Twelve ways to get grad school paid for!

Our good friend and student debt expert 

  • Try to become an employee of the school you got into. – Call 10 different numbers at the school you got into, and try to become an employee of that institution. Keep trying. Maybe you become a teaching assistant for an undergraduate course, or maybe you serve food, or maybe you work in the university’s daycare center. One of your employee benefits may very likely be reduced tuition
  • Try to get a well-paying job off-campus – Find out what your schedule will look like while you’re in grad school. Will working off-campus be a possibility? Work as many hours as you can at the highest paying job you can find the entire time you are in grad school. Put the largest amounts you can toward loan repayment every single month.
  • Slash your grad school living expenses to the bone – If you’ll eat keto with intermittent fasting, for example, you’ll save hundreds on your grocery bill each month. You can put that money toward paying off loans early. (Keto with intermittent fasting is great for generating the kind of intense mental focus needed for grad school.)
  • Fill out the FAFSA –  every October 1st that there’s even a chance you’ll be in grad school the following fall. Once you’re accepted to grad school you’re automatically considered independent of your parents for FAFSA purposes.
  • Ask your grad school for a list of scholarships – they know of that you can apply for.
  • Call other grad schools—schools you didn’t even apply to—and ask the same question.


If you’re in a grad school for physical therapy, for example, ask yourself, “What company makes the Theraputty?” Google the name of the company with the word “scholarship.”

If the scholarship description tries to tell you that the scholarship is only for undergrad students, apply anyway. If you were one of my grad school consulting clients, tweak the main essay I helped you with and use it as your scholarship application essay. Add a paragraph to the essay where you make the case that it makes perfect sense for this company to give you a scholarship for grad school. I’ve had multiple clients who made this argument and won.

  • Do a Google search for scholarships offered by associationsin your future professional field.

Make a list of all the associations that exist in your future field, and then Google each of them along with the word “scholarship.” Just for fun, I googled “American Dental Association Scholarship” and got immediately to a generous scholarship listed here. A similar scholarship for first year med students is located here.

Applying for scholarships is a great way to get grad school paid for.

  • Apply for at least 10 scholarships every year you’re in grad school –Don’t quit applying for scholarships the first day grad school classes start. You can apply for scholarships all the way through.

And please—don’t worry about the scholarship essays. I know the essays are a pain to write—but I can offer you more than sympathy on this topic. I can teach you to write one scholarship application essay that you’ll use over and over again.

Military service –  Before you rule out military service as a way to pay for grad school, contact your local Army or Air Force recruiter, and get specific detailed information on what it would take to get the military to pay for your grad school.

Remember, having a powerful application to the program in the first place is the #1 way to get money for grad school.

When you write your initial application essays, remember—your goal is to convince the committee that you’re such an outstanding candidate for the program that they’ll say, “Wow! We’ve got to have this person here! Let’s give her free tuition if she’ll agree to enroll here!


Financial conference SGF: world symposium on investment research and market assesment.

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