Paying for graduate school can be a daunting investment — financial aid and scholarships are different than during undergrad and there are not as many resources to walk graduate students through the process of securing funds.
Alicia Bertone, vice provost for graduate studies and dean of the graduate school at Ohio State, said there are still several ways Ohio State graduate students can receive money toward furthering their education.
Ohio State graduate students can receive financial help for graduate school through fellowships, scholarships and graduate assistantships.
Fellowships are awarded through competition by specific colleges and are sponsored by outside funds. They come with not only money for tuition, but with an excellent health plan as well, Bertone said.
Bertone said the competition-based fellowships are awarded to students who have been recruited by their colleges to compete, while the specific college fellowships are appointed on merit. The outside-sponsored fellowships come from specific external programs depending on the college.
Students who meet certain diversity criteria have a few extra fellowship opportunities. Bertone said the Summer Research Opportunities Program, which is offered through the Big Ten Academic Alliance, is something that certain students can apply and qualify for depending on their ethnicity and race.
“Graduate education is enhanced by an inclusive environment of all graduate students, and having a diverse environment helps everyone that is in the program,” Bertone said.
Graduate assistantships can be based in administration, research or teaching. The different assistantships have varying roles associated with them depending on the college, but they are all forms of employment, Bertone said. Most assistantships require 20 hours of work per week.
Scholarships can come through a specific college or the graduate school itself, Bertone said. She said the individual colleges at Ohio State offer the largest number of scholarships, but the graduate school does have a few available, with one being the ENGIE-Axium scholarship, which will be available starting this year.
This scholarship is among eight other endowment funds that are “part of the academic collaboration agreement between the university and Ohio State Energy Partners LLC,” according to an Ohio State news release.
While many students do receive some type of scholarship, Bertone said that scholarships are not usually the primary source of funding for graduate students, and that fellowships and graduate assistantships typically carry more weight.
There are several ways to learn about the application processes of these options, but Bertone said she encourages students to meet with their program coordinator or someone at the graduate school office.
Application processes and opportunities change depending on the college, so it is important to be in touch with the people specific to their program, Bertone said, and that people at the graduate school office oversee each of the different funding options and are a great resource for students with questions. The graduate school offices are located at 250 University Hall, at 230 N. Oval Mall.
More information about funding, fellowships and assistantships can be found on the graduate school’s website.