a clear message about the dangers of texting, drinking, or eating while driving.

Find Even More Graduate-Level Scholarships

It may seem like scholarships are only for high school and undergraduate students, but there are many out there for graduate and post-graduate studies. It just takes a little work to find them.

Try Googling “graduate level scholarships” or check out reddit for helpful tips on where to find scholarships specific to you.