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How to Get a Grant for a Master's Degree

There are a wide range of options for obtaining graduate level grants. Students can obtain grants through the federal government or their academic institution or apply for specialized grants, such as minority grants.

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How Can I Get a Grant for a Master's Degree?

There are many grants available for graduate students. The Pell Grant is available for approved post-baccalaureate programs. There are grants for minorities and some schools offer academic grants. In addition, a number of grants are available through the government.

The first step in applying for a grant is to find grants that suit the student's situation. Once appropriate grants have been identified, the application process will vary depending on each grant's particular guidelines and requirements. Some grants do not have an application process, while others require in-depth proposals to be submitted with the application.

Where to Find Grants

U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education (www.ed.gov) offers several grants, including the Pell Grant, formula grants and discretionary grants. Discretionary grants are the most commonly applied for grants through the department. Discretionary grants have competitions where students must submit research and budget proposals to determine who will receive the grant award.

The Department has an online application system (www.E-grants.ed.gov) that provides application packages for various grant competitions in which it is involved. It also allows students to apply for the Pell Grant using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (www.fafsa.ed.gov).

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (www.hhs.gov) is partnered with Grants.gov in providing access to the 26 federal grant-making agencies and all discretionary grants offered by them. Students seeking grants can search for grant opportunities by keyword, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number, Funding Opportunity Number (FON), funding activities categories, agency and other criteria. Students can then register with Grants.gov to apply for grants.

Minority Grants

Members of minority groups can apply for minority grants. Native Americans, Blacks, Latin American and other ethnic minorities can receive grants from the federal government. There are also grants available for the disabled and women. Students should check with their intended school or the appropriate minority agency for information on minority grants.

Institutional Grants

Academic institutions sometimes have grant programs that offer awards for academic excellence. For example, Long Island University has two grants available for its students. The Graduate Scholars Award grants $175 per credit for students with a GPA of 3.75 or better; the Graduate Academic Award offers $125 grant per credit for students with a GPA of 3.5 - 3.74. Students should check with their school to find out if there are any grant programs offered there.

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